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Obesity and Weight Management

Huge Appetite

07/13/2005

Question:

I am a recent college graduate and an active ballroom dancer. I need to keep my weight down for competitions and exercise 4-5 times a week for 2 hours a day. I also try to eat more healthy foods, without resorting to junk food for a quick fix. The problem is that I have a huge appetite. Even though I eat mainly healthy foods, the sheer quantity of it is hindering me from reaching my weight loss goals. Do you have any suggestions as to help keep my food intake to a more reasonable quantity, so that I may lead a more balanced lifestyle? Thanks

Answer:

The first question I would ask is if you are eating enough throughout the day. Are you starting the day off with breakfast? Perhaps eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day would work better for you, so that you are not as hungry at traditional "meal" times.

I would recommend consuming foods that contain more protein (lean meat, fish poultry, and low-fat dairy), fat and fiber-rich (fruits, vegetables and whole grains) in order to promote satiety or fullness. Fiber-rich foods tend to be bulky, which helps promote satiety. Food such as fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and offer a number of nutrients for less calories, which helps to meet your needs without adding a lot of additional calories. So essentially, you are getting to eat more and are feeling fuller with fewer calories. Protein foods take longer to digest, which allow us to feel fuller longer. Fat also makes you feel fuller after eating, because it takes longer to leave your stomach.

Perhaps you should incorporate more "good" fats (the unsaturated fats-polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) into your diet, if you are currently consuming little to no fat in your diet. Unsaturated fats can be found in a number of vegetable oils (peanut, olive, corn, safflower, etc.) and in certain types of seafood (albacore tuna, salmon).

Concentrate on balancing the amount of fat, carbohydrates and protein you consume in a day to meet your needs, feel full, and not go overboard on the number of calories you take in.

Good Luck!

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Response by:

Jaime  Ackerman Foster, MPH, RD, LD Jaime Ackerman Foster, MPH, RD, LD
Formerly,
Extension Nutrition Associate
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University