This Diet Is Making Me Hungry!

I gave a presentation at a lunch and learn last week on the topic of nutrition.  My goal was to provide information around some of the key points such as the link between poor nutrition and chronic disease which many people know is there, but most don’t realize the full extent.

I also provided some solid information on label reading, sugar and salt intake, and portion control.  These presentations always provide me with an opportunity to encourage people to eat whole foods, get off of the fast-food train and cook their meals at home. This can be a challenge because nutrition is a huge topic. It’s impossible to do it justice in a 40-minute presentation.

At the end of the hour we had time for a quick question and answer session and – you guessed it – people wanted to talk about weight loss and appetite control.

Diet

Forget about dieting and eat for your health. (Flickr photo by Thrice 18/3)

The specific question was, “What can I do about always being hungry?” Before I had time to answer, one of the participants piped up with his own answer, which went something like this:  Yeah. You know people aren’t going to stick with a diet or ever be able to lose weight if they’re hungry all the time.  You might as well forget it.

Did I say anything about a diet? I talked about eating nutritious foods. I showed pictures of how we’ve supersized everything – even our refrigerators – over the last 20 years so that we don’t even know what a true potion is.

I displayed pictures that showed how many teaspoons of sugar is in popular soft drinks and talked about the bad fats lurking in fast food.  This should be enough [I thought] to discourage everyone in the room from ever going through the drive-through again!

I provided the dietary guidelines for sodium, sugar and fat and provided tips on how to stay within the guidelines.  And, I gave an abundance of links to healthy recipes, nutritional information, and  on-line food trackers.  I was [I thought] inspiring people to buy and prepare the foods that will provide adequate fuel and nutrition for their bodies.

Nowhere in the presentation was there any mention of weight loss, dieting or deprivation. But, clearly, that is what people think about whenever the topic of ‘eating better’ is discussed.

By the end of my presentation I realized that there is a real disconnect between eating for health and eating to lose weight when there should be only one conversation taking place.

Food Related Illnesses

On the radio show that I listen to on my morning commute the dj’s were interviewing Dr. Travis Stork, author of the The Doctor’s Diet.  At the start of the interview he made this statement:  Ninety percent of all hospitalizations are due to food related illnesses.

What? You mean like food poisoning? (one of the dj’s asked?)

Nope.  Not food poisoning. Dr. Stork, who was an emergency room doctor, said that most emergencies are related to food. He’s talking about illnesses related to poor nutrition:  Heart disease. Diabetes. Metabolic Disease. Cancer.

The doctor contends these are the fatal risks associated with an unhealthy diet.  You can be robbed of good health by a poor diet, and, in many cases, your health can be restored by a good one.

Eating For Health Not Deprivation

Of all of the topics that were covered at the lunch and learn, being hungry getting in the way of weight loss was the one that held everyone’s attention and opened the floor for a good conversation about processed foods and why we should avoid them.

But what about the prevalence of this notion that if you want to lose weight you have to starve yourself and end up being hungry all the time? That’s simply not true if you’re eating the right foods. Plus if your only focus is on losing weight rather than eating for health, you may find you’ve lost pounds but are still at risk for the food-related illnesses that Dr. Stork talks about in his book.

A recent study that explored the feelings of fullness, also known as the Satiety Index, has found that there are healthy foods that can make you feel full longer and may be the key to effective weight loss.

Tomorrow We’ll Talk About The Satiety Index

Check back tomorrow because I’ll be discussing the Satiety Index study, and talk about what foods you need to eat to feel full, satisfy your nutritional needs, and lose weight at the same time.

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