The driving force behind permanent weight control is not eating less, it's eating more! No, not more chips, cookies, and cheeseburgers (staples of the standard American diet), but rather large quantities of nutrient-dense appetite-blunting foods like fruits and vegetables. Dr. Fuhrman elaborates in Eat to Live:
Eating large quantities of high-nutrient foods is the secret to optimal health and permanent weight control. In fact, eating much larger portions of food is one of the beauties of the Eat to Live diet. You eat more, which effectively blunts your appetite, and you lose weight—permanently.
Once you being to learn which foods make the grade—by having a high proportion of nutrients to calories—you are on your way to lifelong weight control and improved health.
A recent report on MSNBC.com discusses a new Penn State University study uncovering similar findings to Dr. Fuhrman's claim. Karen Collins, R.D. reports:
In the second half of the Penn State study, when portion sizes were kept the same and subtle changes were made to the foods so that they were 25 percent lower in calories, the women ate virtually the same portion as before. Since they did not eat more food to compensate for the lower calorie content, their calorie consumption dropped by 24 percent, or about 575 calories a day. The women's calorie intakes were slightly below what they needed to maintain their weight. If they continued eating this way for a longer period, they could expect to see weight loss of about one pound a week.
While the first round of research only decreased the amount of food eaten by participants (without focus on nutrient density), the next phase did the opposite; portion size remained the same, but the participants were supplied better nutrition. Collins' report closes with the following recommendations:
When you prepare your own meals and snacks, it's easy to make them less concentrated in calories by substituting ingredients with less fat or calories and increasing the proportion of vegetables and fruits. However, when you eat foods prepared by others, it's harder to judge the number of calories.
In these studies, despite dramatic differences in calorie content, the women thought the foods were equal in calories. Although they could usually tell when foods were lower in fat, lowfat foods are not always low-calorie. When you do eat foods prepared by others, watch your portions and choose plenty of vegetables and fruits.
Click here to read the skinny on nutrient density--and the thinking behind Dr. Fuhrman's approach. And a few parting words of inspiration from Dr. Fuhrman:
The Eat to Live diet does not require any deprivation. In fact, you do not have to give up any foods completely. However, as you consume larger and larger portions of health-supporting, high-nutrient foods, your appetite for low-nutrient foods decreases and you gradually lose your addiction to them. You will be able to make a complete commitment to this diet for the rest of your life.