Diet Tricks that WORK

Sometimes you need to know a few things to help you along in a diet.  Here are 7 great tips.

1. AVOID CORN SYRUP: Corn Syrup Will Make You Fat.

Despite the pervasive media campaign coming to corn syrup’s defense, science is starting to show a clear difference between regular sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.  The study was published by the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior in March 2010.

One study showed that rats who drank high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those who drank drinks sweetened with sugar — even when both groups consumed the same amount of calories.

While more research is needed, the difference could be related to the way each sweetener is processed by the body.

Both are made of fructose and glucose, but in sugar, the two compounds are bound tightly together and require an extra step to metabolize.

High fructose corn syrup is not only found in soft drinks, but can be the primary ingredient in baked goods, many cereals, canned fruits, desserts, juices and jams.


2.  Stop Junk Food:  Junk Food Can Affect Your Brain Similar to Drug Abuse

A new study in rats suggests that junk food can affect the brain in ways similar to drug abuse.   According to the study written  in the journal Nature Neuroscience in March 2010, just like in human consumption patterns, rats were given unlimited access to food we can find in every corner store — frosting, candy bars, donuts, sausage, hot dogs, snack cakes and so on. Obesity occured and two hallmarks of drug addiction appeared too.

First, many dopamine receptors — important players in the brain’s reward pathway — disappeared, possibly signaling that more food was now needed to reach previous levels of satisfaction. Behavior also changed; eating these foods became top priority. The rats continued eating even after a light warned them that they would get shocked if they didn’t stop.

The behavior parallels both that of compulsive eaters and addicts, said study researcher Paul Kenny of Scripps Research Institute in Florida. “They can’t control it even when doctors have warned them, and their relationships suffer,” Kenny told LiveScience.

Since rats that ate regular food did not experience such changes, the researchers concluded there is something unique about junk food.

“Really try to regulate your access to this type of food,” Kenny advised. “It is not as innocuous as you think.”


3.  Structure Meal and Snack Times :  Learn to make new healthier habits!

One of the major mistakes among dieters is that they wait too long between meals. Long stretches without food makes people crave energy-dense carbs (I need to eat from that bread basket, NOW!) and can make it difficult for people to make healthy choices and watch portion sizes when they do eat. It may also compromise metabolism, she said.

You need to plan meals and snacks in advance, allowing your body to settle into a predictable routine and helping you avoid desperate energy crashes. Specifically, she suggests “not waiting more than three or more hours to have a small meal or snack.”  Bring snacks and/or food with you if you are travelling or going to work and have them there for in between your meals.  You can even bring something for lunch with you if you plan on skipping lunch for work.  If you are going out to a restaurant and you haven’t eaten for hours, then eat some protein (a protein bar or drink, nuts, cheese, meat, eggs)  before you go to the restaurant and it will stop a glucose low and cravings to eat things that you shouldn’t be eating.

Once a structure is in place, respect it. Studies have shown that ghrelin, the hormone that signals hunger, spikes at our usual mealtimes — even if we have just eaten. So if lunch comes early, expect to be hungry again. Having a healthy snack, or a portion of your lunch, on hand could prevent a foul mood or running to the vending machine (all bad habits, by the way)


4.  Breakfast Really is the Most Important Meal of the Day!

Men who had a protein-rich breakfast (scrambled eggs and toast) not only reported feeling less hungry at lunchtime, but also ate about 400 fewer calories over the following 24 hours, when compared with men who had the carb-rich breakfast (a bagel with low-fat cream cheese and low-fat yogurt.)

Protein has long been known as the most satiating food source, although the extra fat in the egg breakfast could have also contributed to the long-lasting satiety. While the study was funded by the Egg Nutrition Center, senior researcher Maria Fernandez of the University of Connecticut said “other types of protein could have the same effect, including tuna, chicken, meat and steak.”

Other studies have also supported the value of hearty, even rich, breakfasts when it comes to healthy eating — especially if lighter choices are made at later meals.

Eating this way is especially good when people are trying to lose weight. “If you eat a high-protein meal at breakfast, it helps decrease your appetite for the rest of the day.”

This study was published in February 2010 in the journal Nutrition Research.

I wrote a blog on breakfast:


5.  Favor Foods Low on the Glycemic Index

The glycemic index refers to how quickly food affects blood sugar, with items lower down on the index (high fiber or protein-rich foods) giving steadier supplies of energy, and those higher on the index (sweets and processed foods) giving quick hits and follows with falls–the sugar rollercoaster.

Simply favoring whole fresh foods over processed ones will naturally lower the glycemic index of your diet and optimize the healthiness of your food choices, she said.


My blog on this:


6.  Change Your Environment

A new finding from researchers at Cornell University suggests that the secret to a successful diet can lie in changing your surroundings. Whether this involves staying out of fast food places, eating out less, using smaller plates, keep seconds out of eye sight, or hiding the chocolate or desserts, altering the food environment helps people lose more weight than trying to change eating habits or food choices, the researchers found.  I know one man who can’t even go to McDonalds without ordering the burger AND THE FRIES.

“These types of changes are much easier to follow than saying you will eat smaller meals, substitute fruit for sweets, or give up your trigger foods like chocolate and French fries.  These changes will definitely impact your weight.

The study was presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, Calif.


7. Get Your Family to Try New Things With You.

Planning and eating the meals are more fun with others doign it with you.  Try to get your family to cook with you, eat with you.  Don’t allow anyone to sabotage you or make fun of what you are doing.  What you are doing is to help your health and keep you around your family longer–healthier.


Follow these tips and you will be doing well in your eating plan.

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