Losing weight should not be about losing out, a leading health expert has advised.
Dr Michael Mosley has pointed out that meals should satisfy, and that successful weight loss is all about feeling fuller for longer. Dr Mosley, who has created the new digital programme, The Fast 800, has explained that feeling hungry is one of the most powerful stressors that exists, making it easy to see why so many people don’t make it past the first few weeks on a diet.
To help you stay on track, Dr Mosley has rounded up the research to give you a guide:
- Fluid: When you’re not getting enough water, you’ll be sluggish, lethargic, and most likely mistake thirst for hunger. Drinking plenty of water can help you feel fuller for longer, so make sure you stay hydrated.
- Fat: We’ve been told all our lives to avoid fat. In response, the food industry has offered a range of sugar-laden low-fat ‘diet’ foods; obesity rates, meanwhile, continue to soar. But far from being a cause of weight gain, ‘good’ fats – rich in mono-and polyunsaturates – powerfully curb the appetite, slowing the rate at which the stomach empties and so delaying the point at which it signals for more food. To feel fuller for longer, select olive oil, nuts, oily fish and (in moderation) full-fat dairy products.
- Fibre: The more fibre you eat, the happier your gut will be. Fibre promotes a better gut microbiome, increasing the levels of good-mood chemicals that are picked up by your brain. In addition, fibre induces the release of a chemical called PYY, which reduces appetite. To feel fuller for longer, then pile your plate with fresh vegetables (especially greens), unprocessed grains and legumes.
- Eat more protein and eat it first: It is well known that moderately increasing the amount of protein in your diet can help you to feel more satisfied after meals. What is less well known, though, is that the time of day that you eat protein also matters. Eating protein at the first meal of the day helps you to feel fuller for longer because after a protein meal, levels of a chemical called tyrosine – a building-block for dopamime- rise inside the brain.
- Avoid trap foods: Just as the right foods help you to feel fuller for longer, the wrong foods can do the exact reverse, throwing our brains into a cascade of craving. Junk food is trap food, designed to make you lose money and gain pounds. If you want to feel fuller for longer, keep away from it. When you’re out and about, bring a packed lunch, likewise, if you have to keep a stock of high-calorie snacks in the house for children, keep it locked up and away from the kitchen.