Most diet programs tell you what you can't eat and include all the "don'ts" that you shouldn't do like ..."you must cut calories" and "don't eat carbs".
But the strategy that the Pritikin program encourages is to ...add nine or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This will help you to lose weight.
And believe me, it works!
Both Greg and I lost weight during our stay and continued to lose after we returned home. Of course, they had us exercising our buns off, which were getting smaller over time.
Low calorie density foods are filled with water and fiber, which makes them heavy and more filling. So there are less calories contained in them. One of the main problems with trying to lose weight is the hunger that often accompanies cutting back on calories. If you eat lots of low caloric density foods, you won't experience chronic hunger.
In contrast, high caloric density foods have lots of calories. Examples include things like brownies, breads, cookies, butter, tortilla chips and oils.
It's all about the volume of food you eat. If each bite you eat has an average of 5 calories (like an apple), it's much better than each bite being about 50 calories (like a double cheeseburger).
With each bite, high calorie density foods can be up to 10 times the number of calories of low calorie dense foods!
So, here's your choice.
An apple= 60-100 calories
A plain Dunkin Donuts cake donut= 300 calories
If you increase the amount of fruit and vegetables (which are basically low calorie density foods), it will help control your feelings of hunger. It will also promote a feeling of satiety and at the same time ...reduce your energy (calorie) intake.
There have been many research studies to back this up. Recent NIH funded research from Penn State University analyzed 658 overweight people who also had high blood pressure. They were attempting to lose weight over a six month period.
The people who made the greatest reduction in calorie density lost the most weight averaging 13 pounds. Those who made the smallest reduction in calorie density lost the least amount of weight, averaging 5 pounds.
So, what does this mean for you?
Increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet. Grab an apple instead of a donut when you need a snack. And don't forget to exercise!
Now how about you? What do you grab when those hunger pangs hit you? An apple or a donut? I really want to know!
And don't forget to visit Sandy for her Fitness Friday post.