Adherence to Hunger Training Using Blood Glucose Monitoring

A Feasibility Study

M. R. Jospe; R. C. Brown; M. Roy; R. W. Taylor


Nutr Metab. 2015;12(22) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: "Hunger training", which aims to teach people to eat only when blood glucose is below a set target, appears promising as a weight loss strategy. As the ability of participants to adhere to the rigorous protocol has been insufficiently described, we sought to determine the feasibility of hunger training, in terms of retention in the study, adherence to measuring blood glucose, and eating only when blood glucose concentrations are below a set level of 4.7 mmol/L.

Method: We undertook a two-week feasibility study, utilising an adaptive design approach where the specific blood glucose cut-off was the adaptive feature. A blood glucose cut-off of 4.7 mmol/L (protocol A) was used for the first 20 participants. A priori we decided that if interim analysis revealed that this cut-off did not meet our feasibility criteria, the remaining ten participants would use an individualised cut-off based on their fasting glucose concentrations (protocol B).

Results: Retention of the participants in the study was 97 % (28/29 participants), achieving our criterion of 85 %. Participants measured their blood glucose before 94 % (95 % CI 91, 98) of eating occasions (criterion 80 %). However, participants following protocol A, which used a standard blood glucose cut-off of 4.7 mmol/L, were only able to adhere to eating when blood glucose was below the prescribed level 66 % of the time, below our within-person criterion of 75 %. By contrast, those participants following protocol B (individualised cut-off) adhered to the eating protocol 84 % of the time, a significant (p = 0.010) improvement over protocol A.

Conclusion: Hunger training appears to be a feasible method, at least in the short-term, when an individualised fasting blood glucose is used to indicate that a meal can begin.