What is it about fiber that dulls your appetite? Because fiber is not able to be digested once consumed, plus it absorbs so much of its own weight in water, high-fiber foods help slow your body’s digestion of glucose (sugar), keep you feeling fuller for longer and beat cravings. Many foods high in fiber are also very nutritionally dense, meaning you get more bang for your nutritional buck and help prevent dehydration or deficiencies.
Though she first attempted a fad diet because she didn't want to give up her favorite foods and drinks, Kyra quickly realized she needed to moderate her eating habits more to find success. After she truly started embracing whole, clean foods—she now swears by a banana with peanut butter—and an unabashed love for CrossFit, the weight started to come off. And even though most dinners are grilled meat and veggies, she says "eat everything you want in moderation. I still drink margaritas and eat cookies and sugary cereal sometimes—I just don't do it nearly as often, and eat just enough. A few bites is plenty!"
Popular weight loss pills — like guarana, garcinia cambogia or ephedrine — are often used to suppress one’s appetite and help with weight loss. But it’s fairly common to experience some side effects when taking these products, including jitteriness, anxiety, trouble sleeping, indigestion, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat or headaches, which is why natural appetite suppressants are always better options.
There is some scientific legitimacy to today’s lower-carb diets: Large amounts of simple carbohydrates from white flour and added sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. While avoiding sugar, white rice, and white flour, however, you should eat plenty of whole-grain breads and brown rice. One Harvard study of 74,000 women found that those who ate more than two daily servings of whole grains were 49 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate the white stuff. Eating whole grains is not only one of many great ways to lose weight; it can also make you smarter.
Some experts estimate that 10% to 25% of teenagers and 20% to 50% of adults have a weight problem. It's ironic that North Americans are heavier than ever despite the increasing focus over the past few decades on weight loss, exercise and reduced fat intake. For most people, diets mean denial and deprivation – and therefore cause overeating once the diet is stopped.
Ask Kara, a registered nurse, about her weight loss journey and she'll tell you "it's been an amazing ride" that she's still on. After weighing in at 307 pounds, Kara attended a Jenny Craig meeting and agreed to join the program. She immediately connected with her designated personal consultant, who taught her portion control and, importantly, accountability. "She is the best and always a great support to me," she says. Once she had the three meals and three snacks a day formula down, Kara started exercising "even it if it was ten minutes at a slow pace." Now she loves sweating on the elliptical machine or the StairMaster, making it a priority to hit the gym four times a week. Most importantly, Kara feels incredible. "Life is so much easier now," she says. "I buy clothes at a regular store. I cannot tell you how significant this is for me—it makes me tear up."
Over the last three months I’ve lost 22 pounds simply by upping my exercise and reducing bad calories. I’m 68 years old, always in good shape, but added sedentary pounds as I aged. (6 feet tall, 212 pounds before — 190 pounds now) I’ve generally restricted my diet to about 1200 calories a day — 200 – 300 for breakfast, 200 for lunch, and about 700 or less for the rest of the day. I try to vary the foods, do as much exercise as I can (biking, swimming, walking, weights). I drink as much non-caloric liquid as I can and I try to find food that fills me up — vegetables, fruits, mostly. I eat some cheese and a good hamburger occasionally, although I avoid most meat. I still work full time. I realize the discipline necessary, but it’s not that hard to do. I rely on a good scale and moderate my diet each day to keep a constant weight. My blood pressure has dropped from 130/80 to 117/72 and heart rate is resting 58. I’m lucky that my chronic diseases are not yet serious (osteoarthritis and borderline cholesterol, although I dont take statins because of reactions). I’m not a diet fadder, but using common sense goes a long way. Eat smart and work out. MM
Whether or not you’re specifically aiming to cut carbs, most of us consume unhealthy amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice, and sweetened breakfast cereals. Replacing refined carbs with their whole-grain counterparts and eliminating candy and desserts is only part of the solution, though. Sugar is hidden in foods as diverse as canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, and many reduced fat foods. Since your body gets all it needs from sugar naturally occurring in food, all this added sugar amounts to nothing but a lot of empty calories and unhealthy spikes in your blood glucose.
If you want to lose weight you should start by avoiding sugar and starch (like bread, pasta and potatoes). This is an old idea: For 150 years or more there have been a huge number of weight-loss diets based on eating fewer carbs. What’s new is that dozens of modern scientific studies have proven that, yes, low carb is the most effective way to lose weight.
An easy rule of thumb: "Shop the perimeter of the grocery store," says Carol, as she quickly learned that the center aisles often have foods loaded with preservatives and artificial ingredients. She used MyFitnessPal to log her meals, snacks, and exercise, and focused on a mix of protein, fresh vegetables, and healthy fats. That helped her drop weight quickly in the beginning—over six pounds a month—until it slowed to three or four because her body adjusted to her new routine. And while the center of the grocery store is filled with processed carbs, goodies and treats, Carol limits her intake of them. "I still eat sweets. I just make sure to keep them to small portions!" she says.
While some people respond well to counting calories or similar restrictive methods, others respond better to having more freedom in planning their weight-loss programs. Being free to simply avoid fried foods or cut back on refined carbs can set them up for success. So, don’t get too discouraged if a diet that worked for somebody else doesn’t work for you. And don’t beat yourself up if a diet proves too restrictive for you to stick with. Ultimately, a diet is only right for you if it’s one you can stick with over time.
"Sleep is a cornerstone of weight management because of the impact it has on your hormones that control how you burn fat, how you store fat, and how you're maintaining muscle. The better your hormone balance, the better your weight management. I work my butt off to get eight hours a night, but right now I'm at six—the show is murdering me! Even if I go to bed early my son wakes up."
Lots of people have, for their entire lives, used food as a reward. To restrict their own reward, and then not be allowed to have their reward after they succeed is tough. It’s like going into an apathetic void of brain fog and sadness. And sure, you can rewire your habits over time and eventually your body will self-regulate so hunger won’t be an issue anymore, but it takes time. This period is a trial by fire where many people fail.