Here are 10 tips to help you eat less without sacrificing nutrition or enjoyment (satiety):
1. Exercise with more intensity to dull your appetite. Circuit strength training and interval cardio training are examples of intense, fat burning exercise. These types of exercise will also burn more calories during and after your workout.
In a study published online in The International Journal of Obesity, researchers at the University of Western Australia in Perth and other institutions compared the effects of easy vs. strenuous exercise on people's appetites following the workouts. The study was performed using 17 overweight men in their 20s and 30s.
The results: The men who exercised using intense interval training had lower levels of the hormone ghrelin and had lower levels of blood lactate and blood sugar. Ghrelin stimulates appetite and blood lactate/blood sugar lessens the desire to eat.
2. Plan and pack your meals with mainly whole, natural foods. You may also need to journal your eating choices and weigh and measure your food until you know what, how much and when to eat. Making hasty eating decisions can lead to poor meal and snack choices.
Download your Free delicious healthy smoothies book which includes over 120 recipes using whole, natural foods.
Don't skip meals, especially breakfast. A study at the University of Texas found that people who eat breakfast eat fewer total calories during the day. Your body is also ready for food after being in a fasted state throughout the night.
And, when you skip meals, your energy suffers and you are more likely to overeat at your next meal.
3. Eat one serving of food on a small plate. You may need to learn to be satisfied without stuffing yourself. One quick way to pile on the calories is to eat second and third servings.
4. Eat a complete protein with each meal. Complete proteins come from animal sources such as lean meats, low-fat dairy and eggs. Research has proven that protein keeps blood sugar levels more steady when you have a meal that includes carbohydrates. Protein helps you feel fuller for a longer period. Protein also keeps ghrelin in check so your hunger doesn’t spike so high.
5. Eat more fiber for your overall health and satiety (with basically no calories). Your body cannot digest fiber and there are two forms:
a. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and produces a gel-like substance in your stomach. This substance helps digested food move slowly through the small intestine and slows down food absorption and release of nutrients into the bloodstream. Soluble fiber also limits the amount of cholesterol released into the blood. Oats are high in soluble fiber.
b. Insoluble fiber cannot be broken down once entering the stomach and increases in size by absorbing water. This type of fiber speeds up foods absorption once it enters into the small intestine. Insoluble fiber cleans your system as it travels through your body.
Eat both types of fiber to help you feel fuller for longer and to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Eat 25-35 grams of daily fiber. Fruits and vegetables have both types of fiber.
6. Eat healthy fats to improve satiety. You need fats in your diet for your body to function properly. Fats are twice as nutritionally dense as protein or carbohydrates. Get about 20% of total daily calories from fats. Eat no trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats found in packaged foods and fast foods). Eating too many trans fats will land you in the doctor's office with heart and cholesterol problems!
Focus mainly on eating heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower total cholesterol. Good sources of MUFAs are nuts (especially raw), nut butters, olives, virgin olive oil and avocados.
Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are also good for you---especially the omega-3 fats found in cold-water fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, trout and white tuna. Flaxseed and walnuts are also good sources of omega-3 fats. Eat more omega-3 fats and less omega 6 fats.
Too much omega 6 fat intake can lead to inflammation that causes arthritis, cancer and heart disease. Sources of omega-6 fats are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sesame oil and cottonseed oil. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) fats found in red meat and dairy are also good for you provided they come from grass-fed cattle. Another option would be to supplement your diet with fish oil.
Limit (not eliminate) eating saturated fats like butter. Coconut oil is also very healthy and great for cooking. Moderation is the key to eating saturated fats.
7. Drink water. This will help you limit sugary drinks and empty calories. It will help you eat less and help your body function better.
Drink about half your weight in water every day. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water each day. Eating foods with high water content count towards your water intake.
8. Avoid high-fructose corn syrup. Your body processes the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup differently than it does regular sugar. It also lowers the hormone leptin in your body. Leptin signals to your brain that you’re full. It causes your liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream (especially true with sugary drinks because they are processed so fast). So, your body wants more and stores more fat at the same time.
9. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Researchers from Denmark found that alcohol drinking can increase appetite.
Also, when you take a drink of alcohol, your body converts a small amount of it into fat and the rest is converted (by the liver) into a substance called acetate. This acetate is then quickly released into the bloodstream and used as the body’s main source of energy. So, your body is using the acetate for energy instead of the stored fat in your body. The more you drink, the more fat your body will store (many times belly fat).
10. Get enough sleep each night so your body's metabolism will work right. And, if you're awake when you should be asleep, you are more apt to eat those fat-filled comfort foods. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Need a program to build muscle mass? The program below has beginner, intermediate and advanced levels:
Get your FREE DOWNLOAD, "Fat Burning Foods, Spices and Meals," and start eating better, burning fat, losing weight and building the lean body you want and need!
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES