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.

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.

Healthy Ways to Help Achieve New Year’s Goals in January and Throughout the Year

This time of year many people start to think of New Year’s Resolutions. We have the best intentions, but many of these resolutions are not kept for more than a few days or even a month. Why not think of this year as the year of health and instead of resolutions, consider making achievable goals. Encourage your clients/patients to do the same. Suggest and make goals that can be built upon throughout the year and are lifestyle changes, not “quick fixes”. Keep record of these goals and when choosing goals consider overall health-nutrition, well-being, physical activity and even goals such as financial ones. It is best to include the whole family and have family goals as well.

The best goal is a SMART Goal.

An example:
Resolution: I will start exercising.
SMART Goal: I will exercise on the treadmill for 30 minutes 5 days a week.

So while you or your clients are considering you SMART goals, think of making eggs a healthy part of your lifestyle. With all the benefits an egg has to offer, it is an easily achievable goal. Remember eggs are not just for breakfast! We recently released a press release that discussed some of the reasons eggs are a great choice in a healthy lifestyle. Registered Dietitian Mary Donkersloot also provided a few suggestions that can fit in any lifestyle. Take these and make them your own SMART Goals.

Lead yourself in to good health in 2012!

Holiday What? Gain

As we approach the holidays it does not mean you “have to gain weight”. It seems many people do not understand moderation, but I think they do realize when they’ve eaten too much!

Some things you can do to have a Healthy Holiday and not a Hefty Holiday!

Make sure to eat adequate protein at breakfast and (lunch) before the event-Try to distribute your protein throughout the day. Did you know many people do not eat very much protein at breakfast? Research is showing distributing protein to about 30 grams per meal is helpful for satiety and metabolism. Below is a chart showing common protein consumption vs balanced protein distribution.

Starting with a protein rich breakfast will keep you satisfied longer and you’ll feel better throughout the day. Here is an example of how popular breakfast items stack up as far as protein.

Another option to prevent overeating at a party is to have a healthy snack before the party. At ~70 calories a hardboiled egg is a great choice! Drink plenty of water before the party too.

Other tips:
Arrive to the party fashionably late and don’t stand near the “appetizer table”. You can always save your appetite (and calories) for the main entrees and even dessert (I am sure to save some of my calories for this because it is always so tempting). If your favorite appetizers are served have a few, but remember some appetizers can be several hundred calories in just a few bites!

It is ok to scope out the food before filling your plate. You can be picky!! Decide what you really want. If you want several higher calorie/fat items-take smaller amounts of each!

Get moving! Do not forget to exercise to offset those “indulgences”. Also, you’ll feel better and beat holiday stress. Be active with family members or friends to catch up during the season.

Even if you overindulge- get back on track for the next meal/next day. Do not throw your health and nutrition to the wind! Start your next meal with a great high quality protein and get moving!