A Healthy Diet: The Calories You’ll Love to Meet
there is a new way to watch your figure! Introducing: the method that will give you a stronger sense of satiety with the same caloric value. How do we do it? Amali Messika, Chief Dietitian at Strauss Group, has the answers.
Start at breakfast
Today we realize that what we do early in the today has implications on our health- behavior patterns throughout the day. It seems that breakfast affects our biological clock, which, in turn, affects our hormonal balance and metabolism and, surprisingly, our ability to lose weight. Breakfast can help us in our weight-loss process as we eat it in sync with our biological clock, and it should be the highest calorie-content meal of the day!
In a study conducted by Hebrew University Prof. Oren Froy and his colleagues, a 1,400 calorie diet was given to two groups of overweight women. The group that ate 700 calories at breakfast, 500 calories at lunch and 200 calories at dinner lost more weight than the group that ate the same calorie-value meals in reverse order*.
Move your body at the right time
It turns out that even the timing of your physical activity has an effect on weight loss. Exercise performed in the morning and afternoon (synchronized with our biological clock ..) is preferable to that performed in the late evening. Why? Because strenuous activity causes increased secretion of the hormone Cortisol, which affects the balance of our internal biological clock, so exercise in the late hours may delay our bedtime.
Sleep makes you slimmer
And in case you were looking for another justification for sleeping more, you should know that people who sleep less are fatter(!) for the simple reason that we accumulate fat during the day and burn it at night … It is, therefore, recommended that we devote one-third of the day, about 7-8 hours, to sleep. But it’s not just about quantity…timing is also important. It is important to keep regular waking and sleeping hours so as not to disrupt our biological clock.
So what do we do? How can we plan a meal that won’t make us eat not-stop from that moment on, or alternatively, feel tired? How do we avoid the situation in which breakfast results in “I crave something sweet”? It’s hardly simple, but the good news – something can be done.
Get to know the new method
Many scientific studies provide us with a scientific foundation for forming a new health approach called Value for Calorie (VFC). The core idea here is that each calorie in every meal should contain three major principles: optimal nutritional values, high satiety index and suitable eating time.
Some foods, if included in breakfast, may diminish hunger between breakfast and lunch, and even help us get less hungry for lunch. How? The secret is simply to prepare them a bit differently, slowdown their absorption and achieve satiety for longer.
Whole grains eaten in their entirety – e.g., oatmeal porridge, contain about 100-120 calories per serving and has a wealth of fiber oats, complex carbohydrates, plant protein, iron and calcium, and when eaten as a porridge or with yogurt, their beta-glucan fiber creates a texture with a high satiety effect that lasts longer. If you want to extend the satiety effect, add 1-2 tablespoons of oatmeal to your yogurt and let stand overnight in the fridge. In the morning you will have a very satisfying food.
Fruits and vegetables eaten in their entirety - contain about -20-60 calories per serving of vegetable/fruit, are rich in nutrients such as antioxidants and various vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and minerals such as potassium and fiber. Eaten whole, their structure enables us to digest them slowly and extend the satiety effect
Proteins: Dairy products - Natural bio yogurt
contains between 80-100 calories and is rich in nutrients like quality protein, calcium, zinc, various B vitamins and friendly bacteria that change its texture and contribute to its thickness thereby raising its satiety index.
Soft white cheese, beyond its high contents of calcium, protein and vitamins, it has a thick texture and volume that help achieve a sense of satiety.
Meat, poultry and fish contain about 200-250 calories per serving, and they are rich in nutrients such as quality protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and more. Eating meet in the form of steak or chicken breast may be more satisfying than a dish in which the beef or chicken are ground (like Spaghetti Bolognese). Even a fish fillet or parts of fish eaten in their entirety in terms of volume and texture contribute to prolonged satiety.
Eggs – an egg contains about 60 calories and each calorie is rich in optimal nutrients such as high quality protein, B vitamins, vitamin A and available and essential cholesterol. When eaten as a hard-boiled egg, it has a very high satiety index compared to its other forms of eating. A hard-boiled egg or a large-volume omelet gained by adding onions, mushrooms, spinach, etc., will contribute to prolonged satiety due to the proteins, volume and texture.
Legumes - contain between 60-80 calories per serving, and each calorie is rich in optimal nutrients such as vegetable protein, complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, iron and calcium. A tablespoon of hummus that contains chickpeas soaked in water, combined with the fat of tahini, has volume and texture that contribute to prolonged satiety.
Timing the eating of each calorie
How do we apply this method throughout the day? First and foremost, we make sure that our plate includes one-third rich protein foods and two-thirds rich plant foods in every meal. At breakfast we should eat mostly carbohydrates and proteins, at lunch mostly carbohydrates proteins and fats, and at dinner mostly carbohydrates. So in order to manage a lifestyle of a benefitting diet that will keep us feeling nourished with an adequate weight, it is important to have a meal routine, sufficient sleep and exercise, all in keeping with our biological clock, including maintaining the Value for Calorie principles in every meal.
Next time you think about calories, think about the degree of satiety they can provide us with and the best way to eat them in order to gain a prolonged sense of satiety.