October 29, 2012
9 Tips to Restore Your Appetite Regulation

You are hardwired to eat brownies and food it's like an addictive drug. So what are you to do to fight the good fight when losing weight and trying to monitor your food intake. Try these 9 tips to restore your appetite regulation and leave that brownie in its place!

1. High Protein Diets: high protein diets reduce your appetite. They leave you satisfied longer. Protein as a macronutrient takes longer to empty from the stomach to the small intestine, finally to the large intestine, keeping you fuller longer. Also, it satisfies the umami taste buds in your mouth that pick up in savory long lasting satisfying foods. In general, people lose more weight on a high protein meal plan and they have an easier time maintaining their weight if they keep their protein intake high.

2. Multiple small meals per day: Multiple small meals reduce your appetite.

3. Eat Breakfast Daily: Eating breakfast reduces your appetite. In a study done the Farschi in 2005, individuals who ate breakfast ate 90 calories less daily than individuals who skipped breakfast. Does not sound all that impressive, but a difference of 90 calories per day is a 9 pound weight gain per year. According to study done by Wyatt and colleagues (2002), the vast majority of people who maintain long term weight loss eat breakfast 7 days per week.

4. Avoid liquid calories (sodas, juices) as a quick reminder your body does not register liquid calories (the one exception is high protein drinks) so people compensate less for beverage with their calorie intake than with solid foods.

5. Limit high fat/high sugar foods: These foods perpetuate the reward system that you are trying to break. These foods should be a treat not the norm due to the addictive qualities that occur in the brain.

6. Get sufficient sleep (7-8 hrs/night): In my blog about sleep, I let you know how important it is to get sleep for weight loss and even weight maintenance. A study published in the Annals Internal Medicine, showed that individuals with 2 days of 4 hour sleep had twice the overall appetite ratings compared to individuals that slept 2 days of 10 hour sleep. If you want to control your appetite, get your sleep!

7. Reduce Stress: Stress increases appetite in 90% of individuals according to Epel and colleagues (2001). There are too many sweet treats to eat in this world, you do not need to make it that much harder for you to resist by being a victim of stress eating.

8. Find alternative coping strategies for unpleasant emotions: Dopamine is the compound that when it is released gives us that feel good reward sensation. Food releases this dopamine and that is why emotional eating is one of the largest causes for obesity in our country today. But did you know other things release dopamine, like sunshine, relationships, touch and music. So go get a massage, make out with your spouse or even take 15 minutes in the sun!

9. Expend 2,500 calories/week in physical activity: Physically active people regulate energy intake better and individuals that burn 2,500 calories per week of physical activity achieve better long term weight maintenance overall. How much is 2,500 calories per week? 60-90 minutes of brisk walking, 5-7 days per week or 30-60 minutes of running or jogging, 5-7 days per week.
I can guarantee if you put these 9 tips into active practice appetite regulation will almost be second hand nature.

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