Sunday, August 14, 2011

Retrain Your Tastebuds to Lose Weight

The sensations of hunger and fullness seem simple and familiar enough for most people that they don't realize what actually goes on behind the scenes in their bodies to make these feelings come about. Hunger and fullness manifest themselves thanks to a complex coordinated dance sequence between our brains, stomachs, hormones and neurotransmitters among other players, not to mention our senses.

Seeing, smelling or tasting food -- even just thinking about it -- can get the ball rolling to make us want to eat or flat out stop eating. This is why researchers have now turned to the first stage of eating - when we actually have food in our mouths - as a potential solution to weight loss and ultimately obesity.

In an attempt to 're-wire' and strengthen our ability to discriminate when we are actually hungry or full, researchers believe that people need to start paying attention to tasting their food more. In so doing, the researchers believe that people might be able to avoid eating mindlessly and packing on the pounds.

In a recent study, researchers found that people who eat lots of fatty foods regularly are less able to taste fat which throws off their ability to tell when they're full. Being able to taste and sense fat in our food actually makes us feel fuller and send signals to the brain that we are full and should stop eating.

When the researchers put participants of normal weight and those who were overweight on a low-fat diet for a month, their ability to detect the levels of fat among several desserts was heightened; they were able to tell which ones had more or less fat. Interestingly, when they were placed on a higher-fat diet for the same amount of time afterwards, the people of normal weight weren't able to discriminate the fat levels as well. However, the people who were overweight were still able to distinguish between lower and higher fat desserts just the same as when they had followed the low fat diet.

According to the researchers, being on a low-fat diet helps people who are overweight or obese 'train' their tastebuds to be able to detect fat in their food once again. This is a good thing, because the researchers added that people who are less sensitive to fat in their food are also more likely to eat more meat and high-fat dairy products, which can lead to high intakes of artery-clogging saturated fats.

The researchers put it very nicely and simply, that when we're talking about the relationship between food weight, it quite simply boils down to the response we get when we are eating. If we can get the 'right' response to our brains and stomachs, telling us that we're full when we should feel that way, we will theoretically eat more appropriate amounts of food in general. As always with research, it sounds good in theory, but in reality, plenty of other factors in life make eating and weight management just a tad more complex than just 'tasting' our food. It's a good start though!


madhu said...

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