You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Healthy Living: 10 smart ways to control your appetite
Charles Stuart Platkin, PhD.
The Diet DetectiveJanuary 25, 2012 | 2,149 views | Post a comment
Trying to lose a few pounds? A large part of eating too much is about our appetite; if we could only get that under control, the weight would simply fall off. Here are a few strategies.
•Water: Can water help you stay full? Well, I know after I drink several glasses of water I get filled up and eat less. In fact, some studies support this notion. Water can help you lose weight by keeping you feeling full and helping to reduce your consumption of other high-calorie drinks (and foods).
A recent study found that over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals three times per day lost about 5 pounds more than other dieters. Try drinking about two 8-ounce glasses before each meal.
•Nuts: There are many different types of nuts with a plethora of health benefits. In addition to their other benefits, nuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts, Brazil nuts, etc.) can help fend off hunger. They’re high in fiber and protein, both hunger fighters. Just make sure to limit your portions to about 1 ounce, because nuts are high in calories, too.
•Naturally Occurring Fiber: Foods that are naturally high in fiber (e.g., 100 percent whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes) fill you up because they take up room in your stomach and slow digestion.
Why only naturally occurring fiber? According to the journal Nutrition Review, inulin (often added to foods as fiber) may help you go to the bathroom in the same way natural fiber does, but it doesn’t have the same effect on slowing down stomach-emptying (making you feel full longer) or helping to lower cholesterol.
•Sleep: When you’re tired, you’re less likely to make the healthiest food choices. And many sleep-deprived people believe they “deserve” to eat something sugary and fatty. Finally, a few studies have demonstrated that lack of sleep leads to an increase in the hormone ghrelin (which tells the body to eat) and a decrease in the hormone leptin (which tells your body to stop eating). Studies show that you need roughly 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep to get the benefits for diet and exercise. You should have a regular bedtime seven days per week.
Also, check your mattress and box spring. When was the last time you replaced them? Make sure your room temperature is comfortable. Get rid of the TV in the bedroom. And make your sleep environment quiet -- aesthetically and in terms of noise.
•Watch a Comedy: According to an article in the journal Appetite, watching a comedy can reduce your appetite. In the study, one group watched a 7.5-minute clip of an animated comedy with a plate of cookies in front of them, while the control group did not watch the film. The comedy group ate about one medium chocolate chip cookie less than the control group.
•Eat More Veggies: Veggies help you lose weight because they’re high in fiber and water (see above), plus you get a lot of food for few calories. For instance, for the same 227 calories in one brownie you could eat 7.5 cups of broccoli.
•Soup: Because soups are water-based, they tend to make you feel less hungry without adding too many calories, so you eat less. Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, has led several studies that show soup can help you lose weight when consumed prior to a meal. One study found that eating soup prior to your meal could reduce your total consumption by as much as 100 calories. There are many great-tasting, low-calorie soups by Campbell’s, Healthy Choice, and Amy’s Kitchen -- just watch out for the sodium, and keep the calories under 100 per cup.
•Limit Alcohol: Alcoholic drinks are like liquid doughnuts. Alcohol impairs judgment, which means that you eat and drink more. To top it off, most people enjoy eating high-calorie, high-sodium snacks when they drink. Alcohol can be especially harmful to dieters because it may cause blood sugar levels to drop, which can stimulate your appetite.
Try some good, lower-calorie drink options: red or white wine, wine spritzers, and drinks made with seltzer or club soda. And steer clear of drinks that are really desserts (e.g., cream or ice cream drinks).
•Reduce Stress: When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone designed to help you either fight or flee. But when the cause is not a lion about to attack but rather a stressful e-mail, the cortisol may trick your body into thinking it has done something active in response to a perceived threat and send a signal to your brain to refuel your body.
The other biological reason why stress can derail your diet is that carbs help you feel better. Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet (Rodale, 2008), was the first to connect food with mood when she found that carbohydrates boosted a potent brain chemical called serotonin, which controls mood, sleep, and appetite and when elevated, helps you to feel more relaxed and calm.
When stressed, we long for comfort foods such as brownies, doughnuts, candy, ice cream, pizza, mashed potatoes, and fried chicken. One reason is that your parents probably gave you an ice cream when you had a bad day at school or when you lost the big game, so these are what you’re used to having in times of discomfort.
•Eat Less Saturated Fat:
A study done at the University of Cincinnati and reported in Brain Research proposes that human beings can learn how much food they should eat to be at a healthy weight. However, the researchers found that diets high in fat impair the function of the hippocampus, which results in less ability to notice the “stop eating” cues.
Bottom line: Lower your intake of saturated fats by eating lean meats and low-fat dairy.
Charles Platkin, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of DietDetective.com. Copyright 2012 by Charles Stuart Platkin. All rights reserved.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Celebrate July 4 in cradle of Texas liberty (June 29, 2016)
Freedom Fest brings in big names, big fun (June 29, 2016)
Hear Keen sounds at the river (June 29, 2016)
Paint by number (June 29, 2016)
Poth church offers Bible study, services (June 29, 2016)
Stagecoach ride in Anderson (June 29, 2016)
The Falstaff years and the trucks (June 29, 2016)
Austin’s oldest museum offers daily tours (June 22, 2016)
Dine out with The ROCK (June 22, 2016)
Esparza reunion planned for July 9 (June 22, 2016)
Free guided hikes at Enchanted Rock (June 22, 2016)
Getting your hands dirty — in the garden with Iris Seale (June 22, 2016)
Men: Pay attention to your health (June 22, 2016)
Movies in the Park (June 22, 2016)
New Pioneer Playroom offers hands-on learning (June 22, 2016)
Old newspaper makes memories ‘Local and Personal’ (June 22, 2016)
Poth church to celebrate 90 years (June 22, 2016)
See Legacy of Leadership exhibit in Washington (June 22, 2016)
SS museum plans meeting (June 22, 2016)
Tips for a safe trip to the beach (June 22, 2016)
Wall pocket (June 22, 2016)
Area seniors invited to Bingo Tuesdays (June 15, 2016)
Art Walk America contest deadline is June 23 (June 15, 2016)
Attend picnic at Dewees-Remschel House June 15 (June 15, 2016)
DRT receives honors at state convention (June 15, 2016)
Hear patriotic tunes in Pleasanton (June 15, 2016)
It’s gone! The Spot is gone! (June 15, 2016)
Join WASP for summer season (June 15, 2016)
Jubilee offers fun for the whole family (June 15, 2016)
Martinez Social Club keeps you dancing (June 15, 2016)
Meet 2016 Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee, rodeo court candidates (June 15, 2016)
Moms walking group invites members (June 15, 2016)
Napoli Glass (June 15, 2016)
Oak Hills Church plans yard sale (June 15, 2016)
Ramirezes celebrate golden anniversary (June 15, 2016)
See free movies at Arcadia (June 15, 2016)
Sutherland Springs seeks volunteers (June 15, 2016)
Vendors needed for Freedom Fest (June 15, 2016)
Witness Summer Solstice performance (June 15, 2016)
Add amphibians to your landscaping (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy free summer movies at Rolling Oaks Mall (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy Pilgrim Opry (June 8, 2016)
Gene Watson in Kerrville (June 8, 2016)
Hear ‘Bach to Luckenbach’ (June 8, 2016)
Hummel plate (June 8, 2016)
June dances in Geronimo (June 8, 2016)
Meet for Play Dates in the library (June 8, 2016)
OLPH names 2016 Mother of the Year, May Queen (June 8, 2016)
Prepare to enter cool creation in Ice Cream Freeze-off (June 8, 2016)
Remember Flag Day June 14 (June 8, 2016)
Running group plans June 11 run (June 8, 2016)
St. Ann Teen ACTS plan 5K Color Run (June 8, 2016)
Take Dad out to FatherFest June 19 (June 8, 2016)
The old Wagenfuehr house in Bleu Casa Village (June 8, 2016)
Tracking an icon in the ‘horned lizard capital of Texas’ (June 8, 2016)
Building communities (June 1, 2016)
Cowboy penknife (June 1, 2016)
Garcia receives Linda West Scholarship (June 1, 2016)
Garner State Park celebrates 75 years (June 1, 2016)
Libraries prepare to launch ‘Reading Is So Delicious!’ summer program (June 1, 2016)
Lutheran Church windows relocated for a little TLC (June 1, 2016)
St. Helena Men’s Club plans picnic (June 1, 2016)
Stockdale’s early beginnings (June 1, 2016)
The progression of the classic ‘koozie’ (June 1, 2016)