Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Atkins Diet and Appetite Suppression

By Gail Jones

One of the most common, but nevertheless astonishing results of 'doing' the Atkins diet is appetite suppression. Many advocates of the plan report that the inter meal hunger pangs they used to get just vanish and very rapidly too. This fact makes it easier to stay on the diet and keep losing weight. While other diets have their followers starving between meals, the Atkins dieters receive relief from continuous hunger. The Atkins diet, with its specific recommendation of foods and ingredients, has powerful appetite suppressing effects.

The first key component is the amount of protein in the Atkins diet. Protein, more so than carbohydrates, has the power to assuage hunger. If you've ever eaten a carbohydrate heavy meal and then felt hungry afterwards, you know that carbohydrates don't have much staying power as a satisfier. Protein, on the other hand, when combined with a small amount of healthy fats, can keep you feeling full for much longer periods of time.

One of the most powerful appetite suppressant foods in the Atkins diet is the egg. Eggs are a marvellous form of quick and easy protein. A recent study revealed that eating eggs for breakfast would actually stave off hunger pangs throughout the remainder of the day. The study concerned two groups of women. One group ate eggs for breakfast and the other had a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese.

The calorie count for both breakfasts was precisely the same. The subjects noted down what they ate for the rest of the day and answered questions about their hunger levels and satisfaction levels throughout the day. The results of the study showed that the women who ate the eggs for breakfast felt more satisfied throughout the entire day and they ate less at each meal than those women who were in the bread group.

Eggs contain about 6 grammes of protein each, which helps to even out blood sugar and produces a feeling of satisfaction. Both of these factors help to curb cravings. Egg yolks also contain lutein and xenazanthin. These nutrients have been shown to have amazing effects on eye health. So it's important to eat the whole egg, and not just the white. Eggs contain choline which is important for maintaining brain function and memory. These nutrients are just an added benefit to the appetite suppressing qualities.

Broccoli and cauliflower, two of the most recommended vegetables on the Atkins programme, also have appetite-suppressing effects. These vegetables are very bulky and they help make your stomach feel full. When your stomach is full, it will actually create a chemical signal in your brain. Your body will reduce its call for food because it assumes that your stomach is full of high calorie foods. This will happen regardless of what is in your stomach. You can achieve the same results with water and psyllium husk fiber. Both broccoli and cauliflower provide bulk in your diet and are essential vegetables on the Atkins plan.

The Atkins plan recommends eating small, protein balanced meals a few times per day. This will help maintain your blood sugar level in a stabilized state and avoid carbohydrate-induced cravings. With high carbohydrate diets, you are riding a roller-coaster of carbohydrate highs. After you have eaten, you feel great and full. Then after a few hours, you come crashing down and are hungrier than you were before eating the carbohydrates. This cycle continues ad infinitum and, over time, you will eat more and more and eventually put on weight.

The protein, fat and vegetable meals provided by the Atkins diet put your blood sugar back in balance. They provide just enough of each type of food, with the correct amount of carbohydrates (from the vegetables). The vegetables provide quick carbohydrate energy, and the protein gives the meal its sustainability. This combination suppresses your appetite effectively throughout the day.

The Atkins diet is really a craving control plan that helps suppress your appetite - your desire for food or calories. If you've had a problem with carbohydrate cravings before, this new way of eating ie dieting will help control those cravings. The more you eat on the plan, the better your cravings will be controlled and the easier it will be to follow the diet - the more you practice the diet the easier it gets, because you won't want to eat carbohydrates all the time.

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