Over-Hunger and the Trifecta | Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms with Dr. Priyanka Venugopal

Episode #3: Over-Hunger and the Trifecta

Apr 19, 2022

Listen on Apple Podcasts Spotify Podcasts | Google Podcasts 



When you make decisions from instinct, it's true-- it feels like our logical Brains aren't able to think fast enough. When you tell yourself you can’t eat something that you genuinely enjoy, what’s the first thing you notice? That’s right, more instinctual Urges to eat (and overeat!) your favorite treat.

Our brains are seriously fascinating. For years, I focused on everything I couldn’t have if I wanted to lose weight. Sure, if you run a tight ship counting and logging calories, our weight on the scale creeps down. However, as soon as we loosen our grip, we’re back where we started. In this episode, we’re learning how to recalibrate our brain and body, so those urges aren’t so urgent.

Tune in this week to learn all about the over-hunger trifecta and the 3 principles to healing over-hunger. Understanding these principles will forever shift how you see your body and approach weight loss. 


We are Celebrating!

To celebrate this launch, I'm giving 3 lovely listeners a pair of Apple AirPods: Click here to find out how to win


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How over-hunger is preventing you from being at your delicious ideal weight.

  • Why I believe permanent weight loss is so difficult when you restrict yourself.

  • Where our desire to do what we tell ourselves we shouldn’t comes from, especially around food.

  • Why we have come to believe our concerns about our weight are selfish.

  • What your body set point (internal LIPOSTAT) is and why it matters.

  • The trifecta of influences that lead to seemingly uncontrollable over-hunger.

  • How to interrupt the spiral of over-hunger, nurse the hormones that help you lose weight, and reduce the ones that don’t.


Listen to the Full Episode:



Enjoy the Show?

  • Subscribe: get new episodes in your feed every, single week on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle or search "Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms" on your favorite platform.

  • Rate & Review: Take a few seconds and leave your magic review  in the stars and comments of this show.

  • Instagram: Come hang out with me on Instagram, you'll find me in your daily feed @theunstoppablemombrain



Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

Click here to download the full transcript


 Hey, I'm Dr Priyanka Venugopal, and you're listening to Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms episode three, Over Hunger and the Trifecta. In today's episode, I'm going to teach you about over hunger and how it's one of the reasons you aren't at your ideal weight. Learning about the over hunger trifecta will forever shift how you see your body.

If you want to reach your ideal weight and create lightness for your body, you need to have simplicity, joy, and strategic decisions infused into your life. I'm a physician turned life and weight loss coach for ambitious working moms. I've lost over 60 pounds without counting points, calories, or crazy exercise plans. Most importantly, I feel calm and light on the scale and in my life. There's some delicious magic when you learn this work and the skills I'm going to be teaching you. Ready? Let's get to it.

Hey, welcome back. So I am in the middle of a house repair job. One of the pieces involves touching up and painting a few of the walls in our home. I had decided that the best and most safest way to protect these newly painted walls was to take my kids outside.

It's beautiful. You might even hear the birds chirping in the background. They're out there. They're like having a jam, playing with each other. They're like at that age where they can kind of play together, and they'll go off and do their own things. Then they'll come back together. They're having a grand old time. I'm like peeking out the window, and they're doing great.

Of course, while the kitchen walls were wet, I told both of them. They're six and three, they can figure this out—that some of the walls are wet. We have to be a little bit careful. So what happens? My son, of course, comes in through one of the forbidden doors, the one that's the closest to the kitchen, and reflexively I found myself saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Be really careful. Make sure you don't touch that.” What does he do? Yes, you guessed it. He quickly, faster than I could stop him, lightly touched the wall. What was he doing?

I still kind of think back on that moment, even in the way that I reflexively told him to not do it. I knew, like my mom instinct, like I feel like we have these like sixth sense antennas in our brain that I knew he was going to do it. He looked at me and he says, “I don't even know why I did that.” Can you imagine? Intelligent human beings, you and I are no different, right? Sometimes we just don't know why we do things. It's reflexive. It's automatic. It's like our conscious brains can't actually respond fast enough when our instincts are active.

I think for my son, the word is no. It's like when he hears the word no or like don't do that, the very first thing he's going to want to do is to do it. I think that in some ways, this is not so dissimilar from weight loss. You know that sentence in our mind? Don't eat that food you love and is so delicious. What's the first thing you notice? More urges and more thinking about the favorite food. The cookie, the chips, the wine.

Guys, our brains are seriously fascinating. The thing that we're getting to do together is something only humans can do. We're getting to think about our thinking. Why is it that weight loss in a permanent way was so hard for me, and I think so hard for so many of you for so many years? I think, this is just one of my theories, is that because I was focusing so much on the no’s. I love pizza. Nope. I love nachos. Nope. I love the cheese crackers and a nice glass of wine in the evening. Nope. I love that nice fro-yo with the extra Oreos crumble on top. Nope. I love the Pirate's Booty puffs, the Doritos and the Cheetos. Nope.

All the nopes stacking higher and higher. Because I knew that those were the foods that were contributing to my weight struggle. When I was running my tight ship counting and calculating and logging and saying all the nopes, the number on the scale would totally creep down. The moment I let loose on my grip, stopped paying close attention, stop counting and logging every calorie and point, my inclination was to eat those things.

Rather than battling the constant nopes, the nopes to all the things, I want us to recalibrate our body, our brains, so that those inclinations and the urges and the over desire have an opportunity to recalibrate too.

So what's up with this inclination,? The pizza, the cookies, the ice cream, the desire to touch a freshly painted wall. Let me tell you. Most of it is really a product of the modern industrialization of food. Okay, not the painted wall part, but the rest of it. This has led us to have inclinations, and that's what we're going to be talking about in today's episode about over hunger.

We have a lot to cover in today's episode. But before we dive into how over hunger prevents you from being at your delicious, ideal weight, I want to take a few moments to distinguish between our topic of over hunger and pay some attention to the real physical hunger problem that afflicts our world.

Real hunger, lack of access to clean food and water is a serious and real problem. Yes, we all get to have all the thoughts we want to about the state of the world. The reason I wanted to address this at the start of this episode is because before I teach you about the over hunger trifecta, I have found that sometimes our compassion for the world prevents us from having compassion for ourselves. We all fall under this assumption that prioritizing our bodies and thinking about weight loss is somehow selfish when there's real hunger in the world. This, my friends, is simply not true.

We have the capacity to see the world while also at the same time deepening our understanding of our bodies. This is not an either or thing. How you care for your body has nothing to do with how you get to care for the world. Let yourself see these as separate and completely individual entities. We can love on the world and have all of our thoughts and feelings about the state of the world right now, and still know completely that there's safety in deeply learning and loving on our forever homes too.

We have a lot to get into today. I'm going to be introducing you to a clear specific strategy at the end of the episode. I'm also going to share with you two of my favorite books that will talk to you more about the science and the research that supports what I'm going to be sharing with you in this episode. For those of you that love the science, that love the research, and then really want to understand more of this in detail, I highly recommend both of these books. So make sure you stick around to the end of the episode where I will be sharing all of that.

So let's talk about your body experiencing hunger versus over hunger. Hunger, just like desire, which we discussed in the last episode, is completely normal, necessary, and important. Hunger is important for our body. It’s signaling to us. It’s telling us that hey, we need some resources, we need some fuel to drive all of the complex processes that we're engaging with every single day.

Yeah, hunger does feel a little uncomfortable. This sensation is what drives us to eat and consume energy in the form of food. Our brilliant body then turns this into energy, which we utilize to do work. Now I don't mean your nine to five job or your busy hospital shift. Though, yes, food and energy does drive me to do that work as well.

By work what I mean is the fundamental nature of what your body does for you on a daily basis. Your body moves. It starts by crawling, walking, skipping, and running. Your body's performing tasks. She folds laundry and cleans dishes and cooks food. Your body drives you to and from work, to the park, or to pick up your kids. Your body focuses on problem solving challenges every single day.

If you're genetically female without getting into the medical nuances on this episode, your body may experience a menstrual cycle every month, ovulation,  and sometimes gets pregnant and births children. Your body is housing your brilliant brain, which is responsible for millions of processes happening at the same time. Do you see how much your forever home is doing for you?

To do all of these things, your body requires energy, which is why it's so incredibly important that we have a sensation of hunger that reminds us hey, I'd like some food now. When this hunger and our response to the hunger is appropriate, our body achieves a beautiful and balanced equilibrium. You will be at your ideal weight, the gravitational pull on the earth that feels perfect and magnetic for you.

But at some point along the way, this has gotten distorted and in a sense corrupted. Like a computer program that was functioning beautifully, we've been inflicted by a computer virus. Much of this happened with the introduction of the modern day industrialization of food.

How is it possible for hunger and our response to hunger can slowly get corrupted? Before I explain this, let me first tell you why you're so susceptible for your natural and normal hunger signals to get corrupted to begin with. It starts with understanding what is happening in your beautiful body.

Internally, your body's living at a specific body setpoint or an internal lipostat. Effectively, this is a fat meter in your brain that informs your body of where you should be. So for me before I learned a lot of the tools and techniques that I'm teaching you in this podcast, my body setpoint was around 200 pounds. I would go on vacation and gain a little bit, or I would be really strict with calorie counting and lose a little bit. But somehow or another I would always come back to around 200 pounds.

Why is it so important to understand this body setpoint or your internal lipostat? The reason is because unless we understand what's creating our lipostat to begin with, it's really challenging to come up with strategies and solutions to heal and reverse some of the increasing lipostats that we have experienced over the last many decades.

We have so many different meters for all kinds of mechanisms in our body. We regulate our body temperature, our heart rates, our blood pressures. Our body, specifically for temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, has backup systems. Why is it that we shiver or sweat to get back to our internal thermometer, our perfect temperature for our human bodies? It’s because our body has an internal setpoint for optimal temperature, and so it works to stay there.

So we have these many brilliant mechanisms and backup mechanisms. The trouble is we have not evolved a very sophisticated system to regulate our lipostat. It's why your body and weight can slowly creep up at an incline year after year. As your body weight goes up, your lipostat increases steadily. There's no mechanism to offset this.

I looked this up. The heaviest human on the earth that was ever documented went by the name of Jon Brower Minnoch. At his peak weight, he weighed 1400 pounds. How is this even possible? It's partly because of this concept we're discussing right now. That humans don't have a very evolved backup system for an increasing lipostat. It can just keep creeping up, and it leads to an increased weight on the scale.

The crazy part about all this is even though your body's setpoint, your lipostat, and the number on the scale creeps up, you still experience hunger. This is what I like to think of as an upward unending spiral. Unless we do the work of interrupting the spiral, which I'm going to be teaching you today, it will just continue.

Why is this? Because as we experience over hunger, we continue to overeat, specifically highly processed foods like flour and sugar. The consumption of these foods all the time distorts our hunger hormones, namely insulin and leptin. What the effect of these hunger hormones has on our body is it slowly increases our lipostat, which then leads to continuing to experience over hunger.

Do you see how the cycle can just keep continuing and continuing? Don't worry, all is not lost. There are strategies which we're about to get into to help you interrupt and reverse this.

Now there are many sources that contribute to a slowly increasing lipostat over time, and they're not all completely understood. But for the purposes of this episode, I want to give you an overview of the trifecta that most impacts over hunger.

The first is the type of foods you eat that fuel your body. The second is the level of stress that your body experiences. The third is the quality of rest or fatigue that your body has. At a chemical level any component of this trifecta on its own communicates to your brain, hey, we need more immediate resources. It's time to store. A mix of all three, which most working moms have to some degree, is an overwhelming signal to your body, store resources. Cue over hunger.

So regardless of how much precious energy your body already has stored in the form of fat, your body will generate a sensation of rumbling and discomfort and hunger. I'm going to do a deep dive into stress and fatigue in future episodes. But for today, I want to focus on the first element of this trifecta, the quality of fuel that you've been using to power your forever home.

Simply put our bodies were never designed to process the types of foods that the modern day industrialized food industry has been creating. Not only do these foods quickly spike your blood sugar because of the concentration of simple carbohydrates, they also release a spike of endorphins in your brain, which makes them highly pleasurable at a chemical level. It's why a box of unseasoned mushrooms in your fridge doesn't call to you, but those chips and dip do.

It's the culmination of the chemical effect that these foods have on your brain and your body that makes weight loss challenging, and it's made it a struggle for decades. It's also the reason for the steadily increasing lipostat. This is also the reason that calorie counting and restriction isn't a permanent way to reverse your increased lipostat. Sure you lose weight when you count calories and count the points, but you can't maintain this with ease forever.

The reason for this is because counting calories doesn't decrease your lipostat. The way to reduce your lipostat, which is what creates permanent weight loss with more ease, is to recalibrate those hunger hormones, insulin and leptin. More specifically by implementing some strategies that we're going to talk about in this episode, you will reduce your insulin and leptin resistance, which directly correlate with your internal lipostat. So good, right.

So if calorie counting doesn't lower your lipostat, what does? Taking a break from highly refined foods, specifically flour and sugar. Why is this? It's because when you consume these highly processed foods, your body is variances are a spike of sugar. So insulin is released to take care of and metabolize that sugar. Insulin is a fat storage hormone.

The trouble with this is as we consume more and more highly processed foods all throughout the day, our body's having to continually produce and secrete insulin. So over time, this leads to insulin resistance.

The other trouble is when we have these spikes of blood sugar and then the crash, our brain drives us to keep going. It doesn't want to have to do the hard work of metabolizing fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates for energy. It's so much easier to get the quick hit that flour and sugar gives us. It's why our bodies and brains experience over desire and to over hunger even more.

That's right. Consuming highly processed foods is playing a direct role in your over desire and your over hunger. It ramps up those urges to have more and more.

So while you're consuming these highly processed foods, your body is in storage mode. So the delicate and beautiful interplay between desire and hunger without active attention slowly starts to spiral. This is what corrupts our hunger hormones.

Now, let's be really clear about the nuanced decision we're talking about in this episode. This is not about saying no to pizza and ice cream and nachos and chips and cheese forever. We're saying yes to lowering your lipostat from the inside to allow a healing of your over hunger and over desire at the hormone level.

What does this look like? Well to really become fat adapted, which means your body more readily uses its fat stores rather than sugar for energy, it takes anywhere from four to six weeks. I'm not talking about low carb, far from it. I love to recommend consuming complex carbohydrates like greens and potatoes and brown rice with healthy servings of fat and protein. I'm talking about taking a break from simple sugars and flours like bread, pasta chips, Cheetos, Doritos. Yes, there is some discomfort here.

Remember when we talked about at the beginning of this episode, what hunger is? Hunger is an uncomfortable sensation that your body will trigger. While you're in the process of recalibrating your hormones and detoxing from these highly processed foods, your body and brain will ramp up desire and hunger. You might experience headaches or irritability. Just know that nothing is going wrong.

Remember, your body and brain are brilliant. They're used to the quick hits of flour and sugar. They're used to not having to work hard by processing healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates. It makes so much sense that they want to just get the quick hit of flour and sugar for energy. Taking a break from flour and sugar not only will lower your lipostat over time, it's going to be healing over hunger and over desire over time as well.

So before you decide to implement this strategy to take a break, I want to have you check in with your story first. Remember episodes one and two and even the start of this episode. You aren't saying no to anything. Because the minute you say no to something, you're going to want to reach out and touch the wet paint.

I want you to focus on what you're saying yes to. Remember that feeling that lights you up, that fires you up about taking care of your forever home. The forever home that is taking you day after day through all of the ways that you want to live your life.

Create a plan of food that you deliciously love. We're not talking about eating canned green beans day after day. Get creative with modifying family favorites. This is what I show my clients how to do week after week. When you stop saying no to yourself and food and redirect your brain to what you're saying yes to, your inner brilliance will shock you with creativity.

Here's the best news. Once you get over those first few days or that first week or two of irritability and increased hunger and desire, you will feel so much better. You'll sleep better, you'll have more energy, your mood will be elevated, your body will be less bloated. Your skin will feel less congested. The best news, you'll stop feeling hungry and over desire all the time. Let me tell you for working moms, this is hitting the jackpot.

I love that this podcast launched with these three episodes. My intention was that these three episodes go hand in hand. It's so important to see the stories that you're telling around food and the way that you're eating right now. Because the way we tell our stories is also what contributes to over desire in your body.

But also what we discussed in this episode was that we have distorted our balance of hunger hormones. So when we really think about hunger and desire in a healthy balance, we can see the path forward to reaching your ideal weight with more ease.

I promised at the beginning of this episode, I would share with you two of my favorite books. I almost think of them as a reference resources to the science that I presented in this episode and that I will continue to present in this podcast. The first is The Hungry Brain by Stephan Guyenet. The second is The Obesity Code by Jason Fung. If you love learning about the research and the science and the chemical processes of what is happening in your brain and body, you will love these.

I loved that this podcast launch started with these three episodes, I created them to go hand in hand because hunger and desire are normal, but a combination of our stories and the modern industrialization of food has corrupted some of our inherent programming.

You've learned three tools and strategies in these first three episodes. The narrator tool from episode one, understanding the stories that create your over desire in episode two, and the foods that are keeping your lipostat increasing in this episode, are all together going to start allowing you to put into practice today, creating your ideal weight.

I can't wait for you to come back next week. Have you ever had a family fiasco over picking a movie out? I can count on one hand the number of times we've had perfect harmony, yet somehow we manage to jam out and enjoy Movie Night. Yes, you're gonna hear all about it, and how perfect harmony isn't necessary to lose weight either. I'll see you then.

I want to celebrate the launch of this podcast with you, the amazing ninja moms who are ready to create some extra ooey-gooey magic. To celebrate us now being in each other's world, I'm going to be giving away a pair of Apple air pods to three lovely listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show. I know that working moms are on the go, and I want to help you listen on the magic of your favorite music, audiobooks, and of course podcasts with joy.

I would love your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that honors your time and provides you golden nuggets of value. Visit theunstoppablemombrain.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the celebration and how to be a part of the magic. I'll be announcing the ninja rockstars on the show in an upcoming episode. See you there.

Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms. It's been an honor spending this time with you and your brilliant brain. If you want more information or resources from the show, visit theunstoppablemombrain.com.

Join The Magic

Value driven ooey-gooey goodness, strategies and skills delivered right to your inbox every week.