Top 4 Foods To Eat To Suppress Your Appetite

December 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition, Health


If you love food, as I certainly do, then to stay healthy it can help to balance your appetite naturally. I am not in favour of stringent diets or some of the wilder claims for fat-busting supplements, but there are some natural foods that will help you maintain a good, healthy, weight by helping suppress your appetite.

They can be very useful if you are trying to lose some weight and the basic principle is to choose foods are filling, but low in calories. Also, be adventurous in your food choices as one of the problems people have in sticking to a diet – sensible or otherwise – is that they get bored. Add in these healthy foods to your menus and you will help keep the weight off:

This crunchy vegetable was a major feature of my childhood with the stalks washed and placed in a glass jug on the dining table whenever we had salad. My mother had no idea how healthy it was but she knew it helped fill us up as it has a low energy density and, according to research conducted by the Mayo Clinic, that can help control hunger. Celery contains few calories, only 16 for a cup, and its bulk and slight saltiness can be very satisfying when you are hungry. Add it to the snack list.

To be honest, I am not that keen on psyllium as my experience of it is rather akin to swallowing wallpaper paste or even worse, frog spawn. No, I haven’t actually eaten either of those but this gives you some idea of the texture! Psyllium is a soluble plant fibre which adds bulk to the diet and gives you a feeling of fullness and is also a great colon cleanser and so helps eliminate waste and this can lose you a few extra pounds in no time. Psyllium, in my view is best taken as capsules with plenty of cold water but if you are made of sterner stuff and want to try the powder then I would suggest mixing it with lemon juice and a tiny amount of apple cordial in a large glass of cold water. Mix thoroughly and the trick is to drink it immediately before it starts to solidify..

My absolute staple for soup making, lentils again are a great source of soluble fibre that helps your blood sugar to stabilize. This means you don’t get those peaks and troughs that can send you hurtling towards the biscuit barrel – oh no, that’s me again – and they also are a good source of protein, folic acid, iron, and magnesium. If you are a fan of the Atkins Diet you will already know that protein can suppress hunger by its slower rate of travel through the digestive system.

Like celery, this is another low density, high fibre, food that can help suppress hunger and a cup of it has only 20 calories. If you are already a fan, then try a new way of using it by making it a replacement for pasta in one of your meals. Using a food processor, or mandolin, cut the courgettes into very thin noodle-like strands and serve with a tomato sauce hot, or with a low calorie salad dressing for a light lunch.

I suppose for maximum appetite suppression you should make a tomato, celery and lentil sauce with courgette noodles to get the maximum flavour, fewest calories and virtually no cholesterol. If you do, let me know what it tastes like!
Health Bite on Xmas Drinks

Usually when trying to lose weight alcohol is the first thing to be cut down on, but how do you celebrate Xmas without the odd sherry or glass of wine? Well, if you are toasting the festive season you might like to remember that the moderate drinking actually can reduce your risk of heart disease. And, as heart disease will kill more women over the age of 65 than all cancers combined, this might seem like good news except that moderate drinking also increases the risk of breast cancer in some women. What to do? Well you could try adding in some vitamin B complex to your regime as that can lower the added risk of getting breast cancer if you drink and always try to have at least one glass of water for every glass of alcohol you have as that will lessen the hangover!

Alli – All it’s cracked up to be?

July 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Diets, Vitamins & Supplements


This is the time when the diet industry is maximising it’s advertising as we approach the season of maximum exposure. Great if you are body confident, but the statistics show that the vast majority of women are unhappy with their weight, so the advent of a new ‘miracle’ diet product is greeted with delight, but is it justified?

Alli is on sale at pharmacies like Boots and has been highly featured in magazines as a ‘miracle’ weight loss product, but it is a drug and ought to be treated with caution.

What and how

The pills contain Orlistat that has been used for years but only on prescription to treat obesity. It works by attaching itself to some of that fat in your food and blocking it from being broken down by your body’s natural enzymes. It then passes the fat through your digestive system, into your intestines and eventually out through your bowels. So most of the fat you eat isn’t being absorbed by the body, so those calories aren’t heading for your hips. So what’s the problem?

It won’t get rid of any fat you have already stored, just new intake, so you still have to go on a low calorie diet and these are linked to weight re-gain and unbalanced hormones. Also, these pills strongly suggest you seriously restrict the amount of fat intake you have, but when you block fat from being absorbed in the body, you are blocking the valuable nutrients that fat can provide. You will see those effects in the deteriorating condition of both your skin and hair.

If you go over the fat amount recommendations with Alli you get something called “Treatment Effects”. This has been reported by women as meaning that you will spend a lot of time in the loo as your body rushes to expel the fat straight out of your system, and it will be mostly liquid. Effects include leaking, wet gas, and diarrhoea, plus a sense of urgency you could probably live without.

Risk links you don’t need

The National Cancer Institute in the USA reports a study showing significant increase in the incidence of aberrant crypt foci that are widely believed to be a precursor of colon cancer. There also appears to be a link between Orlistat and breast cancer that the FDA reported as being a higher relative risk of between four and seven times than in women not taking Orlistat. There is also a risk of liver damage from the prescription strength version of Alli available in the USA called Xenical. This is currently under FDA investigation and lists hepatitis as one of the side effects.

There is no doubt that Alli is highly effective for some people, but like all supplements and drugs what suits one may not be ideal for someone else. Popping a pill to lose weight is not a healthy option, sadly the only effective way to diet is to eat less of healthy foods, reduce saturated fats, sugar and alcohol and exercise more. Now if I could get that into a pill I would probably make a fortune!

Dieting? Train your tongue for maximum success

January 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Diets, Food & Nutrition

Diets come and go, and are more or less successful, but according to neuroscientists we may be overlooking a vital factor. We tend to focus on calories and exercise and food generally – which are all good things – but a report in Science Daily has added another element. Research has shown that if you are overweight over a long period it gradually numbs the taste sensation to sweet foods. Now that may sound like a good thing, but it means in reality that you eat more sweeter foods to compensate. The scientists have shown that there is a critical link between taste and body weight so knowing that will help if you have a sweet tooth. There are two factors at work: obesity is often accompanied by a failure of the ‘satiety signal’, in other words knowing when you are full and also not recognising that your taste buds have been deadened so you don’t realise how much you are increasing your intake of sweet foods.

Solution? Start with portion control, and use a smaller plate, and monitor your sweet food intake so you can start reducing it.