Shed your pounds with liquid lunch

Eating food with high water content could be the key to losing weight. Nutritionists believe that dishes such as rice, pasta, soups &stews, appear to keep you feeling fuller for longer. If you eat foods that are just as bulky but contain fewer calories, you should feel just as full. Water-rich foods tend to be low in calories or have a low energy density.

Studies have shown that people tend to consume the same weight of food each day but not necessarily the same amount of energy or calories. So it is possible to trick yourself into consuming less energy, without feeling hungrier, by eating a lower energy density diet which still makes up the same weight of foods overall throughout the day.

To work out the energy density of a food, divide the number of calories by its weight. . So a 40g bag of crisps with 200 calories has an energy density of five – putting it towards the high end of the scale. At the other end of the scale are most fruits and vegetables, as well as vegetable soups, low-fat yoghurt, baked beans, baked potatoes and cornflakes. Many of these are high in water and all have an energy density of 1.5 or less, making them good to fill up on.

Nutrition scientist advised including 'more foods with a low energy density, moderate amounts of foods with a medium energy density & small amounts with a high density. For instance, if you make spaghetti Bolognese & make the sauce with mincemeat it might be a bit high in fat. 'If you put a lot of vegan in the sauce, you will probably eat the same amount of sauce but a lot fewer calories.

The idea that certain foods make you feel fuller than others is the basis of several popular diets. The Atkins Diet, for example, works on the principle that protein satisfies hunger quicker than carbohydrates. So dieters who fill up on steak & eggs lose more weight & keep it off for longer than those who tuck into similar quantities of pizza & potatoes. It is a good idea to eat lots of fruit & vegetables but that meat, fish a &starchy foods should also have a place on our dinner plates.


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