The standard approach to weight loss has long been the simple approach of reducing the number of calories per day or burning off more calories per day then are consumed. A more advanced approach called satiety is now being employed that reduces calorie intake by managing hunger.
The Satiety Index
The satiety index, developed by Susanna Holt, PhD, compares popular foods that are portioned at 240 calories and then ranks them with how they compare to a slice of white bread which ranks at 100. Comparatively, oatmeal ranks at 209, a donut at 68, and French fries at 116.
The strategy then becomes to help people consume fewer calories and lose weight while eating appropriate meals and not going hungry.
The Flavor Point Diet
It is speculated that a number of different flavors in one meal over stimulates the appetite center of the brain and therefore people tend to overeat before feeling full. Sensory specific satiety promotes a feeling of fullness and halts eating when the flavors on our plates are limited.
Research has shown that different types of flavors stimulate separate appetite centers in the brain. When an appetite center becomes activated, a person has to continue eating until that center is satisfied. If a number of centers are activated simultaneously, a person must continue eating until each center is satisfied.
Phase one of the flavor point diet then has a flavor theme. Each day will focus on a specific food prepared in a variety of ways over the course of a week. The flavor theme continues through phase two and by phase three flavors can be restricted without a plan.
The Volumetrics Plan
The premise of the volumetric plan is to eat balanced meals where most of the calories come from high volume foods with low energy density. For example, ¼ cup of raisins and 1¾ cups of grapes both contain 110 calories, but a person is more likely to eat more than ¼ cup of raisins than 1¾ cups of grapes. This is because the grapes contain a good amount of the water that is important in the volumetric’s approach.
The water source will be fruits and vegetables as opposed to drinking water. It has been shown that drinking water does not influence satiety but that the water in fruits in vegetables that swell the volume fills a person more quickly. Foods should be proportioned according to the Food Guide Pyramid.
Findings From the Satiety Index
Food ranking on the index are determined in part by the chemical composition of any given food. Those foods that satisfy longest contain more protein, fiber, or water. Foods such as beans and lentils allow a person to feel full for longer periods because the anti-nutrients they contain delay absorption.
The bulk that is consumed also contributes to satisfaction. For instance, large amounts of popcorn can be eaten without taking in a large number of calories. Fruit ranks at the top spot on the satiety index, and carbohydrate and protein-rich foods also fare well.
Mendosa.com - http://www.mendosa.com/satiety.htm - accessed 8/6/12