Keys to permanent weight loss
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University are providing some key clues to help you to permanent weight loss. They are looking at the effect of the kind of food you eat, and how it affects your ability to lose weight. (The influence of food portion size and energy density on energy intake: implications for weight management. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jul;82(1 Suppl):236S-241S.)
What did they find? They found that people tend to eat food based on how big the portions are. In other words, they found that no matter what the food was, the people ate the same quantity.
It didn't matter if it was something light or something heavy. If they were used to eating a full plate of food, they ate a full plate of food and didn't stop until it was gone.
Food density and overeating
The problem with this is that some foods are very dense. They have a great deal of calories in each cupful.
So if you tend to eat dense foods you will take in more calories. And even a small number of extra calories each meal will make a tremendous difference over time. Taking in a small excess of calories each day -- when done over a long period of time -- is probably why you are overweight.
When you eat these very dense foods, like fatty meats and rich sauces for instance, you are not generally satisfied with a small amount. You want the whole plateful.
How much food do you need?
Your body may only need 600-700 calories for each meal (which is about normal for 3 meals per day in a lean, healthy adult.)
But 700 calories of fatty meat with gravy isn't a whole plate. It's more like a little bit over in the corner of the plate. Does that seem like a meal to you?
It's not very likely that you are going to be satisfied with that. You might have to double the portion to feel satisfied. And there go your hips. And your waist line. And your diabetes. Blood pressure. Cholesterol.
But a meal with less dense foods, like grains, soups and vegetables will be a lot of food.
There aren't too many calories in a bowl of soup and a heap of lettuce. Add a little beans and rice and you will have plenty of food. Even with some lean meat you will still be in the right calorie range. And you'll get more to eat.
It's hard to lose weight when you're hungry. It's easier when you are getting enough to eat. So skip the heavy, greasy foods. Eat right. Eat light. And you will lose weight.