Weight Management & Satiety

Obesity is a multi-factorial and complex health issue. Current guidance for weight management encourages physical activity along with consuming an overall healthy eating pattern which includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat and fat-free dairy products. A growing body of research suggests that dietary protein, specifically, can help promote satiety, facilitating weight loss when consumed as part of reduced energy diets.

Several clinical trials have specifically assessed the effects of high-quality protein from eggs on satiety and weight loss. For example:

  • In a study in overweight adults, calorie-restricted diets that included either eggs or a bagel for breakfast were compared; the people who consumed eggs for breakfast lowered their body mass index by 61%, lost 65% more weight, and reported feeling more energetic than those who ate a bagel for breakfast.
  • Men who consumed an egg breakfast versus a bagel breakfast showed that appetite hormones were suppressed following eggs at breakfast, as was energy intake over the course of the day.
  • A study of overweight premenopausal women that evaluated satiety responses to eating a turkey sausage and egg breakfast sandwich versus a low-protein pancake breakfast showed better appetite control and few calories consumed at lunch following the egg-based breakfast.
  • In a 3-month trial among subjects with type 2 diabetes, those who consumed 2 eggs per day for 6 days a week reported less hunger and greater satiety than those who consumed less than 2 eggs per week.

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Portion Distortion and Portion Control

Today’s post comes from Araceli Vázquez, MS, RD, LD. Vázquez is one of the few bilingual/bicultural dietitians in North Texas. She began her career in nutrition in 1996 after a successful career as a microbiologist and now offers nutrition counseling as part of her private practice, DietGenics. Vázquez is also a member of ENC’s Health Professional Advisor panel.

In the last two decades the portion sizes of foods and beverages served at most restaurants or prepared at home have gotten larger. Some foods such as bagels, cheeseburgers, spaghetti with meatballs, sodas, and muffins have doubled or tripled in size and in calories. These super or jumbo sizes influence and promote a higher consumption of calories. Consequently kids, adults and even seniors perceive all these super or jumbo sizes as being normal. This “portion distortion” runs parallel to the increase in the number of obese and overweight people.

There is much confusion or misinterpretation about the proper portions and serving sizes. Serving sizes are recommendations to consume a measured amount of food in cups, ounces, grams, milliliters, teaspoon, or tablespoons. Serving sizes are the basis for the government recommendations of what consumers should eat, and are easily identified in the Nutrition Facts Label and indicate the number of servings in the container. Portion size is the actual amount of food being served. In this way, a person eating at a restaurant can consume one portion but several serving sizes enough for two, three or even more people. Therefore, consumption of calories is increased in a single portion of food.

Weight management requires physical activity, healthful foods and portion control.  This means avoiding supersizes and overeating. MyPlate offers an easy way to visualize a reasonable portion for every food group.  Half of the plate should be fruits and vegetables, and the other half divided between the protein and grain groups.  Protein intake is very important, especially during the weight loss phase of weight management.  Protein helps to control appetite by sustaining the feeling of fullness. The key is to choose the proper portions of good quality protein. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, at an affordable price, and an exceptional and easy way for portion and calorie control with only 70 Kcal/egg.

Other strategies for portion control include using smaller plates and bowls;  slowing the pace of eating by putting the fork down after each bite, and chewing foods completely before swallowing as well as leaving some food on the plate.  For successful outcomes it is also recommended  to have several opportunities to eat including three main meals and nutritious portion-controlled snacks such as a hard-boiled egg dipped in salsa; sliced bell peppers and carrots with hummus or a low-fat yogurt.  When eating out, ordering a child-size portion can be enough for an adult, or sharing a meal with a friend or family member also helps to control the portions.

When it comes to portion control, consider eggs as part of the strategies for weight management. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is associated with positive outcomes for diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and other health conditions.


What’s For Dinner Wednesdays: Get the “Full” Benefits of Protein

While protein receives much attention in traditional media for its role in muscle growth and repair, as health professionals, we know polypeptides are very versatile molecules with many benefits. In particular, protein has a profound effect on satiety, which can aid in weight management. Protein slows gastric emptying to the small intestine, allowing food to remain in the stomach for a longer period of time and sustain that feeling of fullness. Thus, you are not reaching for a snack an hour after your meal. The mechanism is pretty simple, but it is a great appetite-control strategy for those looking to cut their calories throughout the day.

Research shows eggs in particular are a great protein choice to promote satiety. For example, one study provided men with either an egg-based breakfast or carbohydrate-rich bagel of equal calories followed by an unlimited lunch buffet. The results, published in the February 2010 issue of Nutrition Research, showed egg-eaters consumed significantly fewer calories at lunch. A similar study found overweight dieters eating eggs for breakfast as part of a calorie restricted diet consumed 330 fewer calories, lost 65% more weight, had a 61% greater reduction in BMI and felt more energetic than their bagel-breakfast counterparts.

However, for some people, morning and mid-day snacking is not a problem- it’s late-night snacking.  Since late-night snacking often involves high-calorie foods consumed while watching TV or surfing the web, portions may not be controlled.  Eating just an extra 100 calories each night through mindless eating can lead to 10 pounds of weight gain over the course of a year! This week’s recipe contains 19 grams of protein and 240 calories per serving and is a protein-packed recipe to help keep you satisfied.









  • 12 slices (1/2″ thick, 4″ diameter) French OR Italian bread (4 oz.)
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (4 oz.)
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham (4 oz.)
  • 8 oz. fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 6 EGGS
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder


HEAT oven to 350°F. PLACE 1/2 of the bread in single layer in greased 8-inch square baking dish. TOP evenly with layers of 1/2 of the cheese, ham and asparagus. COVER with remaining bread, placing slices flat or in shingled pattern. REPEAT cheese, ham and asparagus layers. BEAT eggs, milk, lemon juice and garlic powder in medium bowl until blended. POUR over layers in baking dish. BAKE in 350°F oven until puffed, golden and knife inserted near center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 240, total fat: 11g, saturated fat: 5g, polyunsaturated fat: 1g, monounsaturated fat: 3g,
cholesterol: 213mg, sodium: 540mg, carbohydrates: 16g, dietary fiber: 1g, protein: 19g, vitamin A: 774.8IU, vitamin D: 66.0IU, folate: 74.1mcg, calcium: 228.7mg, iron: 2.5mg, choline: 155.7mg

Hope for Fixing the Obesity Crisis

If you’ve been watching the HBO series “Weight of the Nation” as I have, you too are probably wondering if the factors that got us into our current obesity crisis are too overwhelming to be fixed.

Well, I’m happy to say I do think there is hope, especially for the children. In fact, after attending the IFIC Scientific Communications Summit yesterday where obesity specialist Dr. William Dietz of the Centers for Disease Control spoke, I have new optimism. Dr. Dietz began his talk explaining the latest obesity tracking data published in JAMA shows the obesity epidemic appears to be leveling off, especially among Non-Hispanic White and Mexican American men and women. The stats aren’t as promising, however, for Non-Hispanic Black women. The better news is that among children age 2-19, obesity prevalence appears to be stable for both sexes. This gives us an opportunity to make progress in reversing these trends.

At yesterday’s summit, Dr. Dietz, who is often quoted in the HBO series, made several suggestions about ways communities can prevent and treat childhood obesity, including:

  • Promoting safe routes to schools where children can walk
  • Promoting active living where children have access to parks and playgrounds
  • Supporting policies and programs that increase physical activity and physical education
  • Including physical activity in all sectors of life, including where people work, during child care, in schools, throughout communities and throughout states

Successful community programs to address childhood obesity meet local needs by taking advantage of local opportunities. Examples include the Santa Ana California community that purchased a foreclosed property and turned it into a park, or the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program that introduced salad bars into 100 Texas schools for children to become familiar with local fresh fruits and vegetables and even hard boiled eggs, which they can prepare inexpensively at home as well.

Dr. Dietz went on to discuss the difference between a social movement and today’s obesity prevention movement, which he feels still lacks the community grassroots commitment to make it a full-blown social movement. Examples of successful social movements are Mother’s Against Drunk Driving or the fight against secondhand smoking that resulted in laws outlawing smoking in public places. Social movements share some common threads, including:

  • A shared personal perception of a threat
  • An emotional engagement usually based on a personal incident or story
  • A feeling of collective identity and solidarity with the cause
  • A collective action against a common target
  • Wide and rapidly responsive communication channels
  • Sustained action that shows that this issue is not going to go away and demands attention

If the HBO series “Weight of the Nation” can kick off this social movement, then there is hope our obesity problem can be fixed.

Balance Your Plate-Sleep

Sleep is an important part of balancing your life plate. However, as we get busy our sleep patterns tend to be affected. When these patterns are affected, we see that diet and many other parts of the plate are compromised as well.

I saw a great blog post by fellow RD, Joan Salge Blake, about new research regarding sleep and nutrition that I wanted to share with you all.

Don’t forget to get your zzz’s and when assessing your clients don’t forget to ask about sleep patterns. Check out the National Sleep Foundation for more information.

ENC’s Teacher Exchange Program Gaining Momentum

Mid-December marked the first release of the Teacher Exchange Program to the American Association and Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) teachers. So far more than 330 educators from 30 states have joined the group. Three videos have been released on the website. In the first video Executive Director, Mitch Kanter discussed the details of the program and the second video with Dr. Ron Kleinman discussed the obesity epidemic. The third video highlighted a school with a successful Fit-Nut program combining a nutrition and physical activity class to teach students more about nutrition. This video is a perfect example of some of the tools ENC would like teachers to create as well as other educational materials that can be shared with the group. An additional press release promoting the program was released earlier in February, so we will provide updates as the program continues to expand. View the videos and other information about the ENC Teacher Exchange Program at http://www.encteacher.org/ENC__Teacher_Exchange.html.