ALL ABOUT BALANCE

Including a balance of macronutrients in each meal and snack reduces the probabilty of disrupted neuropeptides that may stimulate unnatural hunger and obscure fullness or satiety signals. Conversely, avoid foods known to trigger appetite such as sugar and high glycaemic index carbs. Sugary carbs stimulate neuropeptide Y because they enable the most efficient delivery of usable energy, glucose. Even though corn flakes with skim milk have around 50 per cent fewer calories than Bircher

with yoghurt, the effect on both feelings of needing to eat (hunger) and wanting to eat (appetite) makes the upfront energy saving futile. Artificial sweeteners have also been shown to disturb hunger and satiety chemicals while fibre and protein act as blood sugar brakes.

Eating breakfast and evenly spacing meals and snacks rather than grabbing food on a ravenous whim can also favour suppression of pro-eating chemicals. Basically, after eating, blood sugar rises. When it returns to baseline or lower, you feel as though you need more food due in part to the knock-on effect of low blood sugar to stimulation of orexigenic hypothalamic neuropeptides (orexigenic means profeeding). Your body behaves as though it’s starving. The simplest way to regulate appetite is, according to accredited practicing dietitian and Dietitians Association of Australia spokesperson Kate Deppeler, to start the day with a substantial breakfast including ample fibre and protein.

To make it a complete breakfast, I recommend wholegrain cereal with low-fat milk or yoghurt and fruit says Deppeler. This contains fibre and protein to slow the delivery of glucose into the bloodstream and will stave off hunger for longer. Wholegrains themselves are complex carbohydrates, which have a lower GI than refined grains and guard against sudden hunger and carb cravings as they run out gradually.

In research presented to The Obesity Society, women aged 18 to 55 who ate a high-protein sausage and egg-based breakfast maintained satiety for longer than those who ate a low-protein breakfast or no brekkie at all.

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