Does Eating Oats for Breakfast Really Help You Lose Weight?

Source: http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/does-eating-oats-for-breakfast-really-help-you-lose-weight-1681527

Scientifically known as “Avena Sativa”, oat is a cereal grain that has gained good reputation when it comes to healthy eating. Also known as ‘Jaie’ in Hindi, oats are widely grown and cultivated in the paddy fields of Punjab and Haryana. Rich in protein and fiber, oats are a favourite amongst fitness enthusiasts, not only because they are nutritious but also because you can cook up a variety of things with them. In the book ‘Healing foods’ by DK Publishing, the author credits oats with numerous health benefits. “Oats contain multiple nutrients and  a gummy, water-soluble fiber, beta-glucan, which helps reduce unhealthy(LDL) cholesterol. They are also known to be a natural sedative, and excellent for easing indigestion,” states the book.

Consumed widely for its good quality protein

, oats have been known to help in weight loss. But do they? Macrobiotic Nutritionist Shilpa Arora explains, “Oats are rich in fiber which helps you remain full and prevents binge-eating. Having oats for breakfast is one of the best ways to ensure you lose weight. Oats give you a fuller feeling  as the fiber takes time to digest, thus preventing you from binging on other calorie high food.”

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Oats are filled with dietary fiber which helps in weight loss

Let us help you understand how the fiber in oats can help in weight loss

. Oats contain soluble fiber which absorb the water in your stomach and becomes gel-like. It swells up and thus, takes longer to digest keeping you satisfied and reducing hunger until lunch time. Another reason why oats are great for breakfast is that they are full of protein.While proteins are essential for building your muscles, they also play a key role in keeping your blood sugar levels stable and preventing insulin spikes which may lead to fat storage.

Oats are also low on starchy carbs and are good diuretics which means they help regulate the excess water content in your body. They are packed with other nutrients like Manganese, Thiamin, Magnesium and Phosphorous and are also low in calories, thus aiding weight loss while ensuring good health.

(Also read: 9 Amazing Benefits of Eating Oats Everyday

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oats

Oats are low in calories and full of good quality protein

There are multiple variants of oats (which are just grains) and oatmeal (rolled or flaked version of oats) available in the markets, but be cautious while purchasing them. Flavoured oatmeal may contain added sugar and have more calories. In that case, it is better to pick a pack of plain oats and cook it the way you like. You can make a breakfast bowl for yourself with coconut milk and fresh fruits or you can choose to make oats idli or upma if you would like a bigger meal. According to the Book ‘Healing foods,’ the best way to have oats to reap maximum benefits is:

  • Raw and cooked? Oats are said to deliver the best results irrespective of whether consumed raw or cooked.
  • Oat milk: Oat milk naturally contains more calcium than dairy milk. It can be made easily by soaking oat groats in a glass of milk and can prove to be a healthier alternative to dairy milk.

Oats make for a balanced, low-fat and delicious breakfast. So, what are you waiting for? Dig into a bowlful of nutrition for breakfast every day.

Will a late-night snack sabotage your weight-loss regime?

The Question

I eat dinner at 7 p.m. and go to bed at 11 pm. How bad is it to snack at night if I am trying to lose weight? What’s the best food to snack on if I’m hungry after dinner?

The Answer

Eat dinner early. No snacking after dinner. If you’ve been on a weight-loss diet, this is advice you’ve probably heard.

It’s thought that eating late in the evening will slow down weight loss or, worse, pack on a few pounds. But will it?

Many experts say no. Conventional wisdom holds that calories are calories, regardless of when you eat them.

In other words, if your body needs, say, 1900 calories, eating 500 of them at 6 p.m. or 9 p.m. won’t make a difference to your weight. Weight gain is caused simply by eating more calories than your body uses.

Does the timing of calories matter?

Growing evidence, however, suggests that weight gain is not just about “calories in versus calories out.” Weight-loss studies have shown that the timing of meals does influence how much weight people lose.

One trial, published in 2016, found that among 80 overweight women, those who ate half of their daily calories at lunch lost 25-per-cent more weight than participants who consumed them at dinner.

Two other studies discovered that dieters who ate a big breakfast (700 calories) and a small dinner (200 calories) were more successful at losing weight than were those who did the opposite.

The theory that’s gaining ground is that weight control is linked to the body’s circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that regulates calorie burning, hunger hormones, digestion and metabolism of fat and glucose among many other bodily processes.

In other words, your body is programmed to burn fat at certain times of the day and store it at others.

Scientists believe that a regular eating schedule – and sleep schedule – is necessary to keep our internal clocks in sync. (We have different internal clocks in every organ in the body.)

Disturbing these clocks by eating late at night, for example, can mess up metabolic function and influence whether consumed calories are burned or tucked away as fat.

Eating more of your calories early in the day has also been tied to lower a level of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite and promotes fat storage.

To be fair, we’re not talking about eating an apple or a few nuts after a healthy dinner. There’s no research to suggest that eating a small, calorie-controlled snack at night will impede weight-loss efforts.

In fact, the right late-night snack may even benefit your metabolism.

According to a review published in the journal Nutrients in 2015, eating a protein-rich snack near bedtime can enhance muscle-protein synthesis while you sleep.

That’s a good thing since low-calorie dieting can cause you to lose some muscle along with body fat. Holding onto muscle helps maintain your resting metabolism, the rate at which your body burns calories to perform its basic functions.

Extra dietary protein also enhances the muscle-preserving effect of resistance exercise, which I recommend adding to your weight-loss program.

It’s possible, too, that knowing you have a structured after-dinner snack can prompt you to consume fewer calories at your evening meal.

The key, then, is to eat a small snack, not a meal’s worth of calories.

Depending on what time you ate your evening meal, though, you may not need an after-dinner snack.

Know your trigger: Hunger, habit, or something else?

Before you head to the fridge, ask yourself if you are really hungry. Has it been a few hours since you ate dinner? Is your stomach grumbling?

Or, do you want something to eat because you’re bored or anxious? Or are you stressed out and need to eat to unwind?

Are you simply craving ice cream because you know it’s in the freezer? The thought of hard-to-resist treats can bring on a snack craving.

Perhaps your desire to snack at night is driven by a well-ingrained habit of munching while watching television or surfing the Web.

Consider your sleep habits, too. Are you staying up too late and skimping on sleep? Not getting enough sleep (seven to nine hours a night) can drive hunger and cravings by raising ghrelin.

If you do feel hungry after dinner, consider what you ate at that meal, and earlier in the day, too.

Do your meals include protein (e.g., poultry, fish, lean meat, eggs, dairy, tofu, legumes) and fibre-rich foods (e.g., whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables), both which can help prevent hunger pangs before bed?

If your meals are satisfying, you may still get hungry later in the evening, especially if you eat dinner early. If so, plan for a snack. Doing so doesn’t need to derail your weight-loss efforts.

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What to snack on

Limit your nighttime snack to 100 to 150 calories, enough to take the edge off hunger. To stay within your daily calorie target, you may need to move some calories from earlier in the day.

Choose protein-rich snacks that help you feel satiated and supply your muscles with amino acids.

Smart choices include plain Greek yogurt with a handful of berries, an ounce of hard cheese and 15 grapes, a hard-boiled egg and raw vegetables, a half-cup of cottage cheese mixed with a quarter-cup of pineapple, or an 85-gram tin of flavoured tuna on two whole-grain crackers.

Or, try 100 calories worth of nuts: 20 almonds, 11 walnut halves, 10 pecan halves or 35 pistachios. (Pistachios in the shell take longer to eat, too.)

Avoid snacks made from refined starches and added sugars such as crackers, pretzels, cookies and cereal bars. These foods spike your blood sugar and insulin and, quite frankly, don’t fill you up.

Don’t snack out of the package. Measure your snack and put it on a plate or in a bowl. Doing so will prevent you from mindless eating and overeating.

To stay on track, don’t keep tempting treats in the house. Sooner or later, those bite-size brownies or salt-and-vinegar chips will call out your name, likely when you’re tired or stressed, and your defences are down.

Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian, is based at the Medisys clinic in Toronto.

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/will-a-late-night-snack-sabotage-a-weight-loss-regimen/article34629307/

Ditch these running excuses to jump-start your weight loss

By  Published March 24, 2017 FoxNews.com

Exercise is a key ingredient in weight loss and maintenance. Running especially comes with a host of health benefits: It can give you more energy, boost your metabolism, improve your mood, and help release stress, Erica Stepteau, a health coach at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, told Fox News.

 

But strenuous exercise like running can seem daunting, and we often like to tell ourselves certain very convincing reasons why we should skip the cardio for the day. Fox News asked Stepteau about some of these common excuses about running, and how to get over them:

1. Running is too hard.
Running can be difficult, given that it uses every muscle group in your body, Stepteau said. However, there are ways to start gradually: Try one of the online couch to 5k programs, she suggested.

2. Running is lonely.
Another common excuse Stepteau hears is running is too lonely or boring. But try to reconfigure your thinking around running: Look at it as your therapy and alone time, Stepteau said.

3. The weather is bad.
If it’s rainy or slushy, your desire to run may take a nosedive. But even if you aren’t usually a fan of treadmills, you can still use them to recreate an outdoor running experience, Stepteau said. Try changing the incline on the treadmill, and listening to noises — like chirping birds — to remind you of outside.

4. I don’t have a runner’s body.
Some people believe that if they don’t have the idealized athletic, slim, and fit runner’s body, they shouldn’t get started. But be gracious with yourself, said Stepteau, noting that “aesthetics come into play later on but shouldn’t stop you from getting started.”

5. My knees will start hurting.
Running is definitely high impact on the knees, but you can go to a running specialty store to get fitted for proper shoes, which should help minimize the impact, Stepteau said.

 

6. I should have started when I was younger.
While many people wish they had gotten started on their running goals earlier, there are still huge benefits of getting started mid-age, Stepteau said. She noted that you can still reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes just by moving an hour a day.

7. I’ve been inactive for too long.
Even if you feel like you’re out of practice, increase your activities gradually, Stepteau said. Soon, you’ll start building your endurance

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/2017/03/24/ditch-these-running-excuses-to-jump-start-your-weight-loss.html

Weight Loss Involves Overcoming Interpersonal Challenges

Source: https://psychcentral.com/news/2017/02/03/weight-loss-involves-overcoming-interpersonal-challenges/115969.html

New research discovers that weight loss efforts may be complicated by unexpected barriers erected by our friends and even family.

North Carolina State University investigators found that the people around you may consciously or subconsciously sabotage your efforts. The study also uncovered strategies that people use to navigate interpersonal challenges related to losing weight and keeping it off.

“Many times, when someone loses weight, that person’s efforts are undermined by friends, family, or coworkers,” says Lynsey Romo, an assistant professor of communication at North Carolina State and lead author of a paper describing the recent study.

The paper, “An Examination of How People Who Have Lost Weight Communicatively Negotiate Interpersonal Challenges to Weight Management,” is in press in the journal Health Communication.

“This study found that people experience a ‘lean stigma’ after losing weight, such as receiving snide remarks about healthy eating habits or having people tell them that they’re going to gain all of the weight back.”

For this study, Romo conducted 40 in-depth interviews with people who reported themselves as having been formerly overweight or obese, but considered themselves thin at the time of the interview.

Twenty-one of the study participants were women, 19 were men, and the participants reported an average weight loss of 76.9 pounds.

“All 40 of the study participants reported having people in their lives try to belittle or undermine their weight loss efforts,” Romo says.

“This negative behavior is caused by what I call lean stigma. However, the study found participants used specific communication strategies to cope with lean stigma and maintain both their weight loss and their personal relationships.”

Researchers discovered the communication strategies involved two different categories.

The first category focused on study participants helping other people “save face,” or not feel uncomfortable about the study participant’s weight loss and healthy eating habits. The second category focused on damage control: participants finding ways to mitigate discomfort people felt about an individual’s weight loss and related lifestyle changes.

Techniques used to avoid discomfort included telling other people about one’s intentions and rationale before losing weight.

Study participants also reported taking steps to conceal the scope of their lifestyle changes, such as eating smaller portions of unhealthy foods at family gatherings, accepting food from people but not eating it (e.g., taking a piece of cake at an office birthday party, but saying they’ll eat it later), or saving their “cheat day” for a night out with friends.

Meanwhile, techniques used to mitigate discomfort tended to focus on making excuses for changes in behavior.

“Study participants would go out of their way to make clear that they were not judging other people’s choices,” Romo says.

“For example, participants would stress that they had changed their eating habits for health reasons, or in order to have more energy.

“Overall, the study highlights how important relationships are to making sustainable lifestyle changes — and the importance of communication in how we navigate those relationships,” she adds.

Source: North Carolina State University

Can Intermittent Fasting Take Your Weight Loss To The Next Level?

Source: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/health-benefits-of-intermittent-fasting/

What is intermittent fasting?

We’ve all heard that skipping meals is the fastest way to slow your weight loss progress. But, what if I told you it could actually speed up your metabolism and burn stubborn body fat? Intermittent fasting (also referred to as “IF”) is the practice of only eating your caloric requirements during certain times of the day or week. The rest of the time, you fast.

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Intermittent fasting enthusiasts are reluctant to call it a diet — it’s more like a lifestyle. Here are a few examples of how people put it into practice:

    • Eat Stop Eat: Fast for 24-hours one day a week.
    • LeanGains: Eat all meals during a specific window of time, like noon to 8 p.m.
    • Warrior Diet: Eat just one meal a day, typically dinner, with total needed calories.
    • Alternate Day Fasting: Alternate between fasting every other day.
    • Limiting Calories: Limit calorie intake, like down to 500, for one or two days a week.

These are all variations on the same idea, and they are not to be used at the same time. Since some plans are more extreme than others, make sure to find one that works for you and your schedule. If you need some motivation to give intermittent fasting a try, here are some of the scientifically-backed benefits to know about:

1. Intermittent fasting can promote weight loss

Research has shown that intermittent fasting can promote weight loss.

In one study, researchers found that intermittent fasting was an effective tool for weight loss in obese individuals. They had participants alternate between eating normally for 24 hours and fasting (or partially fasting) for 24 hours. After three weeks, participants lost four to eight percent of their body fat. After 12 weeks, participants lost 11 to 16 percent body fat. Researchers also noted that intermittent fasting may be more effective at retaining lean mass during weight loss than traditional calorie restriction. Another study recorded similar findings for obese individuals.

There’s quite a bit of anecdotal evidence on intermittent fasting and weight loss as well. From fitness forums to YouTube videos, you’ll find plenty of success stories to inspire you.

2. It can reduce your risk of diabetes

One study found that alternate-day fasting in nonobese individuals led to lowered insulin production. In addition to burning fat, a lower level of insulin means that there is less risk for insulin resistance. And we all know what that means: less risk for diabetes! Interestingly, researchers noted that hunger levels on fasting days did not subside during the study, meaning that it may be difficult for some individuals to keep up the schedule up for the long haul.

3. It can reduce oxidative stress

Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals interact with our body’s all-important molecules, like protein or DNA. When free radicals damage them, it can pave the way for numerous dangerous diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The good news is, one study found that alternate day fasting increased markers of good health, lowered inflammation and reduced oxidative stress in a group of adults over the course of eight weeks. The practice of intermittent fasting also increased antioxidants in the body. Now there’s something we all need more of!

Other health benefits shown in rats

While the studies on humans are the most promising, researchers have also learned loads from studies on rats. Some of the most promising results of intermittent fasting include:

  • Increased lifespan
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Protection against diabetic kidney damage

What to eat in-between intermittent fasting

Eating whole foods can help you lose weight while practicing intermittent fasting.

Here’s an important point to drive home: Just because you’re fasting, it doesn’t mean you should indulge in junk food on your non-fasting days or hours. In fact, eating processed foods can hamper your weight loss! Fake sugars, preservatives and chemicals will interrupt your body’s natural digestion process, which is all the more reason to eat “clean.” For example, when you cut out processed sugar, your body will learn how to rely on another source of fuel — fat!

Whole, fresh foods with a variety of nutrients will set you up for success. In-between meals, make sure to drink plenty of lemon water, along with coffee or tea as needed. Try to eat as many of these foods as possible to get your body on the right track:

  • Nuts: cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios
  • Eggs: always source an organic, antibiotic-free varieties
  • Fruits: bananas, apples, oranges, pineapple, avocados, lemons, berries
  • Tubers: sweet potatoes, potatoes, beets, carrots
  • Seeds: chia, pumpkin, flax, hemp, sunflower, sesame
  • Spices: garlic, cayenne, turmeric, black pepper, pink Himalayan salt
  • Legumes: chickpeas, black beans, lentils, green beans, peas
  • Probiotics: sauerkraut, Greek yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, miso
  • Vegetables: broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflower, peppers
  • Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
  • Gluten-free grains: quinoa, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth
  • Organic, free range meats (in moderation): chicken, turkey, wild-caught salmon

Before you embark on any lifestyle change, it’s important to check in with your primary care physician. Fasting should be undertaken with supervision, especially if you are on medication for a chronic condition. If you have recently given birth or are breastfeeding, intermittent fasting is not a good idea.

How to safely try intermittent fasting

Make sure to stay hydrated while doing intermittent fasting.

If you’re working on the LeanGains method, for example, start with a broad window of time during the first week. The idea here is to start slow so that your body can make the adjustment. At first, make a commitment to only eat between a 10-hour window, say 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Then, the following week, try to move down to an 8-hour window, like 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This will quickly eliminate mindless grazing outside of a set time frame. Plus, you’ll be getting creative in the kitchen to squeeze in all of your nutrients.

While your body is getting used to the change, you may feel a bit more hungry or irritable than usual. Don’t worry, that’s normal — and it’s temporary! Here are a few ways to make the process easier so you can get the most out of intermittent fasting:

  • Determine your ideal caloric intake. Before you get started, crunch some numbers to find out how much you should be eating every day. Please don’t starve yourself! Instead, find a goal that’s reasonable for weight loss to prevent you from binging after a fast.
  • Break your fast with normal meals. Proponents say it’s better to eat multiple small meals than a huge meal all at once. Be careful not to overload your system.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water is a great way to help your body detox. It can also help get rid of some of those hunger pangs, especially at first.
  • Know your limits. It’s not recommended to undergo rigorous physical activity while fasting until your body is used to it. Pay attention to how you feel at all times.

And there you have it! Have you tried intermittent fasting? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments below.

— Hilary Lebow

Why yo-yo dieting is still better than doing nothing for weight loss

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/21/yo-yo-dieting-still-better-nothing-weight-loss/

Yo-yo dieting is still beneficial for health, new research suggest, after a study showed serial slimmers live longer than those who simply remain fat.

Experts found those who dropped large amounts of weight, only to regain it later had similar life expectancies to moderate dieters.

Around nine in 10 diets end in failure, but researchers said that people should not be disheartened because a cycle of weight loss and gain is still beneficial than not dieting at all.

So we think it’s probably not a bad idea to lose weight even if you are going to gain it back and redo it every few yearsDr David Allison

Dr David Allison, a biostatistician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said people should view dieting like a trip to the dentist.

“If you go the dentist for your six month evaluation, they find there’s some plaque around your teeth and scrape it off, and then they give you a toothbrush and piece of string and send you out and say keep up the good work,” he told the American Association Annual Conference in Boston.

“And six months later, guess what, the plaque is back on. Just like weight loss. Nobody says dentistry is a failure. They say that’s ok.

“A concern with obesity is that you lose the weight and you gain it back within two to five years. And if you do this repeatedly, perhaps you’re harming yourself.

Overweight man
Going on a diet is still a good idea, scientists say CREDIT: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA 

“We just finished a study in mice and what we found is that when mice who are obese keep on repeatedly losing and gaining that weight, they live longer than the mice that are allowed to stay obese.

“So we think it’s probably not a bad idea to lose weight even if you are going to gain it back and redo it every few years.”

Around two in three British adults are overweight or obese, which increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, liver disease and cancer.

Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health at Oxford University said: “I agree with the notion that losing weight is generally worthwhile, even if you put the weight back on again.

“We have good evidence from long term follow up studies after controlled intervention studies in humans that there is a benefit.”

However other experts cautioned against yo-yo dieting for health.

Professor Timothy Spector, of  King’s College, London, author of The Diet Myth:  “Data in humans shows that yo yo dieting makes you gain weight long term. In our twin study of 5000 twins the yo yo dieter was usually heavier long term than the identical twin who didn’t diet.

Although mice and men are different , a recent Israeli study in mice found that yo yo dieting causes a massive change in their gut  microbes that permanently alters energy regulation. These microbes cause obesity when transplanted into other mice.

“So the evidence for me shows crash calorie restriction dieting is to be avoided at all costs.”

 Experts also warned that obesity can be contagious, and said socializing with people who were gaining weight puts others at greater risk of becoming fat as well.

Conversely, if friends like spending time in the gym, it encourages more healthy behavior.

Dr Allison said: “One way people have thought about manipulating these social networks is through intervention programmes – maybe we should not treat people individually, but maybe we should have buddy programmes.

“So you and your buddy come in and get the treatment together.

Why willpower isn’t enough to keep the pounds off

Source: why-willpower-isn-t-enough-to-keep-the-pounds-off

Have you been dreaming about that second helping of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy? Are you planning to eat chocolate now and diet later? You might want to think about this first.

The overwhelming majority of dieters fail. Depending on which study you look at, between 80 and 95 percent of people who lose weight put it back on within two years.

The reason: most people’s bodies fight weight loss — fiercely. And if you manage to lose weight, it fights — fiercely — to get you to put those pounds back on. To boot, it does this in ways you have little or no control over.

One of the most powerful mechanisms your body uses is your resting metabolic rate.

That’s the number of calories you burn at rest — to keep your heart beating, lungs breathing and eyelids blinking, etc. And depending on how much exercise you do, it can be between half and three-quarters of the total number of calories you burn in a day.

Biggest Loser effect

But when you diet, your body becomes more fuel efficient, burning fewer calories to accomplish those same tasks. It goes from being a Hummer to being a Honda Civic, in terms of fuel consumption. And that fuel efficiency can be permanent. That’s what scientists found in the now well-known Biggest Loser study.

Six years after the show ended, the contestants in Season 8 found that their metabolism was still down an average of 499 calories a day. One man — Dan Cahill — saw his drop by 800 calories a day, even after he’d regained 100 pounds.

Everyone’s resting energy expenditure drops while they’re dieting, says York University’s Jennifer Kuk. But for about 50 per cent of people, that drop becomes permanent, making it harder to burn calories. (Laura Carlin/CBC)

Jennifer Kuk studies this phenomenon at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at Toronto’s York University. She says everyone’s resting energy expenditure drops while they’re dieting. But for about 50 per cent of people, the drop becomes permanent.

The average is about a 200-calorie-a day drop. In extreme cases, it can be four times that much. If you’re in the unlucky half of the population, keeping lost weight off is much harder.

“You have to make sure that you do that much more physical activity, that you have be that much more careful when you do consume your food because you have a smaller window in terms of how many calories you can eat before you potentially store.”

The science of hunger

And metabolism isn’t the only trick your body uses to prevent weight loss. There are dozens of hormones and peptides that affect what and how much you eat. Scientists are just beginning to unravel the complicated ways they interact.  But the effects of two are pretty well understood.

Dr. Arya Sharma is an obesity specialist, a researcher at the University of Alberta and the science director for the Canadian Obesity Network.

Sharma says one of the first things your body does when you go on a diet is raise the level of a hormone called ghrelin. Its job is to make you hungry.

There are dozens of hormones and peptides that affect what and how much you eat. Ghrelin, in particular, is known as the hunger hormone. (Canadian Obesity Network)

“Ghrelin always peaks just before a meal. It actually induces your eating behaviour. And there’s research showing that if you’re not eating [dieting], ghrelin levels go up.”

The other hormone — leptin — does the other job. It’s created by fat cells and tells your body to stop eating because you’ve had enough. If you go on a diet, you shrink some of those fat cells and produce less leptin. The “stop eating” message gets weaker.

And your brain joins in on the fight, too.

Test of willpower

Stephan Guyenet, a Seattle-based neuroscientist and author, says it is possible to white-knuckle your way past the pastry tray and not eat something — but the strategy doesn’t work in the long term.

“The problem with willpower is that it’s a limited resource. It’s effortful,” he says.

“If you have to do it on a constant daily basis, which is what you have to do if you’ve lost weight and your hunger circuits and your food-seeking circuits are activated, you’re going to have to exert that willpower on a continual basis to restrain yourself from eating food.”

That’s difficult for most people to do, Guyenet says, pointing out you’re often using your willpower for other things, like going to work, running errands and looking after your family.

“Those are things that deplete your willpower reserves, such that, at the end of the day, you might not have what it takes to fight those impulses.”

The consistently dismal outcomes from diets have a growing number of researchers, like Sharma, coming out strongly against fat-shaming.

They’re actively trying to debunk the commonly held idea that people with excess weight are undisciplined or lazy. In fact, science shows they’re trying to accomplish something their own bodies don’t want them to do.