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You on a diet: in an excerpt from his latest bestseller, Dr. Mehmet Oz offers an owner's manual for waist management.


Slow the Process, especially before your meal. If you have a little of the right kinds of fat just before you eat, you can trick your hormonal system by sending the signal to your brain that you're full. If you eat a little fat 20 minutes before your meal (70 calories or of fat in the form SO of 6 walnuts, 12 almonds, or 20 peanuts), you'll stimulate production of CCK, which will both communicate with your brain and slow your stomach from emptying to keep you feeling full. (CCK release and ghrelin reduction take about 20 minutes to kick in and take about 65 calories of fat to stimulate.) That way, you'll be able to sit down for a meal and eat for pleasure, not for hunger--which is one way to ensure you'll eat less. The average person is finished eating well before his satiety signals kick in, thus counteracting any possibility that his hormones can help him. For the same reason, you should eat slowly. If you down your food faster than a MiniVac, you won't allow your satiety hormones time to kick in.

Set the Early Fiber Alarm. Many of us may associate fiber with better health and increased toilet time, but fiber is the speed bump of your GI interstate. It slows everything way down. Technically, it works by slowing the transit of food across the ileocecal valve, keeping your stomach fuller for longer. The result: a greater feeling of satiety and an increase of appetite-suppressing CCK-like signals. While you should aim for around 30 grams of fiber a day, the key is bulking up in the morning. Studies show that consuming fiber in the morning (at breakfast) makes you less hungry in late afternoon--a notorious candy-sucking, diet-busting time of day. Great sources of breakfast fiber include oatmeal, cereal, whole grains, and fruit.

Besides controlling blood sugar levels and decreasing insulin levels, fiber also reduces calorie intake for up to 18 hours a day. Start with one to two grams of dietary fiber before meals and at bedtime and slowly increase to five grams. (If you add it all at once, you'll produce more gas than a Saudi oil field.) The supplement konjac root also seems to have a fiber-related effect. One study showed a nearly six-pound weight loss in eight weeks for those who ate one gram of it an hour before their meals.

Step Down to the Plate. Monstrous portion sizes are one of our stomach's biggest enemies: Studies show that when you're served bad foods in large containers, you'll eat up to one third more than if you were served in smaller containers. By getting served in larger popcorn boxes, bigger dishes, and taller cups, we've automatically been tricked into thinking that availability should dictate how much we eat, rather than physical hunger. You don't have to go through drastic changes to make small ones. For starters, change your serving plates to the nine-inch variety to give yourself the visual and psychological clue that you're full when your physical appetite has been sated. That's important because studies show visual clues help determine how full you are, in that you may not feel satisfied until your plate is clean, no matter how large the plate is. That's also reason never to eat directly out of a box or carton and always to remember that one serving size of a food is often about the size of a fist.

Slow Down, Stomach growling stimulates appetite, but growling doesn't really tell you how hungry you are. It tells you to eat, but not how much to eat. That's why meal size is so important. You're hardwired to eat, but you're not hardwired to eat a lot. Having a big meal quickly won't stop you from wanting to eat a few hours later. So slow down and let your CCK act; it takes about 20 minutes after the nuts to decrease your desire to eat.

Add Pepper. Red pepper, when eaten early in the day, decreases food intake later in the day. Some credit the ingredient capsaicin for being the catalyst for decreasing overall calorie intake and for increasing metabolism. It also appears to work by inhibiting sensory information from the intestines from reaching the brain, which is particularly effective in reducing appetite in low-fat diets. Capsaicin works by killing--or at least stunning--the messages that you're hungry. So add red peppers to your egg-white omelet.

Stop Sign Food entering the small bowel stimulates release of the substance CCK into the wall of the stomach. That's where the vagus nerve senses that we're full and informs the satiety center in our brains to tell our hand to put down the buttered popcorn.

by Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., Michael F. Roizen, M.D.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Oz, Mehmet C.; Roizen, Michael F.
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Article Type:Reprint
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2007
Previous Article:Exercise your brain.
Next Article:Go with the grains.

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