How to Eat More and Weigh Less
When someone tells you that you can actually eat more but still weigh less, the common reaction is, “Oh, how I wish that were true!” The good news is that it is true. It is not how much you eat, it is what you eat. That should not be news to anyone, but sometimes we forget that simple rule.
Research shows that the feeling of satiety (the feeling of fullness after eating that suppresses the urge to eat more) comes from the brain, and is not triggered by the volume of food that you eat or the number of calories that you consume.
Satiety begins as food is consumed, continues as it enters the stomach, and as it is digested and absorbed. Signals feed into specific areas of the brain in response to the expansion of the stomach, the sensory responses, and the brain’s perceptions of the food and drink consumed. These signals are integrated in areas of the brain involved in the regulation of energy intake, which lead to the feeling of satiety. (British Nutrition Foundation)
This means that if you eat less calorie dense foods, your body will feel full as you eat more, but consume fewer calories. Generally, foods that are high in fats and sugar carry many more calories per pound than foods that are made up of dietary fiber and water.
As you can see, you can eat a healthy and fulfilling diet (generally eating as much as you want), and still shed that unruly fat.
The following tips will help you choose nutritious, healthy foods that provide solid nutrition with fewer calories.
• Avoid a lot of oil (no fried foods). For example, eliminate French fries and start eating boiled or baked potatoes.The same rule applies to meat and vegetables. Pan frying or sautéing adds fewer calories than deep frying, but some oil must still be used. Even a tablespoon of oil can add many calories and fat to your diet. The best choice is to grill your meat because the fat drips off the meat as it cooks. Steaming is the best choice for a flavorful and extremely healthy option for cooking vegetables.
• Be smart about your seasonings – they can change an ordinary and somewhat bland meal into an extraordinary and delicious meal. The goal is quality of taste with fewer calories, so choose your seasonings wisely and learn to prepare appetizing, healthy meals. A few good choices are herbs and spices like basil, thyme, mint, turmeric, and pepper; plus, a little lemon, orange or lime juice and zest can add tons of flavor to your salads and meat. Mustard and chilly sauces are typically not calorie dense and taste great, some ginger and garlic help a lot too. There are endless options. You should experiment and get your creative juices flowing and cook for optimal health for you and your family.
• Adjust your dairy products – use skimmed milk instead of whole milk and reduce the amount of butter in your cooking.
• Eliminate sugar from your diet – if you MUST use sugar, choose either unrefined sugar or unprocessed honey wherever possible. This will help tremendously in reaching your weight loss goals.
• Eat fresh fruit and make your own juice – Fresh whole fruit will make you feel fuller and fresh juice is much healthier than commercial fruit juices, which are loaded with sugar and offer little nutritional value.
• Eat only whole grains (avoid refined grains, rice and pasta) – Whole grains are loaded with minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber – all of which are lost in the refining process.
• Start your dinner with an appetizer – Research has shown that delicious, low-calorie salads, fresh vegetable juice, vegetable puree soup, or broth soup before your meals will start the satiation process and prevent you from overeating.
If you make these simple changes in your diet, you will soon begin to feel better and notice a smaller number on the scales. Plan ahead! Keep your pantry stocked with low-calorie, healthy foods, and start munching on fresh vegetables and fruits throughout the day. This will keep your appetite satisfied and lead to a healthier, stronger body.
These changes need to be life-long changes with a full commitment to eating healthier. Get a couple of good healthy cooking cookbooks, and then experiment to find the foods that you enjoy eating. There is an endless number of variations and options that can make healthy foods appealing and fulfilling.
To your good health!