hunger binge

Hunger games

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Opinion



A calorie is a calorie, right? Just eat less. Move more. You’ve heard that all before. But this is overly simplified, and I’ll explain why.

If you’re eating a bunch of unsatisfying foods that leave you wanting more, you’re going to cave and binge, eventually.

It’s a simple concept to understand — a can of Coca-Cola has roughly the same calories as a large apple but the apple will fill you up for a longer period of time.

It’s also packed full of fibre, vitamins, minerals and, perhaps most important, more volume, so it takes up more space in your stomach and the simple act of chewing suppresses hunger to a greater extent than drinking calories.

Looking at the accompanying satiety index, make the foods in the green columns a priority if fat loss is your goal.

Hunger is your enemy when dieting, as your brain is well-designed to alert you to eat more when it senses fewer calories. Anything you can do to reduce hunger is a net positive during your fat-loss phases.

What researchers found was foods with higher protein, fibre and water content were the most satisfying to the test subjects, whereas processed foods were the least satisfying.

You can see how unsatisfying foods are in the second graph. Candies, cakes and doughnuts are dismal from a satiety standpoint despite packing a ton of calories.

White bread was used as the baseline for satiety and set at 100 per cent. The most satisfying food was potatoes at 323 per cent. This means boiled potatoes are 223 per cent more satisfying than white bread.

The take-home point is choosing foods high on the satiety index will help you stay satisfied despite cutting calories, if weight loss is your goal.

I take this a step further with my clients, teaching them the simple process I call the CAP.

It’s the perfect combination of Calories And Protein unique to each person’s age, activity levels and metabolism so the fat melts off even if you don’t cut carbs or do crazy circuit workouts.

No more guesswork or wondering why you’re not progressing. You hit the CAP set for you 80 per cent of the time and the inches will come off.

If you’re struggling with hunger on your diet, be smart and strategic. Purposefully eating filling foods is a “cheat code” to succeed, no question.

If you can find a way to reduce hunger intelligently, it’s going to increase your compliance and results like you wouldn’t believe. Start using the satiety index to guide your dietary decisions.

Q: How do I stop screwing up after a long day by snacking myself silly at night?

You aren’t in control here, so you better take control of your environment. What do I mean by that? Let me explain with a personal example here. There’s this purple bucket in our pantry full of little chocolates for the kids. Without fail, during my nightly rounds of the pantry, I’ll take a peek in it. I don’t know why — it’s just automatic.

Rarely is anything worth my time in there, so it’s easy to abstain, but this was not one of those times, as to my surprise, staring back at me was a box of Milk Duds! For anyone who knows, that’s my favourite chocolate. Soft chocolatey outside… melt-in-your-mouth caramel filling… orgasmic. You probably know how this story ends. The Milk Duds didn’t last long.

Now, in year’s past, I would’ve said “screw it” and went to town on the rest of the chocolate in that bin, just because. But, nowadays, I know it isn’t so black and white.

So I accounted for that box of Milk Duds in my day’s allotment and moved on. No lost progress.

But here’s the message for you. I’ll call it The Law of Milk Duds and it goes like this: if the Milk Duds don’t get into my car, they don’t get home. And if they don’t get home, they don’t get in my mouth. And if they don’t get in my mouth, they don’t contribute to belly fat (as long as someone else doesn’t buy them!) You feel me?

If the temptation is in the house, you’re going to indulge eventually. I’m all for doing just that at times, but make it easier on yourself to succeed most of the time.

Winning at weight loss is a lot harder if you’re in a standoff with your temptations every night, relying on willpower to resist. This rule can be applied to your guilty pleasure. What is it you can’t help yourself around? Make sure it isn’t staring at you from the pantry.

Q: How do you deal with family forcing food in your face over the holidays?

Family guilt trips or food-shaming are often a huge roadblock to fat-loss success, especially around this time of year.

I used to feel badly for refusing food in a social situation, and by no means do you have to say no. A little moderation goes a long way, but sometimes the best answer is to politely decline that second helping.

But how? We all have family members that get validation filling the stomachs of loved ones. If you think about it logically, is not wanting to eat something offensive? No, of course not. Then why do we feel forced into eating Aunt Bertha’s special dessert?

It’s a strange thing in our culture to not clear our plates, but sometimes we need to flat-out say no, tell them we’re stuffed (even if we aren’t) or use the “I’m in a challenge” (don’t use the word diet!)

A little white lie won’t hurt anyone — and it will spare the feelings of the person who made the food. Ultimately, we are always in control of our choices — no one is force-feeding you that second slice of pie.

A simple “No thanks, I’m full from dinner” tends to go a long way once you get used to saying it. Of course, if it’s still too difficult and you need an out,” I’ve got you: “My trainer…

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