In Rodents Fed High-Fat Diets, Gut Microbes Boost Hunger, Trigger Obesity

After several hints that gut microbes may be key players in the obesity epidemic, a new study provides a mechanistic explanation of how the intestinal inhabitants directly induce hunger, insulin resistance, and ultimately obesity in rodents.

Source: In rodents fed high-fat diets, gut microbes boost hunger, trigger obesity

The percentage of fat in our diets (since the early 80s) has gone down, but protein stayed the same, and carbs have gone up to pick up the slack.

Study: Former Biggest Loser Contestants’ Metabolisms Are Wrecked, Leading to Weight Gain

Contestants lost hundreds of pounds during Season 8, but gained them back. A study of their struggles helps explain why so many people fail to keep off the weight they lose.

Source: After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

Two individuals, each of the same size/weight, but one who had lost a substantial amount of weight to arrive there, end up with significantly different resting metabolisms, such that it becomes impractical to maintain the weight loss.  The alternative for those people is to devote substantial amounts of time to exercise to maintain caloric burn rates that counter their abnormally low metabolisms.  That’s part of the lifestyle change – crash/fad diets do not work for the long term.

Are Meal Replacement Shakes Actually Useful?

Let’s first clarify that meal replacement shakes are not to be confused with protein shakes, though the differences are nit-picky: a meal replacement shake typically has between 200-500 calories and tick off a bunch of nutritional checkmarks with added vitamins, minerals, fiber, and some protein.

Source: Are Meal Replacement Shakes Actually Useful?

Please be careful with shakes, powders, and the like. The regulation on the supplement industry is pretty much nonexistent. The best case scenario is that the company does not include the ingredient listed in its advertising, but there are numerous instances of customers sending out their powders for testing and finding harmful ingredients.

Your “Diet” Foods Should Make You Feel Full, Not Just Be Low In Calories

When trying to lose weight, most people understand they need to eat less, but eating less food means more hunger (which sucks). But they go about eating less all wrong. In order to deal with the inevitable hunger, aim for foods that provide “volume” and help you feel full.

Foods like rice, oatmeal, potatoes, and huge salads made with green leafy vegetables are successful because they are effective at keeping people full, due to their high food volume-to-calorie ratio and how satiating they are to the individual. High food volume-to-calorie ratio, in this case, means feeling like you’re eating a ton of food for a reasonable amount of calories.

Source: Your “Diet” Foods Should Make You Feel Full, Not Just Be Low In Calories

For those of us on blood thinners, broccoli and green leafy vegetables should put us on notice for better INR monitoring because they will impact the INR level.  Potatoes, oatmeal, rice and yogurt are good options for us.

Choose Thicker Beverages to Help Suppress Hunger

Ever notice how you tend to feel fuller from a thick fruit smoothie than from straight fruit juice? It’s not your imagination; the thickness and viscosity of a beverage can greatly influence your levels of satiety, or feelings of fullness, and help suppress hunger.

Source: Choose Thicker Beverages to Help Suppress Hunger

I noticed this when I switched from mayonnaise in my tuna sandwich to using guacamole.  I’d feel full/satisfied for at least an hour more when I used the guacamole, aside from better health/nutrition.  People see my sandwich, wonder if I ground up the Hulk…

Some Food Labels Could Be Overestimating Calorie Counts

The method most commonly used to assess the number of calories in foods is flawed, overestimating the energy provided to the body by proteins, nuts and foods high in fiber by as much as 25 percent, some nutrition experts say.

“The amount of calories a person gets from protein and fiber are overstated,” said Geoffrey Livesey, the head of Independent Nutrition Logic, a nutrition consulting company in Britain, and a nutrition consultant to the United Nations. “This is especially misleading for those on a high-protein, high-fiber diet, or for diabetics” who must limit their intake of carbohydrates.

An adult aiming to take in 2,000 calories a day on a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet may actually be consuming several hundred calories less, he and other experts said. Calorie estimates for junk foods, particularly processed carbohydrates, are more accurate.

Source: On Food Labels, Calorie Miscounts

Part of the problem is that calories are traditionally measured by burning food and measuring how much energy it takes to get the food to boil water (basically, it operates under the assumption humans are steam engines).

There’s been scientific papers for years pointing out that calorie counts are not accurate, and that even relying on them for any measure of health even when they are accurate may be completely irrelevant to human health.

Eat High Cellulose Vegetables to Suppress Hunger and Stay Full

Eating at a caloric deficit for extended periods isn’t just physically difficult, but also mentally. Battling hunger cravings can be frustrating because you’re often fighting both brain and body, trying to convince them that no, you don’t actually want to eat that brownie.

Luckily there are several methods, backed by scientific evidence, that can help curb hunger cravings.

Source: 3 Science-based steps to curbing your appetite

Foods such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, collard greens, kale, cauliflower will work to satiate your hunger.  However, broccoli and cauliflower are the the least concerning (only in comparison to the other options listed – there’s still lots of vitamin K) if you have blood thinner/vitamin K concerns.

Avoid Emotional Eating with the Broccoli Test

The #1 reason why people are overweight is because…drum roll please …we’re eating when we’re emotionally hungry.* Not when we’re physically hungry.

*This is based on hundreds of new client questionnaires I’ve reviewed in the last 8 years since starting MyBodyTutor along with subsequent conversations.

Physical hunger is a gradual sensation that we feel in our stomach, and any food seems appealing. We usually feel good after eating.

Most people eat when they’re emotionally hungry though.

Emotional hunger comes on suddenly and we’ll crave specific foods. With emotional hunger we can have snack after snack and nothing hits the spot. We often feel guilty after emotional eating.

Source: The Broccoli Test: How to Stop Emotional Eating

There’s a reason that “comfort food” exists. When you’re stressed, your brain seeks ways to alleviate stress by eating certain foods, resulting in unwanted calories. If this weren’t bad enough, the act of self-medicating with comfort food also increases your body’s propensity to store abdominal fat, leading to greater risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

What if I like broccoli?

Doesn’t have to be broccoli, eating plain celery is like chewing on grass. Or at least I’d assume so.  Mindfulness has been covered in the past.

What the article doesn’t mention is that you can fall back into the habit very easily.  Even once in a while I catch myself.