We have often heard that when it comes to dieting, it doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you burn more calories than you consume. But many seasoned dieters have come to understand a harsh reality for those who love bread, pasta and sweets. It seems that specific foods seem to enhance the appetite, sometimes making it incredibly hard to stop after seeming to lose a sense of fullness.
A new book called “The Skinny”, by Louis J. Aronne, the veteran director of the Comprehensive Weight Loss Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, explains this theory. In the book, he talks about how what you eat and when you eat can make a huge difference in your appetitie, satisfaction and willpower.
Dr. Aronne has treated patients for 23 years. He has come to believe that refined carbohydrates and high sugar foods encourage what he calls “fullness resistance.” He says that they seems to tamper with the elaborate hormonal messages the body normally sends to the brain to cue that it’s time to stop eating. Instead, people actually can fell hungrier. This happens when refined carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise, making insulin increase and pushing blood sugar down again, which causes rebound hunger. This insulin surge also has a blocking impact on leptin, the hormone that is secreted by fat cells that usually tells the body to stop eating. Obese people have plenty of leptin, but sometimes it doesn’t reach the brain or the brain gets resistant to it. Dr. Arboone writes that “this is not a failure of willpower, it’s a physical mechanism.” This opens the door for diabetes, because the body becomes resistant to insulin. Other researchers have claimed that refined foods with a lot of sugar and carbohydrates can be as addictive as alcohol and tobacco.
The good news is that eating foods that are high in protein, vegetables, fiber and water have the opposite effect according to Dr. Aronne. In his plan, he suggests changing what you eat, one meal at a time, to bring back your sense of fullness.
For breakfast, he says to load up on lean protein, preferably from egg whites or a protein shake. When you eat this way in the morning, it can reduce hunger throughout the day.
As for lunch, many dieters like to skip this meal, but going for more than 5 hours without food makes hunger hormones increase and fullness hormones drop, sending more of the calories eaten at dinner right to the fat cells. Dr. Aronne suggests beginning lunch with a salad; at least 2 cups of lettuce. After this, have more vegetables and then a lean protein. Try to eliminate the cheese, croutons, bacon and creamy dressings, he says. He claims that using vinegar by itself will decrease your appetite and slow blood sugar spikes.
Obese people eat usually eat more calories at dinner than slimmer people. For dinner, eat plenty of salads, clear soups or high-protein appetizers. In contrast to other diet programs, Dr. Aronne permits a half cup of grains or a small dessert at the end of the meal when you are still a little hungry. He also says that eating bread before dinner can make people lose their sense of fullness and actually cause them to eat more. He cautions that drinking alcohol can lower your resistance and promote fat storage.
When it comes to snacks, he believes that mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks can be like appetite suppressants, because they prevent blood sugar from getting too low; just make sure your snacks are consistent with the plan.
As for beverages, we all know that juice and sweet soda can add lots of extra calories, and some studies have revealed that even artificial sweetened drinks can cause people to crave real sweets during the day. Try to cut back on all liquid calories and just drink water.
The weight-loss debates and theories will continue to be in the forefront of the news. Dr. Aronne says that because every one’s metabolism is not the same, and weight loss is a very complicated area, he suggests trying his plan for yourself. He says to experiment by having 200 calories of egg white or protein shake for breakfast and then have 200 calories of juice on another day, and observe your hunger hour by hour.