Tricking the brain to shed weight

August 3rd, 2010 - 2:55 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 3 (IANS) Being a little smart may help you lose weight! The brain can be tricked into shedding weight by eating high satiety, low-calorie foods like apples, bananas and grapes.
For instance, eating an apple before your meal can make you feel more satisfied from your food, says a Daily Mail report.

Apples are about 25 percent air and, as they’re digested, they produce the hormone GLP-1, which sends satiety signals to the brain.

Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, air and fibre which pack your gut, producing ‘filling’ signals in the small intestine.

Protein is the most satiating of the three food groups, compared with carbohydrates and fats.

So what makes protein so filling? It triggers the production of PYY hormone in the brain, which makes one feel satiated and sparks the release of glucose in the small intestine — both send out satiety signals.

Present someone with a plate of food and they may be hungry three hours later; pulp the same ingredients into soup and the ’satiety’ period lengthens, despite the decrease in the volume of food you’re eating, says Robert Welch, professor of Food Science and Nutrition at Ulster University, Britain.

Studies have shown that we eat up to 70 percent more when distracted from our food, such as when watching TV. We also eat more when among friends or family - it increases consumption by around 70 percent. Eat alone and you tend to eat less.

Last month, a trial found that inulin - a type of fibre found in artichokes, asparagus, onions, garlic, raisins and bananas - quelled hunger more effectively than the standard pharmaceutical appetite suppressant sibutramine.

The trick is to eat high-satiety foods like apples, grapes and bananas at the beginning of a meal. “They get you to feel fuller early on and the evidence shows you don’t compensate for this later by eating more,” says Welch.

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