The Psychological Factors That Cause Food Cravings

I’ve heard a lot of people say that: when they start eating healthier, they start craving healthier food over time…

I haven’t noticed that working for me.  Not exactly.  I get cravings, but when I go to address the craving – I do try to make healthier choices.

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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.

Why the Calorie is Broken

I’m kind of pissed at the scientific community for not coming up with something better.

Source: Why the calorie is broken

The problem with many weight loss attempts is that people ‘go on diets’ instead of ‘changing their diet’.  You have to change your diet for weight loss to be effective and stick.

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.

How Hormones Make You Feel Hungry and Full

The need to find fuel to generate energy is a profound drive within the biology of all living organisms: we all need food to survive. So it’s not surprising that our bodies have such a complex system to control food intake, driven by hormones.

Source: How Hormones Make You Feel Hungry and Full

Interesting to learn that the food cravings after/during weight loss are hormonal.

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…

The Benefits of Fiber (And How to Know You’re Getting Enough)

Years ago I remember lamenting (and writing somewhere) that I was fairly sick of reading research papers on how eating more fiber was good for people, how it was time for nutritional science to move into relatively more interesting things than a topic that had literally been beaten to death.

Thankfully, soon thereafter leptin was discovered and nutritional researchers could start looking at things more interesting than why eating high-fiber vegetables were good for you (a nutritional tidbit that I file under the ‘Grandma was right’ category).

Even so, there is still some confusion regarding fiber out in the world of nutrition regarding fiber.  And boring or not, it’s a topic worth clearing up.  So today I want to take a fairly comprehensive look at dietary fiber, what it is, what it does in the body, how it impacts on things like body composition (and health to a lesser degree) and finish by looking at some (admittedly vague recommendations).

Source: Fiber – It’s Natures Broom

Fibre can be your friend if you want to avoid hemorrhoids. Bananas, rice, dried plums (prunes) 4 lyfe!

Too much of a good thing is… not so good. Don’t try increase your fiber intake too fast (too furious?), unless you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the bathroom. You’ve been warned.

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.

How to Determine the Number of Calories You Should Eat to Lose Weight

When you start a diet, determining how much to eat can feel a bit like playing calorie roulette. Many people turn to a calorie calculator, but they can greatly overestimate the amount of food that you need to lose weight. Here’s how to calculate your own target.

Source: How to Determine the Number of Calories You Should Eat to Lose Weight

What matters is what works for you to maintain a healthy body mass. If calorie counting doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. But for others it can, and does.  You can lose weight without calorie counting.  And you might want to consider altering recipes to get more protein out of your food.  You might be like me, sabotaging yourself with emotional eating (the Broccoli test, or mindfulness).

Your diet is already in progress?  Check this post if your weight loss stalls, or this one specifically for women.  There’s some good ways to deal with hunger while on your diet.  Finally, failing isn’t always failing – there are some benefits.