It's the ultimate weight loss goal.
How to eat less calories but not feel so hungry.
Well, believe it or not, there are a few tricks you can try that are guaranteed to help you do that.
Our hunger levels and appetites are largely determined by communication between parts of our brain and our gut.
It can be called the gut-brain communication channel. Your stomach, intestines and brain are all in constant communication to with each other to tell you when to eat and when to stop.
According to Stephan Guyenet PhD, author of the Hungry Brain, the system of gut-brain communication that governs your feeling of fullness doesn't do a perfect job of transmitting the calorie value of a meal to the brain.
In other words, some foods make us feel more full than others, even if they have the same amount of calories.
Because of this, we can exploit the little quirks of the system to naturally reduce our calorie intake without the discomfort of feeling hungry most of the time.
How do we do this?
In 1995 research experts decided to feed participants 240 calorie portions of thirty eight common foods, such as bread, oatmeal, beef, peanuts, candy and grapes.
They then recorded the "satiety index" (feelings of fullness), for each food, representing how filling it is per calorie. They then analysed the whole data set to see which food properties are the most strongly related to satiety.
For example, white bread had a low satiety index relative to other foods, meaning it delivers little feelings of fullness per unit calorie. Whole grain bread, in contrast, had a significantly higher satiety index.
Calorie dense bakery products like cake, croissants and doughnuts had the lowest satiety index of all foods tested while fruit, meat and beans tend to have the highest satiety index.
As an Irishman my favourite finding was that potatoes were off the charts when it came to satiety. You can ignore the fact that they are carbs, they fill you up which means you will eat less overall.
Why are these foods so filling?
The research team found that there were a few simple properties that made each food quite filling and you can use these properties to design your own weight loss diet.
1. Calorie Density - in other words, the volume of food per calorie. The lower the calorie density of the item, the more satiety it produced per unit calorie. This makes sense because when the stomach is full and stretched it sends a signal to part of the brain to stop eating.
If your stomach contains more food volume, you'll feel more full, even if that food doesn't contain more calories.
2. Palatability - the more palatable a food is, the less filling it is. Palatability is all about how tasty you perceive a food to be. The brain intuitively likes tasty foods and is quite good at removing barriers to their consumption. Highly palatable foods (foods high in processed sugar and fats) can inhibit the very neurons that make us feel full.
That's right, foods can override your basic biological feedback mechanisms that tell you you are full.
Sticking with SIMPLE foods like potatoes, fruit, veg, meat, beans etc can help us restrain our calorie intake without feeling hungry.
3. Fat Content - the more fat a food contains, the less filling it was per calorie. We are talking about fullness per unit calorie. If you eat a stick of butter, you may feel full, but you will also have eaten over 800 calories, the equivalent of two and a half large baked potatoes.
Isolated fats and added fats like butter and oil are among the highest calorie dense substances in the human diet by far.
Isolated fats and sugars increase the palatability of your foods which means you can eat a lot more without feeling full.
This doesn't mean that you need to avoid fats, it just means that you can get your fats from non refined foods like dairy, nuts, avocados, meat, fish and eggs and this higher fat intake can be compatible with a naturally slimming diet.
4. Fibre - the more fibre that a food contains, the more filling it is. This can explain why wholegrain versions of foods are more filling than white versions despite having similar calories.
5. Protein - the protein content of your food is also a major contributor to how full you feel.
A large body of evidence supports the fact that protein is more filling than equivalent grams of carbs or fats.
This makes it a diet friendly food.
All these variables go a long way to explaining why we overeat without intending to in our daily lives.
Guyenet explains that the nonconscious parts of our brain that regulate our feelings of fullness respond to specific food properties such as food volume, protein, fibre and palatability.
Many of our modern processed foods have properties that do not stimulate the satiety circuits to the same degree as traditional whole foods.
These modern foods boost a combination of properties that make them less filling per calorie unit.
Since most of use use SATIETY or feeling of being full as a signal to stop eating, these foods allow us to blow past this point where we have had enough to satisfy our calorie needs and we don't even realise we are overeating because we don't feel any fuller at the end of the meal.
Therefore, in order to trick your brain and give yourself every advantage, the key is to go back to our more traditional diets with whole foods on a regular basis and to avoid most packaged, modern convenient foods.
Make the following foods the most important in your diet:
All the stuff you know to be good.
And before you say this is boring food, all you have to do is google a recipe with a combination of these foods, add some spices and herbs, and you will get a million ideas back in less than a second.
No excuse there.
So there you go, start tricking your brain (in a good way) and learn to manage your diet yourself without resorting to extreme restriction diets.
Hope this helps.
For this weeks workout I have decided to combine the dynamic and static versions of each exercise to challenge your strength, endurance and mental toughness.
There are 5 main exercises.
See the video below for demonstrations of each exercise.
You will perform the dynamic version for 30 seconds and then the static version for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.
Complete all 5 exercises before resting for 60-120 Seconds and then repeat 3-4 more times.
How do I progress this workout?
There are a few ways to progress this workout to ensure you are constantly getting fitter.
1. Perform the exercises for 30 seconds in week 1, 35 seconds in week 2, 40 seconds in week 3 and 45 seconds in week 4.
2. Perform more rounds. Week 1 could be 2 rounds, week 2 could be 3 rounds, week 3 could be 4 rounds and week 4 could be 5 rounds.
This should be enough to keep you challenged and motivated which is the key to getting results with your fitness.
Hope this helps.
This weeks workout is another quick home fitness conditioning workout.
It has four strength exercises and two quick conditioning exercises to get your heart rate elevated and work up a good sweat.
The video below has demonstrations of each exercise but here is how to perform the workout.
Enjoy and please comment below if you need a new exercise or something doesn't suit.
Most people go to the gym with no plan at all and wonder why they do not get fitter, leaner or stronger.
Training is different from exercising. Training requires that you have some sort of plan that leads to an end results.
Exercise can be fun but if you want to get results you'll need to hit the gym and track your progress with your workouts.
Here is a Strength Training workout designed to lose body fat and develop a bit of lean, toned muscle so that you can look and feel much fitter and stronger.
There are two days to the program.
If you were doing this over a week it may look like this.
You would reverse the order of the Day 1 and Day 2 program for the following week so that Day 2 is performed twice and day 1 once.
Enjoy the workout and comment below if you need alternatives to the exercises shown.
Day 1: Total Body Strength Workout
Day 2: Total Body Strength Workout.
Don't forget to do your cardio folks.
There are so many benefits namely fat loss, improved aerobic fitness, stress relief, upsurge in feel good hormones to name a few.
This workout is called a PYRAMID ROWING workout.
Basically you will work up to a certain distance and then come back down to a shorter faster distance. It is easy to follow.
I hope you enjoy the workout.
During the rest periods I recommend getting up off the rower to give your old butt a rest.
See the video below for instructions.