Overeating on high-calorie foods can lead to weight gain and other health complications. Instead, focus on nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods are lower in calories, but still contain essential vitamins and minerals that are important for a balanced diet. Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods will help you feel fuller for longer and reduce the temptation to overeat on high-calorie foods. Additionally, drinking plenty of water will help to reducecravings and keep you feeling full.
An important corollary to the principle of limiting high-calorie food is that the only way for a h u m a n being to safely achieve the benefits of caloric restriction while ensuring that the diet is nutritionally ade-quate is to avoid as much as possible those foods that are nutrient poor.
Indeed, this is the crucial consideration in deciding what to eat. We need to eat foods with adequate nutrients so we won’t need to consume excess “empty” calories to reach our nutritional require-ments. Eating foods that are rich in nutrients and fiber, and low in calories, “fills us up,” so to speak, thus preventing us from overeating.To grasp w h y this works, let us look at how the brain controls ourdietary drive. A complicated system of chemoreceptors in the nerves lining the digestive tract carefully monitor the calorie and nutrient density of every mouthful and send such information to the hypo-thalamus in the brain, which controls dietary drive.
There are also stretch receptors in the stomach to signal satiety by detecting the volume of food eaten, not the weight of the food. If you are not filled up with nutrients and fiber, the brain will send outsignals telling you to eat more food, or overeat.
In fact, if you consume sufficient nutrients and fiber, you will become biochemically filled (nutrients) and mechanically filled (fiber), and your desire to consume calories will be blunted or turned down. One key factor that determines w h e t h e r you will be overweight is your failure to consume sufficient fiber and nutrients. This has been illustrated in scientific studies.2 9.
How does this work in practice? Let’s say we conduct a scientific experiment and observe a group of people by measuring the averagen u m b e r of calories they consumed at each dinner. Next, we give them a whole orange and a whole apple prior to dinner. Eat to Live 27 ing to get nutrients be that the participants would reduce their caloric intake, on the average, by the amount of calories in the fruit. Now, instead of giving them two fruits, give t h e m the same amount of calories from fruit juice.
What will happen?
They will eat the same a m o u n t of food asthey did w h e n they had nothing at the beginning of their meal. In other words, the juice did not reduce the calories consumed in the meal — instead, the juice became additional calories. This has been shown to occur with beer, soft drinks, and other sources of liquid calories.3 0 Liquid calories, without the fiber present in the whole food, have little effect at blunting our caloric drive. Studies show that fruit juice and other sweet beverages lead to obesity in children as well.3 1 If you are serious about losing weight, don’t drink your fruit — eat it. Too much fiber and too many nutrients are removed during juicing, and many of the remaining nutrients are lost through pro-cissing, heat, and storage time. If you are not overweight, drinking fresh-prepared juice is acceptable as long as it does not serve as a sub- statute for eating those fresh fruits and vegetables. There is no substitute for natural whole foods. There is a tendency for many of us to want to believe in magic. People want to believe that in spite of our indiscretions and excesses.