Everything You Need To Know About 'Food Noise'

Losing weight is never an easy feat. Besides implementing new nutrition and lifestyle choices, Another thing that can make losing weight (and keeping it off) more difficult is something called "food noise."

If you haven't heard of food noise, Reena Bose, MD, an endocrinologist in obesity medicine at Cleveland Clinic, breaks it down: “Food noise is basically increased hunger and appetite that results from altered gut and brain pathways which leads to weight gain and eventually obesity."

So, if you've ever wondered you're hungry all the time, even if you just ate, or find yourself consistently planning your next meal, you may be dealing with food noise.

How Much Does Food Noise Really Impact Weight Loss Goals?

“Food noise translates to high appetite and increased hunger, which makes it harder for people to achieve and maintain meaningful weight loss,” says Dr. Bose. “You might be trying your best to make lifestyle changes, yet not seeing results—and this is where the metabolic adaptation and weight set point kicks in—meaning the body is trying to reset the lost weight, which eventually leads to weight gain and inability to keep the weight off.”

Related: What It's Like to Take Ozempic, Week by Week

Food noise has also gained attention recently among people taking Ozempic, or semaglutides, for weight loss. Many people have said that they notice that while on Ozempic, food noise is blocked. So, why is that?

“Semaglutide (also called Ozempic or Wegovy) is a GLP 1 agonist, which mimics our natural gut hormones that work on the hunger centers in our brain and decrease hunger, slowing the gastric emptying time—so eating smaller portions of food is easy to do,” explains Dr. Bose. “It also improves insulin secretion in response to food intake, which helps with glycemic control and can help patients lose 15-17 percent weight loss in a year.”

In other words, if your blood sugar is more balanced, your body won't constantly be sending you those hunger signals—meaning you'll finally be able to think about something besides food (hallelujah!).

Related: Ozempic Vs. Wegovy Vs. Mounjaro: What's the Difference? 

How To Drown Out the Food Noise

If you’re struggling to manage food noise (and presumably, not taking Ozempic), here are a few tips to help drown it out.

Stay away from processed foods (and eat a healthy diet)

It's no secret that processed foods aren't exactly good for you. And if you're struggling with constant food noise, processed food like chips, candy, and the list goes on, could be the culprit. According to Dr. Bose, staying away from processed foods may help prevent food noise, which has been linked to overeating and weight gain.

Balance your stress and get enough sleep

Dr. Bose also adds that balancing your stress can help with food noise since it has been linked to increased food cravings and weight. Additionally, proper sleep is also essential since sleep deprivation has been linked with cravings for higher-calorie foods. When you're tired, you're looking for anything that will get your energy up—and sugar and fat-filled foods often look very appealing.

Related: How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Really Need Every Night?

Seek professional help

"It's important to realize that obesity is not a choice, but a chronic relapsing disease. Seek help from your primary care provider or get a referral to see an obesity specialist to help guide you on the best option for you,” says Dr. Bose. “There are some very good anti-obesity medications which are safe and very effective, especially when used in conjunction with lifestyle changes.”

Next up: The One Habit to Avoid If You're Fighting Obesity