Excerpt: 'The Skinny: On Losing Weight Without Being Hungry'

When you have dessert, hold yourself to three or four bites, or about 100 calories. Most desserts served at restaurants contain 400 to 500 calories, or even more.This excess sugar and fat causes long- lasting rebound hunger.You'll find that you wake feeling hungrier the day after eating a huge dessert, and feel hungrier for a few days. Is that amount of hunger worth a huge piece of cake, pie, or cheesecake? It's not for me. Split desserts with two or three dining companions, and try to hold yourself to just a few bites. Pay careful attention to how the dessert tastes.You'll probably find that the first bite tastes the best, with each progressive bite tasting less intense than the first. By the fourth bite, the flavor has probably declined substantially. Once that happens, stop eating. If you keep on eating past that point, you may lose your sense of fullness and feel that you have to eat the whole piece, or another. Sound familiar?

Keep protein lean. This allows you to eat a greater volume of food, so you fill up on fewer calories. Research on successful maintainers shows that most consume about half as much fat as the general population. Hold red meat to two to three times a week, opting mostly for skinless poultry or fish on the other days of the week.

End the Yo-Yo Cycle Have you ever wondered what causes yo- yo dieting, the phenomenon in which people get to their lowest weight and then regain everything right back? I can explain it to you. It involves two parts, one physical and the other psychological. First, your body resists weight loss because of changes I described earlier.Then you regain a few pounds to get your leptin levels back in equilibrium and you're a little nervous.Then you eat a big dessert, step on the scale the next day, see that you've gained weight, and get demoralized. Now you're hungry every day because fullness resistance is back.You feel as if nothing you try works, and you've stopped finding the point of trying so hard. So you give up.

To stop the yo-yo cycle, you first must understand and expect it. No matter how dedicated you are when you start maintaining, you'll eventually eat more than just a few bites of dessert. Everyone does. Expect that you will do this, so you can prepare yourself for the aftermath.You'll most likely do it on a holiday or at a birthday party. I've heard this story probably a hundred times.You're going to a birthday party and you want to eat some cake. You hardly eat anything all day long, banking your calories for the cake.You eat the biggest slice of cake that you can find, and perhaps a second slice as well. The sugar and starch in the cake spikes your blood sugar and insulin. With insulin this high, the brain wants to store these cake calories quickly, so a lot of the sugar goes straight to your liver, where it gets stored along with a generous amount of water. The liver converts some of it into fat, which settles in your fat cells.

You wake the next morning with a food hangover. It's very real, just like a hangover from alcohol. You're thirsty, because your body needs water to store the excess sugar. You're tired, hungry, and fuzzy-headed because the excessive release of insulin and other hormones has driven you into a low-blood-sugar state.The fastest way to feel better? Some hair of the dog, which is why you're craving sugar in the form of a breakfast pastry, a soft drink, juice, or a doughnut. Have those choices, however, and things will only get worse.

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