We all know the key to losing weight is eat less and exercise more, that’s the easy part, the hard part is actually doing it! However there are some foods and a few tricks that can help along the way so you know how to eat less.
Balancing blood sugar is key, foods that have a low glycaemic load help to do this. When you eat something with a high glycaemic load such as chocolate this causes the blood sugar levels to raise quickly and then drop which can actually cause you to feel hungry quite quickly afterwards. Foods with low GL such as oats, and cherries have the opposite effect, causing the blood sugar levels to raise slowly, helping to stop further food cravings.
Both water and fibre should be part of our daily diet, but can be used to an advantage to help us feel fuller for longer and creating a feeling of lasting satiety. Fibre slows carbohydrate ingestion, induces satiety, and prevents rebound hypoglycaemia (a sudden dip in blood sugar), by moderating insulin secretion. Apples which have a high water content and contain good levels of the soluble fibre pectin are an excellent example of this and a great on the go snack to have between meals. Furthermore a recent study found that dieters who drank two 8oz glasses of water before meals ate between 75 – 90 fewer calories during that meal. Over a 12 week period the dieters who drank water prior to their meal lost an average of 5lb more than those who did not increase their water intake. A good way to combine these two methods is by making some home-made soup. Soup has a high water content and can be made high in fibre by adding beans, pulses and plenty of chunky vegetables which have the added benefit of being low in calories.
There are numerous supplements on the market that claim to offer miraculous weight loss, many of these claims have little supporting evidence. However as we already know the benefits of water and fibre on weight reduction, supplements containing fibre such as glucomannan can be used as part of a weight loss programme to create a feeling of fullness. An eight week double blind trial showed a 5.5lb weight loss on subjects taking a glucomannan supplement prior to meals, during this trial participants did not change their exercise or eating habits.
Davy et al (2010) Clinical trial confirms effectiveness of simple appetite control method, [Online] Available from: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/acs-ctc080910.php [Accessed 24.5.12]
Heaton et al (1978) How fibre may prevent obesity: promotion of satiety and prevention of rebound hypoglycaemia, [Online] Available from: http://www.ajcn.org/content/31/10/S280 [Accessed 24.5.12]
Walsh et al (1984) Effect of glucomannan on obese patients: a clinical study, [Online] Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6096282 [Accessed 24.5.12]