Five Actions That Get in the Way of My Appetite
Last updated: April 2023
For the first time, many people with CF have been able to focus less on gaining and maintaining weight and more on living life. Finally, they can eat a normal diet and not worry about adding excess calories or fat like they once did. Although everyone is different when it comes to weight maintenance on Trikafta, some people with CF can still struggle with their weight. I seem to be one of the people that initially gained weight on Trikafta but the effect tapered off of the last three years. Now, I am stuck in the same chubby-chasin’ cycle as before.
Fed up with trying all the tricks of the trade unsuccessfully, I can identify certain actions that suppress my appetite and are doing more harm than good. After all, bringing awareness to behaviors is key if I want to continue reaching a healthy and manageable weight.
Appetite suppressing behaviors
1. Moderate caffeine intake
Even with the upsettingly early morning wake-ups with my kiddos, I look forward to getting my day started and enjoying my morning cup of coffee (or two). The downside of this habit is it has a substantial effect on my appetite. I definitely see in my own behavior, coffee can cause me to forgo breakfast if I am not conscious about it.
2. Being the last to eat
Much like a mama bird attempting to feed her nest full of little (and loud) mouths, I realize there’s a pecking order of who is fed first at meal times. Typically it goes like this: the baby, then my preschooler, and finally, if there’s time during the hustle, me. Between the rush of meeting everyone’s needs and time restraints, the last to prepare my plate, sit, and eat, it doesn’t leave me a lot of time for calorie intake.
3. Untreated chronic pain
The chronic pain I deal with on a day to day basis doesn’t directly affect my appetite, but it does wipe me out. The fatigue I feel when I am having bad pain days makes me want to rest and do nothing, especially forgo preparing food. I know if I don’t treat my pain, I won't have the energy to eat.
4. Episodes of stress
Stress can have differing effects on hunger and appetite. Personally, it’s been a heavy year of many acute episodes of stress worrying about a family member and their health, feeling like I'm in fight or flight mode. When they have a hard day, my appetite disappears and I cannot eat because I am in a heightened emotional state.
5. Snacking without complete meals
I have picked up a very bad habit of snacking in between meals, just enough to satisfy my hunger and keep my blood sugar from dropping. Then by the next meal time, I’m not really starving and will put off eating, but eventually never do because I get busy. I end up eating no well-balanced meals with the nutrition and calories body needs. A huge no-no.
The significance of recognizing these patterns is that I can adapt to change them into healthier alternatives to help me gain some weight back. One day, one meal, and one less cup of coffee at a time. We can do it!
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