It’s hard to stick to a low-calorie diet day after day to lose weight, but new research shows you don’t have to, says Dr. Susie Rockway, a veteran nutritional and biochemical expert in the U.S. health industry.
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“Recent studies show you can lose 10 to 30 pounds in eight weeks through alternate-day fasting,” she says. “Every other day, dieters in the study ate only lunch – no breakfast or dinner – between noon and 2 p.m. The following day, they could eat whatever they wanted. Not only did they not ‘gorge’ as expected on the feed days, most had an easier time sticking with it.”
Dieting is as much about the mind as it is about the body, and most people have a difficult time staying with any sort of very strict regimen, says Sebastien Hebbelinck, a 20-year-plus veteran of the nutraceutical industry.
In the alternate day fast studies conducted by Dr. Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago, participants on average consumed only 110 percent of their energy needs on feed days, Rockway says. Lunch on fast days was 400 to 500 calories for women and 500 to 600 calories for men.
Hebbelinck, the CEO of Apax Business Development, which produces the water-soluble fat-binding supplement Lineatabs, offers these other suggestions for indulging your taste buds while losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.
• Eat your bigger meals earlier in the day. Avoiding large meals at dinnertime is effective in helping to lose weight, particularly abdominal fat. In fact, another fasting study — presented at this year’s American Diabetes Association conference – showed that dieters who ate big meals at breakfast and lunch and skipped dinner lost more weight than participants who ate six small meals a day.
• Don’t belly up to the buffet bar. Whether it’s a cheat meal or a cheat day, throw all those studies out the window if you gorge on huge quantities of food. Eat controlled portions of healthy, nutritious foods. You can enjoy a nice lunch with a glass of wine and even a dessert, but don’t go back for seconds and don’t order the Decadent Chocolate-for-Four if you have no plans to share!
Rockway adds the following tips based on her nutritional and biochemical expertise.
• Include plenty of fiber and water (stay hydrated!). Unlike most nutrients in foods, we don’t absorb fiber. It passes through our digestive tract, and if it’s soluble fiber, it can help us feel full since it forms viscous gels. High-fiber foods include legumes, beans, avocados, nuts, whole fruits (versus juice), and whole-grain foods such as whole wheat spaghetti. On a cheat day, you may splurge on a higher fat hamburger or fries, which case this is the perfect time to take a fiber-rich fat-binding supplement such as Lineatabs before the meal to help prevent some of the excess fats from being absorbed. Rockway likes Lineatabs because, unlike other fat-binding supplements, it dissolves in water and is consumed as a beverage, making the fiber soluble in the stomach and immediately available to bind to fats. It then forms a viscous fiber in the small intestines to form a barrier to reduce absorption. AND you get the fluid your body needs!!
• Healthy eating: Plan meals that are higher in lean protein and lower in simple carbohydrates. This will help you avoid a sugar spike that will leave you feeling hungry soon afterward. It also stabilizes your insulin levels, and protein foods are the most satiating. If you are satisfied after you eat, you will be less likely to snack later. Some great high-protein choices include turkey or chicken breast, pork loin chop, tuna and salmon and whey protein shakes. Avoid foods high in simple carbs, such as syrups, soft drinks and jams.