Friday, February 02, 2007

Science Diet

While Creationists might reject science as a basis for understanding how the earth was created, they might be interested to know that science can help us with dieting and eating to stay slim. Personally, I don't have a problem with my size, have never dieted but eat healthily and don't give way to snacking. However, understanding, scientifically, how the body deals with food is useful for all of us who wish to stay slim and not sink into middle-aged spread.

If you have been watching the BBC series 'The Truth about Food', you may be as amazed as I was last night at some of the revelations. If there is one thing I hate, it's fads, and this programme dispelled all the myths about those crappy, boring diets which involve so much will-power and fail as soon as the dieter is back to normal food.

The essential information from the programme is this:
  1. Metabolic rate is not responsible for weight gain. Eating is.
  2. Eating low-fat dairy products will enable your body to purge out more fat than if you eat no dairy products at all. Eat low-fat products to avoid adding to your calorie intake and thus adding fat.
  3. If you have evidence of how much you've eaten, as in a plate of bones, you'll eat less.
  4. If you take a larger portion of food, you will eat more. Supersizing distorts your perception of what is a reasonable amount to eat.
  5. The most filling foods are proteins, so to keep you feeling full for longer, make sure you eat a protein-rich meal.
  6. Eating soup is the best way to ward off hunger. The water and solids mixed together fill the stomach and pass through your intestines more slowly than a meal of separate water and solids so you feel satiated for longer.
I would also add that eating in front of the television distracts you and you end up eating more because you are not paying attention to how much you are eating.

All the information was researched and tested scientifically. No fads, no get-rich-quick quacks bossing you about, no starvation. You can lose weight and stay slim by eating wisely and getting your heart rate bopping.

Isn't that good news?


  1. Since I've retired, and life has settled into a pattern, I am now acutely aware of how a small snack here or there, without extra exercise to burn it off, can cause a steady progressive weight gain.

    If I make an effort to lose weight, it's usually no more than a kilo or at most 2 per month. But get careless with energy balance, and the weight seems to go on at twice that rate !

    Prevention, as always, is better than cure.

  2. Good God, I've been trying to tell people that for years. I hope they will air that program in the US.

    At the end of the day, weight gain and loss is all about the number of calories you took in versus the number you expended. It's basic math, yet people still want some kind of quick fix pill, negative-calorie foods, etc. Drives me crazy and is exactly why I'm no longer a practicing dietitian!

  3. Yes, must have been an uphill struggle in the US, being a dietitian!

  4. All doctors have known this for ages. Add to this that 98% of the people you manage to get weight off....get it back on again, and worse. Clever dieticians!! Whose wrong then, the silly chap getting you on only water and lettuce leaves and charging you the rpice of super restaurant, or the poor patient?

    Also, the brain has a funny banking system - give your body too little to eat and of uniteresting nature - your brain immediately saith - you only need little - and if you go back to having more later on, I'll just stock it - on your hips, tum or rear! Cruel world. Those old grey cells just decided that if you undereat long enough, you don't need more - it's just for stocking for a rainy day.

    Good eating is eating everything , not too much, often, and most of all keep moving...even if you're old and bent. Can't dash round the squash court anymore, perhaps....but there are other ways of moving.

    And as for diets - ouuuuups. Just nice sensible tasty foo in correct quantities, plus moving keeps the "old age belly" away except for those with serious ailments.

    I had to come to terms with odd hunger times. No way, not hungry in the day at all. Never except if I'm in good company. Fought it, tried to force myself, got nowhere. So now I just eat what I want when I want and enjoy it. Of course I also enjoy drink.....but that also is small quantities and of good quality!


  5. I've just been watching all the videos on the bbc site (thanks for helping me procrastinate, Sarah...)

    I have a real problem with my weight...recently I lost 20 kilos in a very short time (marriage problems...) and when I finally started eating, sleeping and living again, I put it all back on plus...8!!!

    I was very very happy indeed to hear about the calcium...although I suppose it doesn't mean I can eat 2 kilos of goat's cheese at a time, does it? Does it...?

  6. Er, no it doesn't, Gigi. Unless it's fat-free goat's cheese.

    I lost weight when I was going through marriage trauma too. Nervous energy is highly recommended for weight-loss, although tough on everything else.

    I hope you manage to get your eating/exercise regime sorted. It seems to be the only way.

  7. Interesting fact about the low fat dairy products. I usually just try to steer clear which is difficult because I love cheese, any cheese, more than anything.
    Thanks for the information.


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