Weight-Loss Effects Of Dairy
Water-heavy foods like tomato juice, tomato soup and vegetable soup seem to trigger receptors in the stomach that tell the brain you're sufficiently fed, says Barbara Rolls, PhD, a professor at Pennsylvania State University and author of The Volumetics Weight-Control Plan: Feel Full on Fewer Calories. In fact, satiety - that "I'm full" feeling - is the secret ingredient to weight management. "People don't like to deny themselves; they feel a sense of failure when they deprive themselves."
Broth, soups, and juices, along with whole fruits, vegetables, and grains are high in fiber and water content, and low in fat and calories. "If you have soup before a meal, it helps control hunger and you eat less," Rolls says. "Low-calorie soup takes the edge off your hunger." Just be careful not to eat rich, cream-based soups; they could add calories to your diet.
How it works? Water dilutes the calories in food. You can then eat more for the same calories. When you add water-rich blueberries to your breakfast cereal or water-rich egg-plant to your lasagna, you add food volume but few calories.
Grapes have more water content than raisins. For a 100-calorie snack, you can eat more grapes than raisins. It's just that simple. Fat has less water than any food element at 9 calories per gram; alcohol is next at 7; followed by protein and carbohydrates each at 4, Rolls says.
- Consider the difference between chocolate milk and a milk chocolate bar. A 1 1/2 ounce milk chocolate bar has 230 calories, while an 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk made with whole milk has 250 calories. For about the same calories, you get a portion that is five times bigger than the chocolate bar.
- Add more vegetables and less pasta and fat to a pasta dish, and you get more food volume. You see the difference, and feel satisfied when you eat it, she says.
- Obese people eat more low-water foods than normal-weight people; big portions of meats, full-fat milk and cheese, fried eggs, high-fat desserts, one study shows. They also eat few high-water foods like salads, fruits, skim milk.
Psychological satisfaction is powerful, she says. "We're talking about dietary changes that people can sustain. If fat content is too low, it doesn't satisfy your hunger. If you don't enjoy foods, you are not in the long run going to sustain the eating pattern. That's where people go wrong, they go too extreme, so they're on the same old dieting roller coaster."
Rolls' theories are right on the money, says Hassan. "There's a lot of research to back this up. Foods with high water content take longer to eat, and they generally leave people feeling fuller. People feel better when their plate is full and their stomach is full."
Some practical advice to control calories
- Drink two glasses of water or other non-calorie beverage before a meal.
- At a restaurant, either eat a small salad or broth-based soup.
- At home, fill up half the plate with vegetables, one-fourth with a starch, and one-fourth with protein - so the dominant part is vegetables. If you want seconds, veggies would be the choice.
- Before going to a restaurant, eat a high-volume, low-calorie snack - fat-free milk, a piece of fruit, a cup of light yogurt. "You won't be famished, so you won't eat a whole basket of chips or bread."
- If you get the evening munchies, drink bouillon, hot tea, or light cocoa, or have two cups of strawberries with light cool whip. "It's a great dessert and only 100 calories," Hassan says.
Tea is calorie-free, has less caffeine than coffee, and is a great source of anti-oxidants. However, tea won't do much to help weight loss, Hassan says. "Sip tea to get full, but I would never tell someone it would boost metabolism."
The bottom line for weight loss - follow a reduced-calorie, healthy eating plan, get regular exercise, and do weight training to increase lean body mass to speed up metabolism.