Achieving a healthy weight can no doubt be a challenge, and maintaining a healthy weight can be even more of a challenge. The equation for weight control, “calories in vs. calories out” is so simple, yet there are multiple factors that play a role in controlling our intake which in turn helps control weight.
You probably already know the following nutrition strategies for controlling intake and our weight:
Space meals and snacks 2-4 hours apart
Balance your carbohydrates with lean protein
Choose whole, unprocessed foods
Avoid excessive amounts of fatty foods
Obesity is becoming increasingly prevalent and can be the result of the types of foods ingested, so it is crucial that we add one more nutrition strategy to our list above to assist in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight……Reconnect with your hunger and appetite by minimizing intake of fructose!
Fructose is a monosaccharide found fruit, sucrose (table sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is used by manufacturers because it is inexpensive, super sweet and extends the shelf life of products like sodas, energy drinks, fruit juice drinks, snacks, processed meats, sauces and many other foods. Diets high in fructose are thought to promote weight gain and insulin resistance, predisposing you to developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
A study published just this month in The Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that there was a difference in the activation of the regions of the brain that regulate appetite, motivation and reward processing after consumption of fructose compared to glucose. Basically, they found that after ingesting fructose, your brain doesn’t send out messages to your body alerting it that you’re full, which means you continue eating and intake more calories.
What does this mean to you? Do NOT avoid natural sources of fructose found in fruit!! It is the excess consumption of processed sugar you should be concerned with. With regards to weight control, fructose is not yet proven to be the cause of the obesity epidemic, but it is a possible contributor. Consuming fructose may increase your desire for sweets, leaving you feeling hungry soon after you have eaten a meal, resulting in increases in food-seeking behavior and, in turn, promoting extra food intake.
All of this may ultimately make weight loss and weight control a continuous challenge. So the concept of just “eating less” may not be the only factor in controlling weight. Ample attention must be given to our appetite and hunger which both attribute to our intake regulation and act as major determinants in controlling our weight. Don’t forget to read food labels….avoid any fructose or high fructose corn syrup in the ingredient list.