Ronald G. Reichert, ND
How many times have you heard someone say, "I tried eating just one cookie but eventually ate the whole box? This unfortunate approach to eating represents one of the major problems encountered by those who wish to lose weight and improve their health: how.
How many times have you heard someone say, “I tried eating just one cookie but eventually ate the whole box”? This unfortunate approach to eating represents one of the major problems encountered by those who wish to lose weight and improve their health: how to control food cravings.
Satiety is the Secret
Although there are many complex reasons–both physical and psychological–for food cravings, science has shown that we can circumvent some by strategically increasing our sense of meal fullness (i.e., satiety) and reducing meal energy intake. For example, it is commonly known that by drinking more water just before a meal, we feel more full and, as a result, will eat less. Similarly a Journal of the American Dietetic Association study (2004) found that women who ate a low-energy dense meal (for example, 300 grams of water-rich vegetables such as salad) as a first course to their main meal, not only enhanced their sense of satiety, but also reduced their subsequent food intake.
Fill Up With Fibre Blends
In addition to vegetable and beverage choices like salad and water, fibre blends can provide benefits for controlling appetite. One study presented by Dr. Breitman and his associates at the 8th Annual Canadian Diabetes Association Professional Conference (October 2004) found that fibre blends were better at controlling appetite than individual fibres. In their study, they took three groups of teenagers and randomly assigned them to consume, at breakfast, one of three meal replacement drinks containing either low viscosity (cellulose), medium viscosity (glucomannan) and high viscosity (blend) fibres. No other food was permitted until lunch when the teens could eat as much pizza as they wanted. Remarkably, and in contrast to the other groups tested, those volunteers who took the fibre blend mixture ate the least amount of pizza, suggesting that it had superior appetite-quenching properties.
How does this distinctive fibre blend achieve its results? Scientists have determined that fibre mixtures are highly viscous, and that this property increases both the physical volume and the sense of fullness in our stomach and intestines. Clinical research trials have shown that supplementation with dietary fibre increases the release of a powerful appetite suppressing hormone called CCK, which, in turn, provides the brain with a strong biochemical signal to stop eating.
Alarming statistics from the National Institutes of Health in the United States point out that 61.9 percent (64.5 million) of all women over the age of 20 are clinically overweight (Body Mass Index > 25). Although lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, are important considerations in controlling weight gain in women, the additional use of fibre blends will help control the “cookie monster” in all of us by regulating both appetite and food cravings.