Updated: Mar 9
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Today we are going to talk about some steps a person can take to lose weight. I am going to state the assumptions right up front, so I don't have to keep repeating these things through out the article.
I am speaking to people that are genetically programed to be overweight and hence have a hard time losing weight. These ideas are not for people that tend to be thin, or lose weight easily. You people that can eat whatever you want and not gain weight don't need to read this.
I am assuming you have already read the 2 previous articles on weight loss and hence understand the basics. If not, follow the links above and read them now.
I am assuming you have been medically cleared to go on a diet, and hence obvious issues like thyroid problems have been ruled out. If you're type 2 diabetic, great, this article is for you as long as you have medical clearance. Some insulin regimens and other diabetic treatments don't do well with some diets, so you really do need to get medical clearance before applying some of these ideas.
Out of Control Appetite.
Out of control hunger is the problem when people are dieting. You may have good intentions, you may have a good plan. You may know how much you are supposed to eat. But, your body is telling you: KEEP EATING! People erroneously think will power will kick in, and they can just ignore those cravings and stick to the plan. But your appetite will not be ignored. Relying on willpower is just wishful thinking.
Willpower is not the answer. Most people are lucky if their willpower lasts for a week or 2 at the most. You can't lose 30 pounds in 2 weeks, or 100 pounds. For most of us, willpower is simply not a viable plan. We need a way to satisfy our appetite and still lose weight.
On A Successful Diet, You Eat 3 Meals Per Day,
You Eat Until You're Full at Each Meal,
And You Still Lose Weight!
It all has to do with ghrelin. If you started a diet, but went off of it, you can thank your ghrelin for that. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone, produced by your stomach. If you have good intentions, but you are ravenously hungry and you eat more than you intended, thank your ghrelin. If you ate when you didn't intend to, your high ghrelin level won, and you and your diet lost.
By learning how to tame your ghrelin, you can turn off your appetite and you can control your weight. It's easy to diet, when you can eat until you're full! You can learn how to lower your ghrelin level and following your diet will not require super human amounts of willpower.
There are 2 Facts About Ghrelin That
Will Put You in Control of Your Appetite.
Using these 2 facts together can change your life as a dieter and will put success within your reach.
Fact #1: It takes 20 minutes for your ghrelin levels to fall and for you to feel full. Ghrelin is produced by your empty stomach and sends out the signal to turn hunger on. As you fill your stomach with food, ghrelin levels drop and you feel full. But it takes 20 minutes for the ghrelin levels to fall and for you to feel full. Eating more food during that 20 minutes won't make you full any faster. If you eat fast, you will consume more calories before feeling full, compared to eating slowly. You should decide how much you will eat at the meal, and eat the intended amount slowly, spread out over 20-30 minutes so that you can leave the meal feeling full and not consuming more than intended. Thus eating slower is the first key to getting full and still losing weight.
Fact #2 is the Secret to Control Appetite!
Fact #2: It takes a certain VOLUME of food to turn off your ghrelin and to feel full. When you hit that volume, your appetite will turn off and you will feel full. Most people eat about the same volume of food at any particular meal, regardless of what they eat. From your stomachs point of view, it doesn't matter what you eat. Once you hit the right volume, (and if it has been about 20 minutes), your ghrelin levels will drop and your appetite will turn off. This is the key! You can fill your stomach with low calorie food or high calorie food. To lose weight, you don't have to eat LESS food, you just need to eat DIFFERENT food. Your stomach, and appetite, only care about the volume.
If you can start your dinner with 4 cups of vegetables (≈150 calories) and you will feel pretty full before you even get to the main course. If you start with 4 cups of low calorie vegetables, you can easily stay below 400 or 500 calories for the entire meal, and you will feel full. Most of us that are overweight are in the habit of doing the opposite. We start with 4 cups of roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn and we're already over 1,200 calories. You can't do that 2 or 3 times a day without ending up overweight. See the difference? The key to your success is to fill up on low calorie vegetables!
Look at the list of basic foods on the list to the right. This list shows the calories per CUP. Your appetite doesn't care about "serving size". All that matters to your appetite is the volume, because volume is what it takes to turn off your appetite. You should start each meal with 4-5 cups of vegetables from the top group. The middle group should be limited to 1 cup or less per meal. You can easily stay below 500 calories per meal and 1,500 calories per day, when eating 3 meals. If you are still hungry, eat some more vegetables from the top group.
If you fill up on foods from the top group, you will consume very few calories. The more you eat from the middle group, the more calories you will bring in. If you are overweight, you have been eating too much food from the middle and bottom group. To lose weight you have to eat more food from the top group.
How Does This Look in Real Life?
Breakfast: Start with 2 cups of snap peas (52 calories and I love snap peas!) and 1 cup of sweet mini peppers (80 calories) and a cup of mushrooms, (28 calories). Eat the vegetables raw, or sauteed in water or as a scramble with your eggs. Finish your breakfast with 2 eggs (170 calories) and 2 pieces of bacon (86 calories). That is a pretty decent breakfast and most people will get full. Total calories are 416, below your 500 calorie limit per meal.
Lunch: Start with 3 cups of the kale salad mix from the grocery store (about 100 calories). Don't use the dressing that comes in the package, that will add about 150 calories and it doesn't taste very good. Add 1/4 cup of mixed dried fruit (83 calories) and put 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar on for added flavor (about 28 calories, but most of it looks like it ends up on the bottom of the bowl). That really is a pretty big salad and just 211 calories.
Dinner: Another large salad like you had for lunch, or a medley of other vegetables (100 to 150 calories) along with some roast beef. Depending on your exact choices you should be at or below your 500 calories limit for the meal, and you are under 1200 calories for the day, which puts you well on your way to losing 1 or 2 pounds per week. If you are still hungry, eat a large carrot, just 30 calories. Or munch on a couple of cups of snap peas (52 calories).
Most people will get full on these types of meals and lose weight without being hungry. If anybody is eating 3 meals as described above and still feels hungry, they can eat another 6-8 cups of vegetables per day without going over 1,500 calories. It would be pretty hard for anybody to eat 6-8 more cups of vegetables and still be hungry.
A Big Mac, Fries and Milkshake is 1,891 calories!
Are any of these meals as much fun as eating at McDonalds? NO! And that is where you have to decide what you want to do. You can get full 3 times a day and still lose weight, but you have to say no to a lot of fun food. If you don't learn to enjoy vegetables, you are probably doomed to stay overweight. However, once you get off sugar, most people report that healthy foods start to taste a lot better.
The alternative to learning to fill up on vegetables is to just eat less of your old diet. It's called 'portion control' and relies on will power. The fact that most Americans are overweight tells you how successful portion control and will power is.
But Doctor, I Just Can't Eat That Many Vegetables.
There are other methods to fill up your stomach and tame your ghrelin monster.
Plenity is one of them. Plenity uses food source fiber. You take 3 of their fiber capsules with water, before 2 meals a day. The fiber absorbs a bunch of the water and helps fill your stomach up, thus you get full on less food. And they have studies showing that many people lose weight. Plenity is approved by the FDA, not as a drug, but as a device. Why? Because you don't absorb any of the fiber, so they claim it is not a drug. Oh and getting a device approved is easier than getting a drug approved.
And what about Metamucil? Have you seen their label recently? On the front of the label they list APPETITE CONTROL as a benefit of their product. On the back of the label they tell you to use Metamucil before each meal to control your appetite. They are relying on the same principle. When your stomach is full, your appetite will turn off. It doesn't matter if your stomach is full of fiber, or low calorie food, or high calorie food. When your stomach is full, you will feel full.
Supplementing fiber by using Plenity or Metamucil is definitely an alternative to filling up on vegetables, and it will help you tame your ghrelin. Of course the vegetables have the advantage of providing lots of important nutrients, vitamins and minerals AND fiber, and Plenity and Metamucil provide ONLY fiber. Some dieters may want to do a combination of both, increase vegetables AND supplement fiber, and that will work too. I've used Plenity and Metamucil and just eating more vegetables works better for me, because the vegetables taste good, and I enjoy eating them. However my experience is that Metamucil makes you feel fuller right away and makes it easier to eat less. However it doesn't last as long as Plenity. Plenity never seemed to help me eat less, eating slowly over 20 minutes is what really helps me to eat less. But you do feel full much longer after using Plenity. If you really get hungry before bedtime using Plenity with dinner seemed to help that for me. Now that I'm not using Plenity, if I do get hungry in the evening I snack on some veges.
I Don't Want to Eat More Vegetables
Or Supplement Fiber. What Can I Do?
Have you heard about the gastric balloon? This is a balloon that is placed in your stomach. The balloon takes up a bunch of the space in your stomach. When you get hungry, because your stomach is already half full, a much smaller amount of food finishes filling your stomach up and turns off your ghrelin. Clever, eh? You see it doesn't matter what your stomach is full of. It can be half food and half balloon, but when your stomach is full, you will feel full and your appetite will turn off.
There are some problems with the balloon.
It's not free. You should be prepared to pay $6-9,000 to have it placed.
It has to be taken out after 6 months,
and because you haven't learned how to tame your ghrelin monster, you might regain the 20-40 pounds you lost during that 6 months.
But after 2-3 months you can have a new balloon put in! I understand in Europe they have now approved the balloon to stay in for 12 months.
Good Luck to Each of You That Want to Lose Weight.
I hope this information is helpful. I hope you learn to control your appetite by filling up with vegetables (and/or fiber). You CAN lose weight without being hungry.
Some Overweight People Choose Not to
Pursue Weight Loss, and That's Fine, Too.
Fitness is probably more important than fatness according to multiple studies. The Cooper Institute in Texas has been monitoring these issues longer than anybody else and they have published statistics suggesting that fitness is more important to heart health than weight. Other researchers have now replicated their findings. Hence, regardless of your weight, stick with your exercise plan. Get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Eat nutritious foods and get adequate sleep. Be health and be happy!
You must create a 3,500 calorie deficit, by eating less and increasing your activity/exercise to lose 1 pound of fat.
You should get 7,000+ steps and walk briskly for 30 minutes, 5 days a week to help prevent muscle loss and slowing of your metabolism.
Accurate calorie counting combined with a realistic appraisal of your activity level will ensure you are actually creating a calorie deficit.
Replacing ultra-processed foods with real-foods promotes weight loss.
Those prone to obesity must work harder than others to lose weight.
Spread your meals out over 20-30 minutes.
Don't eat LESS food, eat DIFFERENT food.
Control your appetite by filling your stomach up with low calorie vegetables, and/or fiber products (or a gastric balloon!).
Take care and BE HEALTHY! CW Jasper March 2023 © 2023· Content is Property Created by CW Jasper