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 | 2,064 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
Adopt-a-pet at Deason’s Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Bark For Life is Dec. 6 (November 25, 2015)
Beverage set (November 25, 2015)
Christmas Along the Corridor Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
El Rancho de Las Cabras, then and now (November 25, 2015)
Father Leopold Gala is Dec. 6 (November 25, 2015)
Get to know La Vernia at Wassail Walk (November 25, 2015)
Hear Christmas cantata (November 25, 2015)
Learn about bats at Jack’s Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Take part in Dec. 5 Christmas Parade (November 25, 2015)
Three Oaks Christmas party Dec. 4 (November 25, 2015)
Tour holiday homes in Seguin (November 25, 2015)
Yulefest in Seguin Dec. 6 (November 25, 2015)
‘La Mafia’ to headline Floresville’s annual Holiday Extravaganza (November 25, 2015)
‘Little white church’ takes its place in local history (November 25, 2015)
‘Texas Family Tradition’ to perform (November 25, 2015)
And the winner is...Texas Balloon Spectacular Photo Contest Results (November 18, 2015)
Art League plans free public reception (November 18, 2015)
Chorus presents ‘Showstoppers’ Nov. 21 (November 18, 2015)
El Mesias church welcomes new pastor (November 18, 2015)
Perez visits with Catholic leaders (November 18, 2015)
See snow and lights in Cuero (November 18, 2015)
Shop Traildrivers Craft Show (November 18, 2015)
Study skins, skulls, scat at Nature Park (November 18, 2015)
Thanksgiving Feast in Sutherland Springs (November 18, 2015)
Turkey dinner in St. Hedwig (November 18, 2015)
UIW’s ‘Light the Way’ (November 18, 2015)
Wilson County Courthouse records of 1874 (November 18, 2015)
Wreath-decorating registration deadline (November 18, 2015)
‘Joy of Cooking’ (November 18, 2015)
A life pieced together in love (November 11, 2015)
Acoustic to Rock studio to open (November 11, 2015)
Advent Fest, Craft Show in Elmendorf (November 11, 2015)
Antique level (November 11, 2015)
Area residents graduate from WGU Texas (November 11, 2015)
Atascosa County Craft Show (November 11, 2015)
Comal show celebrates 17 years (November 11, 2015)
Enjoy Farm Day at Mission San Juan (November 11, 2015)
Find crafts, treasures in St. Hedwig (November 11, 2015)
Master Gardeners Rummage, Bake Sale (November 11, 2015)
Never say ‘never’ (November 11, 2015)
Register for Dec. 5 Wassail Hustle (November 11, 2015)
Register for free women’s retreat (November 11, 2015)
Talent galore planned for Nov. 14 show (November 11, 2015)
Tickets available for FISD Gatsby Gala (November 11, 2015)
Tickets on sale for museum banquet (November 11, 2015)
Tickets on sale for SA Stock Show & Rodeo concerts (November 11, 2015)
Tickets on sale now to see Grammy award winners (November 11, 2015)
Windland wins program cover design contest (November 11, 2015)
DAR honors ancestors (November 4, 2015)
East Central FFA Farmer’s Market (November 4, 2015)
Enjoy Chihuahua Trail Art Show (November 4, 2015)
Enjoy puppet show at Magik Theatre (November 4, 2015)
Get tickets now for St. Ann 50th jubilee (November 4, 2015)
Get your tickets for TLU Christmas Vespers (November 4, 2015)
Go batty in Marion Nov. 10 (November 4, 2015)
Go Nuts Contest winners (November 4, 2015)
Go nutty at Pecan Jubilee Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
Hear Fiddle Festival in Burton (November 4, 2015)
LVHS Theatre Arts presents ‘Almost, Maine’ (November 4, 2015)
Once a Year is here! (November 4, 2015)
See ‘King of the Wild Frontier’ (November 4, 2015)
Successful Homecoming in Panna Maria (November 4, 2015)
Tiny houses, big dreams (November 4, 2015)
VFW announces winners (November 4, 2015)
WCRSP promotes new program to superintendents (November 4, 2015)
Wildcats barbecue fund-raiser (November 4, 2015)
Wilson County’s Got Talent is Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
'Happy Face' mug (November 4, 2015)