Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Outwitting Appetite

Are you really hungry? Outwit your appetite.

Eat protein for breakfast. It takes about 4 hours for protein to digest so it literally stays with you longer than carbohydrates. Researchers at St. Louis University gave overweight women two eggs and toast and they ended up eating 267 fewer calories during the day than the group given half as much protein.

Get enough sleep. When we are tired we produce a hormone called ghrelin in our gut that increases our appetites. When we are rested we produce leptin, a hormone that decreases our appetites.

Keep foods out of sight. Brian Wansink, PhD and food psychologist from Cornell believes if food is in front of us we eat it. It doesn’t matter if it is a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies or pieces of cabbage when we see it, we eat it, quite unconsciously. Keep foods off the counters, out of sight and out of your house or freeze it.

Do something else so you think about something else. Leave the kitchen, keep your fingers busy, chew gum, take a walk, call a friend… Use a smaller plate. The more food in front of us the more we eat. At a restaurant spilt the meal or pack up half. You can also cover the plate with your napkin so you don’t keep picking while you wait for the bill. Sit down when you snack. . If you use utensils and a plate instead of snacking from a bag you'll eat fewer calories at subsequent meals.Limit your choices. Wansink finds more variety encourages a greater intake of calories which is why so many of us overeat at buffets.
Take a drink of water. Sometimes the feeling of hunger masks true thirst.

Limit the number of food episodes. Remember the taste of cookie dough or the slices of cheese are calories that add up without notice.

Trust your taste buds and eat a varied and diverse diet that is high in nutrients and low in calories.

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