1. Choose solid protein sources over liquid sources
This cool little study compared appetite and hunger ratings after eating a chicken breast (solid protein meal) versus the same chicken breast blended with water (liquid protein meal). Scores for hunger and drive to eat were significantly lower after the solid meal versus the liquid one (despite exact same calorie and protein content).
So, solid protein meals look like they might be better for suppressing appetite compared to the same meal in shake/blended form….even with the extra volume of water!
If you have a ravenous appetite which is causing adherence issues with calorie targets, it’s probably better to stick to solid form protein feedings. Likewise, if you’re in the tail-end of a massing phase and consuming the required amount of food for weight gain has become taxing, then it could be a good idea to work in some shakes…or blend up some meals if you’re really hardcore. (1)
Show me the proof!
–> Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20966901
2. Limit consumption of commercially prepared foods or restaurant meals
In this second study the researchers compared the stated caloric contents of ready-to-eat frozen meals (supermarket bought) and restaurant meals, with actual measured caloric content. The frozen meals had on average 8% more calories than stated on the label. Restaurant meals were even worse, with on average ~20% more calories than stated on the menu or online. Some restaurant items went as high as 200% more calories than stated…
I think the occasional dine out is fine, but if you’re in a contest prep or nutritional phase that demands a high degree of accuracy, you’re probably better off buying individual ingredients and getting your Jamie Oliver on. A few meals out per week in the range of +20% calories unaccounted for could really step down on the fat loss brakes.
Show me the proof!
–> Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20102837
3. Grandma always said chew your food
Is there any truth to what grandma said or is she going senile? In the below study, participants attended the lab for a lunch feeding session on 3 occasions. The lunch meal was always pesto pasta. On each occasion the participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted but either (1) chewing each mouthful 10 times before swallowing (2) 35 times before swallowing or (3) chewing as desired.
During the 35 chews per mouthful condition, participants ate significantly less than the two other conditions, but felt just as satisfied once finished eating. So, if you’re trying to limit your calorie intake, listen to grandma and take more chews per mouthful to help you eat less.
Show me the proof!
–> Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21316411
4. Less variation in the diet might just be a good thing for weight loss
A common item of discussion among coaches and nutritionists Is how much variation an athlete should apply within their diet. On one hand, eating a variety of foods may reduce likelihood of nutritional deficiencies and improve gut bacterial diversity. On the other hand, having a more routine/less varied intake of foods can tend to make day-to-day weight movements more predictable, allowing for more accurate dietary adjustments when required.
In this study, the researchers examined the effects of habituation to a certain food (frequent exposure to the same meal). All participants attended the lab after a 3 hour fast and were allowed to eat as much macaroni and cheese during the session as desired. One group attended the “Mac N Cheese” session once per week for 5 weeks (weekly group) while the other group attended the session 5 times per week for 1 week (daily group).
In the daily group, participants ate the most during the first session and then intake progressively decreased each day after (ate less). In the weekly group, the amount they ate each session was mostly constant (there was actually even a slight increasing trend over the 5 weeks). This means people eat less of a certain food when they eat it often. This also means it could be wise to reduce variation in your diet (or even adopt a meal plan) during a contest prep or weight loss phase…as you will be less likely to overeat.
Obviously, there is a balancing point here, we don’t want the diet to be so monotonous and boring that you can’t adhere to it…and then end up falling off the wagon anyway.
Show me the proof…
–> Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21593492
5.Limit high palatability foods, less satiety compared to bland foods when calories are matched!
In the below study, participants were given their favourite food and told they could eat as much of it as they wanted in 5 minutes. Then, the researchers monitored changes in levels of appetite-regulating hormones for 2 hours after. In a second testing session, they fed the subjects the same number of macronutrients consumed during the “pleasurable” feeding session…but this time via a “non-pleasurable” mix of bread, milk and butter.
Even though the same number of calories were consumed in both feeding sessions, ghrelin (hunger hormone) was significantly higher and CKK (satiety hormone) was significantly lower during the “pleasurable” feeding session. So, hormones that impact our hunger change depending on how enjoyable or tasty a meal is (even when calories are matched), and highly palatable foods are less satisfying. It’s then pragmatic for those in a weight loss phase to reduce palatability of the diet…according to this data it’s less likely someone will binge and overeat on bland foods.
Show me the proof!
–> Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23312063