Honestly, if you go by the weight charts and the BMI guidelines, almost everyone I know is “obese”. Sure, most everyone I know has a few extra pounds they carry around but obese? Surely not in my mind but I am not the expert. Some interesting research on the subject of obesity was conducted at the Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research at the University of California San Diego that I wanted to share.
First, let me preface with, this sounds confusing at first so bear with me! ROC (regulation of cues) is based on the BST (behavioral susceptibility theory) and includes 4 components:
- Psychoeducation to increase awareness of situations, thoughts, moods, and environments that lead to overeating (this is the “why” you feel hungry and is it really hunger)
- Experiential learning (learning ways to determine if it is truly hunger or mood/environment-related)
- Coping skills (do you turn to food when you are stressed, sad, or alone?)
- Self-monitoring (self-regulation, not calorie-counting, more of “how am I feeling when I reach for that twinkie”)
Most people with weight control issues tend to use Behavioral Weight Loss (BWL) theories and statistics reflect that the weight loss is often not sustained over time. For those not familiar with BWL, it is the US Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate guideline. It requires self-monitoring of food intake, calorie counting, physical activity, and step counts. Seems cumbersome but has been the model of choice for decades.
The study on ROC included weeks of sessions, participants were taught about hunger and satiety dysregulation and were instructed to self-monitor their hunger on a 1-5 scale before, during, and after each meal. They were also taught to self-monitor cravings or urges to eat and score them on a 1-5 scale. At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that the ROC model targeted appetitive traits, substantially different than behavioral weight loss programs, and resulted in weight loss stabilization rather than weight regain.
Hmmm, how often have you walked through the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door, and just stood there staring? I know I have, right? That is the “trait” thing the ROC model attempts to change. Why are you hungry, how hungry are you, and when you do sit down to eat, how long does it take you to feel satisfied. Makes sense, much better than counting calories! Stay the course, stay well, and stay informed!