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Lose Weight Without Feeling Hungry E-mail
Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA   

Lwoman eating a peice of fruitosing weight is no easy feat for many, but if you follow a few basic sound principles, losing weight does not need to be as difficult as many have made the process to be. 

Understand Basic Food Principles. You May Understand the Glycemic Index, But do not forget to consider the Glycemic Load. It is important to understand how your food affects your blood sugar, hormones and fat storage.  Understanding the Glycemic Index (GI) is a good first step (The GI is a measure of the rate at which a carb breaks down and releases glucose into the bloodstream; the higher the GI, the greater the effect on insulin secretion), but it is important to understand a bit more. One of the drawbacks of using only the GI is that it can be misleading. GI tests aren't based on typical portion sizes of foods. Instead, researchers use a standard measure of 50 grams of carbohydrates of the foods that they are testing; therefore, portion sizes vary depending on the amount of available carbohydrates in the particular food. Additionally, if you look at Glycemic Load, drinking a gallon of OJ would derail your diet more than having a candy bar.  Just something to consider when eating and planning your meals.

Drink Lots of Water.  Water can help you lose weight and feel full. It also helps with food digestion, toxins elimination and helps hydrate the skin.  Drinking cold water is best. Studies show that drinking cold water rather than tepid water can burn calories; drinking about 8 ounces of ice-cold water (1 degree Celsius) would cause the body to expend about 9 calories. Although this is not a huge deal, if you drank 100 ounces a day this way you could lose a pound a month, besides the calories you might not eat while drinking the water, which would also help you, feel fuller. (For more on this refer to Jeff Behar's article Understanding the Importance of proper Hydration, 

Eat Slowly. For more than 30 years, dieters have been told to eat slowly to reduce their intake of food. This idea "It started in about 1972 as a hypothesis that eating slowly would allow the body time for the development of satiety [fullness] and we would eat less," according to Kathleen Melanson, assistant professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Rhode Island. "Since then we've heard it everywhere and it has become common knowledge. But no studies had been conducted to prove it." Not until recently!!! In a laboratory study of college-age women over the past year led by Melanson confirmed the long-held belief. In the study, 30 women made two visits to Melanson's lab, and each time they were given a large plate of pasta and told to eat as much as they wanted. When they were told to eat quickly, they consumed 646 calories in nine minutes, but when they were encouraged to pause between bites and chew each mouthful 15 to 20 times, they ate just 579 calories in 29 minutes. The study demonstrated that satiety signals need time to develop. The women took in fewer calories when they ate more slowly, and they had a greater feeling of satiety at meal completion and 60 minutes afterwards!!! This data strongly suggests benefits to eating more slowly. The study also interviewed the participants who stated that they enjoyed the meal more when they ate slowly than when they ate quickly. Of important note, one potentially confounding factor in the study was that the volunteers were provided water to drink with their meal, and when eating slowly they had considerably more time to drink before completing their meal. The greater consumption of water might have contributed to satiety under the slow condition. However, Melanson said that this factor reflects the real-world situation, since eating slowly allows more time for water consumption.

Go Natural.  Because natural fruits, vegetables and whole grains are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, they are absorbed slowly and satisfy our feelings of hunger. Heavily processed foods, on the other hand, are not only low in nutritional value, but they don't make us feel satisfied so we eat more of them. They are made from refined ingredients that are so tasteless they require large amounts of salt, sugar, fat, and high-priced advertising to make them attractive.

Eat Natural Foods in Their Natural State. Perhaps our biggest nutritional mistake has been turning away from foods in their natural state. We have replaced them with processed foods that have been modified to last longer, be easier to manufacture and distribute, and be more convenient to store and use. Take apple juice as an example. Even the simple act of removing the pulp to make apple juice detracts from its value for both health and weight loss. A medium size apple contains just 72 calories, and over 3 grams of fiber, while 8 fl oz of apple juice contains 120 calories and no fiber at all. And we're just talking about pure, "healthy" apple juice. Natural foods are nutritious and contain much of what is good for us, including vitamins and minerals, fiber , the cancer-fighting antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, and the sustained energy provided by whole grains and complex carbohydrates. They reduce our risk of  heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Because of their nutrient and fiber content, natural foods are healthy for us and help keep us slim.

Skip Heavily Processed foods. Heavily processed foods are substantially less nutritious and contain much of what is not good for us, including sodium, preservatives, sugars, saturated fats and trans fats. The most nutritious part of whole grains is the outer cover, the part that is removed to make white flour and white rice. Because of their lack of nutrient and fiber content, and all their additives, heavily processed foods can be unhealthy for us and help us gain weight. Eat healthy, natural foods with a high ratio of nutrients to calories and you will not be fat and you will not go hungry. You will be healthier, too. 

Increase your Fiber. Fiber increases satiety (the feeling of fullness) by adding bulk to foods without additional calories Fiber can also help stabilize blood sugar levels by delaying stomach emptying which slows the rate of carbohydrate absorption, improves the body’s regulation of blood sugar, reduces the risk of insulin resistance/sensitivity and lowers insulin needs. Fiber also has many health benefits. Increasing your consumption can also help decrease blood cholesterol levels, and therefore, reduces the risk of heart disease.  Increasing fiber can also decrease the risk of colon cancer by increasing the speed of elimination; reducing the amount of time harmful toxins are in contact with the intestinal cells. The recommended dietary fiber intake is 14g per 1,000 calories consumed. This can be achieved by eating more vegetables, whole grains, beans, certain fruits and cereals. A gradual increase is recommended to minimize the side effects of fiber, such as cramping, diarrhea, and intestinal gas.  It is also very important to increase your fluid intake as you increase your fiber intake.

Eat a Heart Healthy Diet.  A Heart Healthy Diet is one with lots of fiber, fruits, vegetables, nuts, good fats, lean cuts of meat, and minimal sugar and processed foods. 

Increase your Vegetable Consumption. Eating five servings a day of vegetables helps keep you looking good, keeps blood sugar levels stable, and also helps keep you healthy by providing important vitamins and minerals that your body needs. There are numerous studies showing that those who increase their daily servings of fruit and vegetables lower their risk dramatically for insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension, heart attacks, and cancer.

Choose the Colorful veggies. Colorful fruits and vegetables of the vine get their wide range of vivid colors from health-protecting substances such as lycopene, vitamin C and vitamin A. Use them generously in dishes to enhance nutrients with very few calories.

Minimize Bad Fat. Fats are 9 calories a gram more than double that of protein and carbohydrates. Keeping fats below 30% and cholesterol intake below 200 mg will markedly cut your risk of heart disease. 

Avoid Trans fats. These fats contribute to weight gain, and over the long term contribute to insulin resistance (the underlying metabolic problem in Type 2 Diabetes) and also elevate your cardiovascular risk.

Avoid Fried Foods. For stove top cooking, it's better either to stir-fry foods in nonstick pans lightly coated with a cooking-oil spray or to braise them in broth or wine. Baking, broiling, and roasting add no extra fat to your meals.

Avoid Fast foods. Hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, fried chicken, french fries, burritos, and other fast-food meals and snacks tend to promote weight gain for two reasons. First, they are high in fat, calories, or both. Second, the "value meals" are often excessively large and tempt you to overeat.

Minimize Beverages that Contain Calories. Drinks that contain corn syrup and other simple sugars can add up quickly and often leave you still feeling hungry. 

Minimize Alcohol. These are empty calories.

Avoid salad dressings, margarine's, and other foods high in soybean oil. These calories do NOT do the body good! 

Eat Good Lean Protein with Every Meal. This helps regulate blood sugar. Carb only meals can spike these levels.

Add Fish to your Diet. Fish contains good healthy fats. Studies show this helps with weight loss and heart health.

Use Low-fat or Nonfat Dairy Foods. Milk, yogurt, and cheese and other low-fat dairy products are packed with calcium and protein and may also help you lose weight. Research suggests that dairy food, when part of a reduced-calorie diet, can enhance weight loss while strengthening bones and keeping you feeling full and satisfied. Be careful though, but the whole-milk versions of these dairy products are very high in fat, so substitute them for the low fat or fat free varieties whenever possible. 

Eat Frequently. Eating small meals every two to three hours helps keep your body fed, minimizes blood sugar spikes, helps maintain lean muscle mass, and helps keep your energy level stabilized.

Choose Filling Foods Low in Calories. That means meals and snacks made with whole grains, such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and oatmeal, as well as legumes, such as lentils and other beans.

Limit Fruit Intake to 2 To 3 Servings A Day At Most. Limit fruit to two servings a day. Avoid the “sweeter,” high Glycemic index tropical fruits: bananas, mangos, pineapple and papaya.

Never eat Carbohydrates without Protein. By consuming some high-quality protein at every meal/snack your blood glucose and insulin levels are more stable and appetite is minimized compared to a carb only meal.

Minimize the High Glycemic Foods. Consumption of high Glycemic carbohydrates (which to some people’s surprise include, white rice, white potatoes, sugar) results in surges of blood glucose and insulin that, derail diets, zap energy, hamper training gains and over time, can lead to the development of Type 2 Diabetes in carbohydrate sensitive / insulin resistant individuals.

Do not Overload on Low Glycemic Carbohydrates.Too many carbohydrates, even good carbohydrates can raise blood sugar.  For example drinking a gallon of OJ creates a higher Glycemic Load effect on your body than eating a cupcake.  Just something to consider when eating and planning your meals.

Do not Cut out the Meat!  Although Chicken and fish are typically considered healthier than red meat because many cuts of red meat can have too much saturated fat, today this is not always the case anymore. Now, lean cuts of red meat are readily available to consumers. If you follow a heart-healthy diet, it doesn't make a difference whether you eat red meat or white meat, as long as you choose lean cuts.

Consume foods that Enhance Insulin Sensitivity (make your insulin work better). This would include foods high in the mineral chromium: broccoli, whole grains, shellfish, mushrooms and brewer’s yeast, as well as spices such as: cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, turmeric.

Bottom Line for Effective Weight Loss

People who eat healthy, mostly unprocessed foods, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (lentils, dry beans and peas), and limited amounts of lean animal protein (reduced-fat dairy, fish, chicken, and lean cuts of other meats), often find that they can eat as much as they want without gaining weight. If they are switching from a diet containing lots of processed foods, they find that they can eat more yet consume fewer calories -- and they lose weight.  

About the Author

Jeff Behar
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA is a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, regularly writing about hot topics in the areas of health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, anti aging and alternative medicine. His work also often appears in several of the major health and fitness newsletters, health and fitness magazines, and on major health, and fitness websites. Behar is also a well sought after personal trainer, motivational speaker, and weight loss expert.


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