If you think about food all day long, here’s how you may be able to stop that internal chatter.
Do you go about your day constantly thinking of food? Are you always thinking about what your next meal will be, whether you should have a snack or how to quell your hunger? If so, you’re not alone. Many people, especially those who are overweight or obese, live with obsessive or intrusive thoughts about food and eating.
Although there is no formal definition of what this chatter is and how it works, many refer to constant thoughts surrounding food and eating as “food noise.” This term may be new to you, but it is commonly searched on social media sites like TikTok. A quick search returns thousands of videos explaining what food noise is and how to stop it.
The term food noise has also been in the news lately because it has been tied to new weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, among others. Some users of these medications have found that almost immediately after they start taking the drugs, they no longer feel like they are constantly thinking about food. They don’t feel hungry all the time, have cravings or spend all day thinking about what they’ll eat or drink next. In essence, the volume of their food noise has been turned down or gone silent.
Is food noise really a thing?
Although it’s not entirely understood why some people experience more food noise than others, having intrusive thoughts about food does exist in many people and may affect weight. Health experts think some people may just be wired to think this way. The amount of food noise people experience may also be tied to learned habits and environmental influences. People who have a lot of food noise may find it harder to lose and maintain weight because they can’t seem to get constant thoughts about food out of their head. An intense preoccupation with food may also be tied to binge eating disorder.
How do weight loss drugs lower the volume of food noise?
The active ingredient in popular drugs used for weight loss like Wegovy and Ozempic is semaglutide. This medication activates receptors for glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone released in the gut in response to eating that signals fullness and satiety. This helps suppress your appetite and may reduce cravings. The medication also causes your stomach to empty more slowly, which may make you feel full faster and stay full longer.
People using the medication, which was initially developed as a drug to treat type 2 diabetes, must continue taking it in order to experience these effects. That means that although the drug may be effective in lowering food noise and helping you lose weight, you may need to take it for the rest of your life. People who stop taking the medications often see their food noise return and they tend to regain lost weight. Some people even regain more weight than they initially lost.
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Date Last Reviewed: August 15, 2023
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
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