Sunday, February 19, 2006

Satiety The Secret To Effective Weight Loss

This Wall Street Journal story discusses an important question for anyone who wants or needs to lose weight:

What kind of weight loss program will allow me to eat healthy and nutritious while also being delicious and satisfying?

Ahhh, good question! It's the age-old debate about whether a "diet" should feel good or not. There are some who think weight loss should be like punishment for all those years of poor eating choices and the pain should be equivalent to the amount of damage done to our bodies. It's this kind of thinking that keeps a 300-pound woman or 400-pound man from EVER doing anything about their weight problem.

When I weighed 410 pounds in January 2004 and I was looking for a weight loss plan, I KNEW whatever I chose to help me shed the pounds was going to have to taste good, keep my immense hunger satisfied, and do what it is supposed to do -- namely, burn the fat and lose the weight! As it turns out, that's exactly the kind of program I chose when I started livin' la vida low-carb!

What makes the low-carb lifestyle so incredibly effective? Are you ready for this media, health experts and doctors? I've got the answer for you about why low-carb living is so beloved and cherished by those of us who make this our permanent lifestyle change. And it's simple really. It's all about SATIETY!


SATIETY (pronounced SUH-TY-EH-TEE) is the brain's mechanism for feeling "full" and satisfied after eating a meal. I've previously discussed the satiety index and how it identifies those foods that will keep you fuller longer (hint, hint: many of them are low in carbs!).

When you are losing weight, the last thing you want to do is get hungry. I have VIVID memories of when I was losing weight on a low-fat diet aided by Slim-Fast back in the late-1990s and I would get so ravenously hungry that my mood would quickly change. My wife will tell you that it wasn't a pretty picture either.

Hunger during weight loss is like getting overheated while you are running an outdoor marathon. Your mind and will have the "want to," but your body steps in to tell you that "enough is enough!" That's what happened when I had lost 170 pounds in 1999 on my failed low-fat diet.

Despite having lost an incredible amount of weight, I was literally STARVING! I could remember making a Slim-Fast shake for myself and within 15 minutes of drinking that "meal" for breakfast my stomach was growling. I was able to ignore that while I was losing weight because that's what I thought you had to do in order to get your weight under control. But, as you can imagine, I grew very frustrated by the hunger pangs when I was controlling my weight and threw in the towel on my "diet" after about a year of eating that way. THAT is why low-fat diets fail so miserably!

Predictably, in just a few short months, I gained every single pound back that I had lost in that previous year and then some! The lesson learned in all of this is that when it comes to weight loss success, you MUST find something that will keep you satiated or else you are doomed to fail.

Low-fat diets don't cut it because most of them are loaded with carbohydrates which spike your blood sugar and keep you craving for more and more and more food. Yikes! Low-carb plans, on the other hand, allow you to eat greater amounts of healthy fats and protein to keep your body well-fueled with foods that ward off hunger for hours.

Eggs, for example, are a low-carb POWER food! They keep you fuller longer than a bagel for breakfast according to the latest studies. In fact, something quite peculiar happens when you eat foods that provide greater satiety -- YOU ACTUALLY EAT LESS CALORIES!

While many of the most heated arguments against low-carb center around the fact that you are not required to count calories for it to work, the practical application of livin' la vida low-carb results in a natural reduction in caloric intake. How about that? Researchers are concluding that these protein-rich, low-carb foods are the key to providing lasting weight loss benefits to the multitude of people who are overweight or obese. They sorely need to do SOMETHING about their weight before it's too late.

Dr. Manny Noakes supports high-protein weight loss approach

I was privileged to meet Dr. Manny Noakes in Brooklyn, New York last month at the Nutritional & Metabolic Aspects of Carbohydrate Restriction conference. She noted during her talk at that meeting that her high-protein weight loss plan known as "The Total Wellbeing Diet" (already an overwhelming bestseller in Australia, but controversial for the same reasons the Atkins diet is controversial in America) has shown to have many benefits.

Among the positives she mentioned include:

1. Lean mass preservation (confirmed by this recent research)
2. Enhanced fat loss (twice as much abdominal fat vs. a high-carb diet)
3. Triglyceride reduction
4. Increased thermic effects
5. Improved satiety
6. Lower glucose and insulin responses
7. Improved nutritional status

Dr. Noakes concluded that while it "is not straightforward" whether these healthy benefits are attributed to the higher consumption of protein or the lower intake of carbohydrates, the two generally go hand-in-hand just as a low-fat diets are usually higher in carbohydrates.

The overwhelming evidence has shown that the improvements in weight and health are much better with a high-protein/low-carb approach than with a low-fat/high-carb diet.

Why else would Slim-Fast suddenly change their formula to include more protein? To borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton's first campaign for president, "It's the SATIETY, stupid!" And Unilever, the parent company for Slim-Fast, knows this.

Their slogan for the newly formulated Slim-Fast blend is "Take Control Of Your Hunger Today..." With 10g protein in their shakes now, Slim-Fast is trying to reach a new breed of dieters who have finally kicked their low-fat habit for good and want a much more effective way to lose weight forever.

Unfortunately, these shakes are still LOADED with an unbelievable 18g of SUGAR in them (that's pure carbs people!) and 24g total carbohydrates despite the higher protein. This is NOT GOOD! If you are livin' la vida low-carb, then you should avoid Slim-Fast Optima like the plague. While the latest Slim-Fast Optima commercials feature people dancing around like circus clowns, you'll be rolling around like Violet in "Charlie & The Chocolate Factory" if you drink too many of THOSE Slim-Fast shakes!

While companies are trying to figure out how to best make a buck off the latest dieting trends, you only need to remember one thing. Find a weight loss program that works for you to keep you satisfied and happy while you are doing it. If you don't enjoy it or if you start to feel hungry, then you might want to reevaluate whether you are on the best plan for you.

As someone who has been livin' la vida low-carb for over two years now, I can honestly say that I have NEVER been hungry on this way of eating and have been able to enjoy the very best-tasting foods while still maintaining my 180+ pound weight loss. It really was the last weight loss plan I will ever need and I fully intend on eating this way for the rest of my life.

Say it with me now: S-A-T-I-E-T-Y! SATIETY! SATIETY! I'm livin' la vida satiety! LOL! Okay, so it's not as catchy as livin' la vida low-carb, but it is no less important. Remember it. The most effective weight loss plans satisfy the need for satiety.

And it just so happens that high-protein, low-carb diets do just that. :)


Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

I can so relate to your experience with the low fat/low cal diets! I was absolutely ravishing with hunger, and very irritable! I would bite people's heads off for the smallest of reasons!
I used to think that the low sugar starvation was how you lost weight!!
When I switched to Atkins I marvelled at the weight loss because there was no physical sensation of low blood sugar!

I'm sure a lot of new people to Atkins and low carb, experience the same incredulity!

2/19/2006 5:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That's the Optima. They still make their regular shakes that have about 40g of carbs per can (and 34g of it pure sugar!). The Optima is higher protein and 1/2 the sugar. However, there is also a low carb shake comparible to Atkins shakes with about 20g of protein and almost zero sugar.

2/19/2006 7:58 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ah, I see they now have FOUR different shakes - original, Optima, Optima High Protein, and low carb.

Their strawberry low carb shake is pretty good, BTW. :)

2/19/2006 8:01 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

It's probably full of cheap soy protein... not very healthy. I'm curious about that - did anybody check out the nutrition facts label?

2/22/2006 11:08 AM  

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