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In the last section, we discussed three different levels of overeating. These three different levels of overeating included: food users; food abusers; and food addicts.
Have you, like I, found that those clients who are compulsive eaters do not quite know the feeling of hunger? They have been subject to their emotions for so many years that they have become more prone to listen to their emotions as a trigger for eating.
In this section, we will examine four Cognitive Behavior Therapy techniques for redefining hunger for overeating clients. These four techniques of redefined hunger include: Recognizing Mouth Hunger Phrases; Hunger Log; Demand Feeding; and Responding to Hunger.
4 CBT Techniques of Redefined Hunger
♦ CBT Technique #1 - Recognizing Mouth Hunger Phrases
Think of your Corey. What Mouth Hunger Phrases is he or she using as an excuse to eat?
♦ CBT Technique #2 - Hunger Log, 3 Steps
A couple of weeks later, I asked Kim if she noticed any patterns. She stated, "I seemed to eat a lot after dinner. All the night snacks I had are under ‘mouth’ hunger! I think I’m depriving myself too much during the day and my body wants to make up for it at night." Think of your Kim. Would he or she be better aware of his or her eating habits with the help of a "Hunger Log"?
♦ CBT Technique #3 - Demand Feeding
Jim, age 39, worked at a high pressure job and as a result only ate when he felt stressed or self-conscious. I asked Jim to try and "Demand Feeding." To do this, first I asked him to regularly ask himself if he was hungry prior to a meal or snack. I asked Jim to start allowing himself to be hungry. Once the hunger hits, I ask him to satisfy it, not overcome it. This may involve Jim eating three, six or even eight times a day. However, by eating on demand rather than mouth, Jim can more fully recognize "need" signals rather than "want" signals.
♦ CBT Technique #4 - Responding to Hunger
Catherine stated, "If I let my stomach control me, I’m going to go over the edge!" I stated, "You aren’t letting your hunger control you, rather you are responding to a perfectly legitimate need to sustain yourself." I asked Catherine to try the "Responding to Hunger" exercise.
Instead of framing hunger as an object to overcome and rather as an opportunity to fulfill a need, Catherine can not only avoid the negative feelings that trigger her binging, but also can learn to recognize and respond to her hunger appropriately.
Think of your Catherine. Could she use some help responding to his or her hunger?
In this section, we discussed four techniques for redefining hunger for overeating clients. These four techniques of redefined hunger included: Recognizing Mouth Hunger Phrases; Hunger Log; Demand Feeding; and Responding to Hunger.
In the next section, we will examine three concepts related to binge regression. These three concepts related to binge regression include: self-criticism during a binge; panic; and guilt.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Fowler, R. S., Fordyce, W. E., Boyd, V. D., & Masock, A. J. (1972). The mouthful diet: A behavioral approach to overeating. Rehabilitation Psychology, 19(3), 98–106.
Pearl, R. L., Wadden, T. A., Bach, C., Gruber, K., Leonard, S., Walsh, O. A., Tronieri, J. S., & Berkowitz, R. I. (2020). Effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention targeting weight stigma: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 88(5), 470–480.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION 11
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