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- Hunger -

Ideal body weight is exactly that, an ideal. There are a number of variables that influence your weight and there is no set number. An ideal body weight is really a range that is within the boundaries of good health. It is important to maintain a healthy body weight as it limits the chances of many illnesses & heart conditions. Your body at the right weight will function and run at its optimum.

Three Hunger Factors:
 1. Biological hunger factors:
             Peripheral cues come from the stomach, liver, intestines, & fat cells.
             Central cues come from the brain's hypothalamus.
 2. Genetic hunger factors:
     Fat cells - the number of these you have is determined by heredity, they vary in size as your weight changes.
     Metabolic rate - your Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day.
     The set point is the weight range in which your body is programmed to weigh and will fight to maintain that weight
     Weight-regulating genes
 3. Psychosocial hunger factors:
     Learned associations
         Socio-cultural influences
             Personality traits

Serious eating disorders:

    Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a severe decrease in eating. People with anorexia nervosa are hungry, but they deny the hunger due to an overshadowing fear to become fat. This fear continues even as the person becomes dangerously thin. Treatment for anorexia nervosa should include both a mental health professional as well as a primary health care physician.
    Bulimia nervosa is an illness that is most commonly found in girls of later adolescence and early adulthood. It is very rarely found in men. It is characterized by episodes of binge eating; eating large quantities of food in a short time. This behaviour may be very severe with enormous quantities of food, most typically carbohydrates being consumed. To prevent the otherwise inevitable consequence of weight gain there are periods of food restriction and often vomiting, laxative abuse or excessive exercising. When vomiting is used then the binges may become multiple with repeating cycles over several hours in which the sufferer eats until full, then vomits and eats again. With increasing severity the girls' lives become more chaotic with the focus increasingly on the bulimic behavior.

General Psychology
Robert C. Gates