Want to lose weight, but just can't say no to your
favorite junk food and high sugar snacks? Here is the solution and it can be
done in a few months.
Train your brain to prefer healthy foods. Contrary to the
popular belief, scientists at the Jean Mayer US Department of
Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts
University and at Massachusetts General Hospital
have found that it is
possible to train the brain to choose healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy high-calorie foods.
Scientists studied the brain reward system (that
attempts to regulate and control behavior by inducing pleasurable
effects) in thirteen obese people. Eight of them were participants in a
new 6-month weight loss
program and the other five were not enrolled in the program.
Both groups underwent magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans at the starting and end of
the program. After the six-month
program, the brain scans of the participants
showed changes in areas of the brain reward center. They had increased
sensitivity to healthy, lower-calorie foods, indicating an increased reward and
enjoyment of healthier food cues. They also showed decreased sensitivity
to the unhealthy foods.
The weight loss program called iDiet was designed by
Susan B. Roberts, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University and author
of more than 200 research studies on nutrition and weight management.
It was a science-based weight loss program that
significantly lowers health care costs and productivity loss linked with high
risk and obese employees, by reducing Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and the
need for gastric surgery.
Scientists explained that the goal of the program was to
help people achieve a sustainable weight loss of 0.5-1.0 kg per week and reduce
energy intake by 500-1000 kilocalorie per day.
Lessons on specific behavior changes provided by the
program included the use of portion-controlled menus and recipe suggestions,
with high-satiety menu plans, recipes and tip sheets.
The menu plans had a
specific dietary composition profile to reduce hunger. Scientists combined
low-glycemic index carbohydrates with higher fiber and higher protein — that is, foods with a slower digestion
profile and reduced fluctuations in blood glucose. In particular, they provided
approximately 25% energy from protein and fat, and 50% from
low-glycemic index carbohydrates
and contained 40grams per day dietary fiber.
Scientists noted that studies have revealed that surgical
procedures like gastric bypass surgery can decrease how much people enjoy food
generally. However, the surgery is not very satisfactory as it takes away food
enjoyment generally rather than making healthier foods more appealing, they
"It is possible
to shift preferences from junk food to low calorie food without surgery, and
that MRI is a key technique for exploring the brain's role in food cues," they
Choosing healthy foods:
Choose rice that is high in
fiber. Brown rice
doesn't have as much fiber, but it has more than white rice. Carefully verify the added salt
content in packaged/flavored rice. There's likely to be a lot (up to 1,000 mg)
in certain brands.
Choose pasta that are also high
in fiber and preferably pasta that is 100% whole grain (that delivers the same
rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed). You need
7 grams of fiber per serving (and 25 to 35 grams daily), but before you dig
into a bowl of penne, check the serving size. The serving size listed on a food
label is a standardized amount to help you compare the nutrition content of
Pasta expands as
you cook it. So, an ounce of uncooked pasta has more calories than an ounce of
cooked pasta. If the label doesn't specify, the serving size is for cooked
Microwave meal is a prepackaged frozen or chilled meal that comes as an individual
portion. Even low-cal options can contain more than 30% of your daily sodium.
You need to compare brand to brand, as most frozen dinners will have more salt
than they should. Look for the ones with the smallest percentage of daily
Also, fat and
calorie content is a major issue with these meals. They can contain unsaturated fats from olive oil and salmon but
not saturated fat from cream or butter. Also aim for less than 500 calories. And since this is a
meal, ensure that you have 10 grams of protein or more per serving.
Pay attention to the protein content, along with the
calories, fat, sugar, and fiber, in these kinds of foods. The best buys have at
least 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein and less than 10 grams of sugar.
It can contain 300 calories if it's a meal and 8 to 10
grams of protein is all right, but 20 grams is probably too much. Control
yourself to about 10 grams of total fat, and no more than 1 gram of saturated
fat, but also verify where the fat is coming from. Nuts are the major source of
fat in a snack bar.
Sport drinks are soft drinks containing
electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride, and a high percentage of
sugar. It is designed to restore energy during or after sporting activity or
tiring exercise. Though sports drinks are great while you work out, choose
water if you're simply thirsty on a hot day.
Smart Ways to Lose Weight
1. Eat smaller portions.
2. Use smaller plates.
3. Use spoons to eat, instead of fingers.
4. Choose healthier ingredients.
5. Eat all the food you enjoy.