JONNY BOWDEN ASSEMBLED A SLIDE SHOW DEPICTING WHAT HE CONSIDERS TO BE ‘super foods’ to help with weight loss. The key to shedding pounds is something experts believe is different for each individual, but there is scientific evidence that at least one strategy can be universally helpful.
The SUPER NEWS: A recent critical review of the relevant medical science literature on food cravings research by Louisiana State University scientists addresses this issue, which Bowden talks about in this piece. It is believed, the review indicates, that “food cravings account for as much as 11 percent of eating behavior and weight gain, more than genetics currently explains.” In a sciencedaily.com article discussing the review, lead author Dr. Candice A. Myers points out that cravings can be controlled, not by eating smaller helpings of foods we crave but by removing them entirely or at least eating them less often!
A co-author of the study, “Food Cravings and Body Weight: A Conditioning Response”, John W. Apolzan PhD explains that the “upside of craving is that it is a conditioned response that you can unlearn.”
Another bit of SUPER NEWS the review shows, is that just by losing weight food cravings can be reduced. Amazing! Weight loss seems to trigger a beneficial rather than a vicious cycle; lowering weight can lower cravings.
A key point Dr. Myers says, is that “being mindful of these desires gives us more control of them.”
There is an apparent critical ERROR in the sciencedaily.com story however, which reports, “Beware exercise can increase cravings”. The research article (available only with a subscription) DOES NOT make this point, but rather reviews evidence from published studies and concludes “food cravings are not increased with exercise and most studies demonstrate a reduction”.
Bowden offers flip-side advice to dieters that he says will help them stay away from foods which generate “self-sustaining cravings” and make it difficult to stick with an eating plan. Instead of focusing on restriction alone, he says, make a point of adding SUPER FOOD items that “pack a ton of nutrition into a relatively small number of calories while filling you up at the same time.”
The nutritionist says there’s an additional benefit to be gained from swapping craved foods with the ‘super’ foods featured on his slideshow article. The super foods help to stabilize blood sugar levels, “making it far less likely that you’ll go on a waist-busting binge.”
The Bowden article, “14 Super Foods to Help Shed Pounds” on ACTIVE.com, also reminds us that not all healthy foods must be purchased fresh or raw; nutrient rich foods can be dried or canned (check out the full slideshow for the remaining 10 foods): beans, pumpkin, sardines, nuts. Other canned* foods that I use to provide convenient ‘super’ nutrition include: red Sock-eye salmon; tuna, solid white albacore; applesauce, unsweetened; vegetables and fruits.
the scientific review performed by the LSU team PLUS Bowden’s advice may help some who have not been successful in past dieting attempts, finally determine the magical formula of lifestyle and nutrition changes that result in lifelong weight control.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*Canned foods may be high in sodium and would not be recommended for those on restricted diets. Another issue involves packaging safety. Cans may be lined with materials containing BPA (BIS-PHENOL A) or other endocrine hormone disrupters.
The Environmental Working Group provides information on companies that do/do not manufacture foods in BPA-free cans. For example, Libby’s pumpkin, Bush’s and Van Camp’s beans, and Del Monte vegetables are identified on the EWG webpage as brands using BPA. Two sardine brands, on the other hand, use BPA-free cans (Beach Cliff and King Oscar).
As a frequent canned food consumer, the presence of BPA in lining materials has complicated my selection of brands. Hopefully public pressure will soon encourage more manufacturers to pay attention to this safety issue
As Super Bowl dishes and munchies are prepared on this weekend, it seems reasonable to do so without anxiety about foods with BPA linings on this once-a-year celebration.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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