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Your Perception of Food Affects Your Hunger Levels

Can just the way you perceive the food you are about to eat have an impact on how satisfied you will feel afterward? That’s what researchers at Yale University set out to find when they performed a new study.

The researchers measured levels of the hormone gherkin, which is released in the stomach as a response to hunger. When your blood contains high levels of the so-called “hunger hormone,” it sends your brain the signal that it wants food.

In the study, they took 46 volunteers between 18 and 35 years old. They were told that they were going to test two new milkshakes. One of them would be labeled high fat, 620-calorie “indulgent” milkshake, the other was a no-fat 140-calorie “sensi-shake,” for being a “sensible” choice. Thing is, both shakes had the same calorie content (380). In fact, they were the exact same french vanilla milkshakes, just in different packaging.

Amazingly, the volunteers’ levels of the hunger hormone was different, depending on their perception of what they were drinking. When they were anticipating a decedent treat, their gherkin levels dramatically increased in anticipation, which was followed by a steep decline afterward. This indicates that they were more satisfied by it.
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Children are Growing Fatter as They Go Hungry

We’ve all heard that obesity is a huge crisis in America, but what many of us forget is that it’s our nation’s children who are suffering the brunt of the problem.  Childhood obesity has tripled over the past thirty years with nearly one third of children or teens being overweight or at risk for becoming overweight.

According to a report issued by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity, the number of obese Americans is growing. Nearly 75 percent of Americans will be overweight or obese by 2019, a condition that will have a negative impact on our nation’s economy. Ironically, as our nation weighs in heavier, the New York’s Food Research and Action Center reports another dilemma: families can become obese at the same time they are going hungry.


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18th Annual Healthy Weight Week Celebrates Healthy Living Habits

Many Americans begin the month of January on a diet. After a week of eating greens, practicing cleanses and blending protein shakes, the second week of January is when we fall off the wagon and succumb to chocolate cake cravings. The third week in January? Stop dieting for good and commit to a balanced diet that you can maintain throughout the year.

Healthy Weight Week (Jan. 16-22) was created by health professionals to help us “celebrate healthy living habits that last a lifetime and prevent eating and weight problems, rather than intensifying them, as diets do.”

Instead of extreme dieting, Healthy Weight Week promotes healthy lifestyles for both children and adults of every size. Healthy Weight Week is meant to help people develop reasonable, rational diet and exercise patterns that they can feel good about.

How can you celebrate Healthy Weight Week? Francie Berg, chairwoman of 2011 Healthy Weight Week told the Monterey Herald, “Normal eating means having a healthy relationship with food that is natural, trusting and flexible.”


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Honor Your Hunger This Holiday Season

Now that it’s the holiday season and tempting treats are everywhere, it’s very, very important to pay attention and eat according to your hunger. It may sound easy, but so many of us often eat for other reasons then hunger, including emotions, societal pressure (imagine Aunt Mildred saying, “You just have to eat one of my holiday cookies!”) and external cues, but listening to your true hunger is a great strategy for combating that holiday weight gain. Read on for three tips to really tune into your hunger and stop eating once you’re full!

1. Log your hunger and fullness. You already know how beneficial food journaling can be, but don’t just track your eats — track your hunger, too! On a scale from zero to 10 with zero being starving and 10 being uncomfortably and even painfully full, jot down how hungry you are before eating and then how full you are after. Try to eat when you’re at a three or a four, and stop eating when you’re at a six or a seven. Remember it can take your body up to 20 minutes to feel full so eat slowly.


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End Childhood Hunger with the Great American Dine Out

Most of us could benefit from eating out less, but if you are looking for a noble reason to hit up one of your favorite eateries, look no further than the Great American Dine Out.

From September 19 to September 25, Share Our Strength’s third annual Great American Dine Out is working with thousands of restaurants across the country. They will be offering great promotions, featuring special dishes, and donating part of their proceeds from that week to help support Share Our Strength’s work to end childhood hunger in this country. This year, Aaron McCargo Jr. from Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House” is the Great American Dine Out’s official spokesperson and he is encouraging you take part of this special cause.

All you have to do is locate a participating restaurant via this Share Our Strength Restaurant Finder and dine in or dine out to help make the organization’s mission of “No Kid Hungry” a reality.
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