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Let's face it - diets are boring. They're boring to follow, boring to complete, and turn dieters into complete bores when they talk about their diet.
So what else can you do to try to lose weight via healthy living this spring? We've all heard about making long-term changes to our food intake, such as by switching from white bread and pasta to whole grain options, but how do you deal with the feeling of hunger when you're cutting calories?
According to new research from the Universities of Aberdeen and Liverpool, the answer may lie with convincing our body that it is full after eating.
As part of a five-year EU funded project, the universities will look into the appetite response of certain foods and how the gastrointestinal tract works to influence signals that control hunger, satiety and food intake.
The researchers explained that nutritional supplements and food products currently on the market are not effective enough because taste and the hedonistic experience of eating food is more important to most people than the health benefits.
This is why overweight individuals tend to reject the low-energy, high-fibre eating plans even though they promote weight loss.
Professor Jason Halford, director of the University of Liverpool's Human Ingestive Behaviour lab, commented: "Obese and overweight people are less likely to feel full after eating, partly because the energy-dense foods they prefer have a reduced impact on gastrointestinal hormone signals that help promote feelings of satisfaction and fullness.
"If we can produce foods that fill people up quicker and for longer and taste good then we can help moderate appetite whilst maintaining a healthy balanced diet," he added.
In the meantime, the trick to staying fuller for longer is to eat low-density foods that contain water, as these stay in the stomach for longer while they are being digested, helping you achieve that 'just full' feeling.
Load up on broth-based soups, leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach and mixed salads, fruits like strawberries, apples, blueberries, grapefruit and watermelon, and non-starchy veg, as these contain few calories but help promote satiety.
Posted by Matilda Jones