Part 10 – Be More Active
Move more. Even when at home, on the phone or anywhere do whatever you can to move more. Every little bit counts, so move anytime you get the opportunity or better still make your own opportunities.
The Medical Journalist in the BBC TV program hated exercise, but he was tested after exercising on a treadmill (at brisk walking pace). The test showed he used up a small amount of body fat after the exercise, initially he was disappointed.
He called this effect “After Burn”. He said during exercise we burn carbohydrates and these take around 22 hours to replace, so we then burn fat reserves over the next 18 hours or so, even while sleeping.
So go and exercise and enjoy the after burn.
This one is interesting as many people cut our dairy products when dieting.
According to the science, compared to a low-calcium intake a high calcium intake increases the excretion of fat in the faeces. This means the more dairy calcium you include in your diet the less fat will be absorbed by the digestive system.
“a high calcium intake increases the excretion of fat in the faeces”
In our study we tested our group on both diets. Week one was a diet high in calcium (2000mg) and week two a low calcium diet (500mg). Crucially, both diets had an identical calorific content and were calculated to have the same fat content.
Amazingly on the high dairy calcium diet twice the percentage of fat our subjects ate came out in their stools to when they were on the low calcium diet.
It seems we are hardwired to prefer variety, if we see lots of choices we like to sample them all. This can cause us to overeat – so beware the buffet restaurant – you’ll probably overeat by 30% or more.
The BBC program used sophisticated equipment like an ultrasound to demonstrate how eating soup can make you feel fuller for longer, giving a longer period of satisfaction between meals.
They gave two groups of Army recruits the same meal consisting of rice, vegetables, chicken and a glass of water – the difference was that they turned the meal into soup for one group.
So the meals were
The on-the-spot ultrasounds showed how stomach’s of the group who ate the solid meal plus the water shrank quite rapidly while the stomach’s of the group who ate the soup retained its full volume for several hours.
What are the mechanisms affecting the body? The stomach has a valve called the pyloric sphincter at the bottom end – this hold food back until ytour digestive juices and get to work. However, water easily passes through the sphincter and doesn’t contribute to stomach fullness.
Your stomach has cells which produce a hormone called ghrelin. Grehlin (only discovered in 1999) is released by specialised cells in the stomach wall. The cell produce grehlin when your stomach is empty, the grehlin travels to your brain which understands the signal as “must eat food”. When your stomach is full the production of grehlin ceases.
The soup diet extends the stomach for longer, thus reducing your hunger for a longer period – as much as one and a half hours. I suppose those diet smoothies and shakes woud also work, provided they have sufficient thickness and volume.
Including lean protein into your meals satisfies your hunger for longer. You feel full longer and there eat less. Why? When we eat our digestive system produces a hormone called PYY which is released into the bloodstream. This hormone informs a part of our brain that we have eaten and reduces the feeling of hunger.
It has been shown that lean protein causes more PYY to be produced therefore giving us a feeling of satisfaction for longer, so you hunger pangs are controlled. Presumably the Atkins diet is based on this premise.
Keep it simple. What do I mean? Take coffee for example, those fancy flavored cappuccinos have lots of things added, flavor, sugar, milk which all add to their calorie count – the worst I have seen is a Coffee, Mocha, White Chocolate, Skimmed, Whip, Tall from Starbucks with a whopping 344 calories, compared to approx. 10 in a black coffee.
Or take a simple slice of toast for around 125 calories compared to around 400-600 in a cinnamon bun.
Grilled chicken with salad comes in at around 250 calories, but the same meal with added cheese, croutons and creamy dressing is around 450 calories. When you add dressing you are really trying to add more flavor, so try adding a sprinkle of spices to your grilled chicken or add some very finely chopped red onion to your salad.
Feel like a snack? Try an apple or two (120 calories) rather than a bar of chocolate at 300. Still need some chocolate? Try Cacolamine!
How about pizza? Instead of the high calorie count in a meat and pepperoni pizza (1400+) try one with baby spinach, sweet potato, capsicum, artichokes , thinly sliced red onion or other vegetables of your choice instead. Another tip is to stick with the thin crust version or make your own using pre-packaged frozen puff pastry as the base (best made on a pre-heated pizza stone so it will crisp up) and add you choice of vegetables to a base with organic or homemade tomato sauce and a moderate quantity of grated cheese.
Overall, eating low calorie versions of your favorite foods could prevent you eating hundreds of unnecessary calories per day.
Chances are you have a perfectly normal metabolism – most of us do. It’s just that we love to blame something we feel is out of our control.
Even if you have a healthy diet you may be consuming too many calories due to excessive portion sizes – it’s very easy to do.
The BBC show discussed how we almost always under report our food consumption, even when we sincerely try to be honest. We just forget what we have eaten or fail to think about healthy tidbits or snacks or it might be those pesky portion sizes again.
This is part 2 of a series of articles inspired by the BBC1 TV program hosted by Michael Mosely.
Using smaller plates seems an extremely simplistic idea. Surely our logic will override the visual? It seems not, the program detailed a study of the popcorn consumption of people given full tubs of popcorn in 2 sizes (both sizes had more than enough popcorn to satisfy hunger) – people who had the larger size ate 30% more anyway – just because it was there.
I’ve found information saying that the average European dinner plate is 9-inch in diameter and the average US dinner plate is 11- inches – this means the 2-inch difference amounts to the 11-inch plate having 50% more surface area than the 9-inch plate. If, like most people, you fill your plate, you’re putting 50% more food on it than a person with the 9-inch plate.
Portion control is important and a heaped small plate is just as appealing as a large one. This tip is very easy to implement. Over the years plate sizes have increased, leading us into trouble. Try comparing the plate sizes of an old dinner service with a modern one and see what you find.
So eat from smaller plates and eat fewer calories.
Recently the BBC produced a TV program with some interesting new insights into how to lose weight. Their scientific approach helps us understand how our ingrained primitive instincts and natural bodily reactions affect our food choices and eating habits.
People think that skipping a meal means simply because fewer calories are being consumed, weight loss will result. Unless you literally starve yourself, nothing is further from the truth. Our brains are wired to respond to hunger by alerting us to EAT – at this time we naturally crave high-calorie foods. In the past this could have meant a hunter gatherer searched (getting exercise as they searched) for some sugary berries. Nowadays it probably means a quick trip to the pantry for some cookies or even worse a visit to the local chain of food-to-go for a high fat, high sugar, high calorie meal.
So, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can beat nature and skip meals. Eat regular meals and keep those basic instincts under control.