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Here we are in the first month of 2022 and – like every year – there are many people who have made a New Year’s resolution to slim down. For 99% of people, extreme diets don’t work. The best approach is to eat lighter, reduced portions sizes, and eat less of certain foods that are known to be bad for promoting weight gain. For some people the last part of that mindful eating equation is tough because those are the foods they crave, and many times they provide comfort too. CBT can help with how to stop food cravings, and Contrave is a good appetite suppression medication that works too.
The good news is that you don’t have to cut out your favorite foods entirely, and instead focus on doing it for a short time while you figure out how to stop cravings. Mindful eating can still involve having ice cream, baked goods, greasy and fatty foods or whatever it is that you crave, but it’s understanding how to overrule the cravings so that you’re able to enjoy foods in moderation.
Plus, we all have different physiologies, and for some people their brains are going to be more wired to have cravings of all sorts. Eating those foods and tasting them the way you do boosts dopamine activity in the brain, and this is also a part of why you feel so satiated after eating them. Contrave takes a two-pronged approach in shutting down that process and aims at both the hunger center of the brain and the other one where dopamine does its thing – the ‘reward’ system. Mindful eating isn’t easy, but if you’re new to it then appetite suppression medication may help.
Ghrelin is a term you’ve probably never heard of before and it looks like Gremlin if you don’t look closely enough. Ghrelin is actually a hormone that stimulates appetite, and sometimes that is a good thing that doesn’t happen enough for people that might need appetite stimulation medication. But for people needing to learn about mindful eating and how to stop cravings it’s a whole different story and the problem is not a lack of appetite, it’s a lack of the strength to stop eating so much harmful food.
Which is nothing to be ashamed of, as nearly everyone has something that they struggle to enjoy in moderation. If that’s food for you, then you’ll need to accept that it’s a challenge dealing with it will give you a better quality of life. Contrave is a combination hunger reducer medication that suppresses Ghrelin’s effect so that you’re naturally less hungry and / or ‘snacky’, as is quite often more the case with people who crave certain foods. The part of the medication that does that is bupropion – which is commonly known as Wellbutrin for depression treatment and a stop smoking aid.
The other active ingredient is naltrexone, which targets the way the brain becomes habituated to enjoying the dopamine hit it gets when you eat foods that light up those receptors. You’ve got to remember that humans are hardwired to seek pleasure, and for some people that hardwiring really manifests itself in their diet choices. Contrave helps to take that edge off and can be part of mindful eating and how to reduce food cravings.
It might come as a surprise to you but the first step in mindful eating is having an eating space that is conducive to mindful eating. For most people that will be their dining room, or if you are city dweller in a smaller living space it may be your kitchen nook or something similar. For many people this can begin with designating the dining table as exclusively for dining, minimizing distractions around that space, and keeping the tabletop sparse and exclusively populated by eating implements.
Another part of mindful eating is to eat more slowly, and in doing so, take the time to acknowledge each mouthful of food and allow that feeling to go through its entirety before helping yourself to another bite. Finally, be firmer with yourself about the portion size of food you need as compared to what portion size you have. Mindful eating isn’t easy at first, but if you’re looking to be at a healthier body weight as well as gaining many other health benefits it is worth it.