Rule #1: Spoil Your Dinner
Remember the plant from Little Shop of Horrors, with its demands to “Feed me”? The hormone ghrelin is your body’s version of Audrey II, only it gets your attention with stomach growls instead of musical numbers. Once you’ve started eating, it takes about 30 minutes for ghrelin levels to fall and that “full” feeling to kick in. But if you eat a 100-calorie snack (like a handful of nuts) about a half hour before mealtime, your ghrelin levels will already be subsiding by the time you pick up your fork.
Rule #2: Nix Soft Drinks with Meals
Leptin is a hormone that signals the brain that you can stop eating once your body has stored enough energy from food. Yet fructose (a sugar found in soft drinks) interrupts the feedback loop, preventing your brain from getting the message. Quench your thirst with water instead.
Rule #3: Fill Up on Fiber
The ileum is a part of the small bowel that can squeeze, or “brake,” to slow the transit of food through the intestines. When that happens, you get a slow but steady supply of fuel, which keeps you feeling satiated. A high-fiber breakfast triggers this mechanism, because the bowel needs more time to absorb nutrients from fiber. The result: No more 11 a.m. stops at the vending machine.
Rule #4: Eat with Awareness
That means eating at the table, not sprawled across the couch. It also means no zoning out in front of tv, checking your phone while you eat, or surfing the Web during meals. Not only will mindful eating increase the satisfaction you get from food but the extra time will allow your ghrelin levels to drop even further as you eat. If you live with others make meal time a part of your day to be social.
Rule #5: Build More Muscle
You may have heard that muscle burns more calories than fat, but did you know that it burns a dozen times more? Aim to begin a muscle-strengthening program, which will help steel your skeleton as well.
Rule #6 Size Up Your Plates
Are your dishes too big? A healthy dinner should fit on a 9-inch plate. You may find that kid-sized plates are more appropriately sized to feed an adult!
Rules #7 Get Moving – Daily!
A pedometer can help keep track of your steps – if this motivates you that’s great, however it is not necessary. We want you to get out and move! Do this daily and try to walk/move at a speedy sweaty pace!
Rules #8 Journal Your Journey
People who regularly weigh themselves and keep track of their progress in a journal are more likely to lose weight.
Learn more about gaining control of your appetite on this blog.