Losing weight is hard – and not just in the technical sense. It’s an emotionally taxing process, often leaving people feeling stressed out, discouraged, and depressed.
These feelings have nothing to do with weakness. Denying the body of habitual calories provokes it to go into high alert. The stress hormone adrenaline increases in the same way as it does when we are frightened, making us feel on edge and nervous. The fat metabolism and hunger hormones (leptin, ghrelin and adiponectin) also kick in, telling the body to get food – fast. Even the stomach starts squeezing and rumbling to try and persuade you to eat.
To make matters worse, when we try to lose weight by eating less, we often get fewer nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, fibers and fatty acids, that are responsible for making us feeling well.
How can we overcome this misery?
Instead of looking to over-the-counter drugs or chemical-based low calorie meals for the answer, choose foods that are rich in nutrients. Foods dense in nutrients work with the body to relieve the stress involved in losing weight. We’ve tried to make that choice more practical by combining three powerful weight management ingredients – omega-3 fish oil, oat soluble fiber, and non-alkalized dark chocolate – into one Omega Passion truffle. The three ingredients work with a number of different body responses to reduce stress and improve feelings of satiety.
Powerful Taste and Smell
Smelling and tasting food sends signals to the brain, telling it that energy is on the way and that the hunger hormones can relax. Studies indicate that the heavy taste and smell of chocolate seem to be more powerful than most foods. The chocolate’s rich taste and smell help calm the hunger hormone efficiently. In fact, in one study, young women who smelled chocolate (but did not eat it) experienced a satiation response that correlated with lowered ghrelin hunger hormone levels.
Better Viscosity and Texture
In studies that compared yogurts and custards of varying textures, researchers found that consuming the thicker yogurts and custards created a stronger satiation than eating the more liquid-like version. It seems that the longer time the food stays in the mouth, the better. That makes sense, since the mouth is full of nerves that are connected to the brain, transmitting signals that food is on the way. With fiber-dense foods, you have to chew more, helping the food stay in your mouth longer and keeping you feeling fuller.
Keeps Food in the Stomach Longer
A number of studies suggest that the longer the food stays in the stomach before passing to the intestines, the less hungry we feel.
Oat fiber – the king of soluble fibers – stays in the stomach longer than any other substance. It slows down the stomach contractions, binds to liquids and fills up the stomach space, making it a perfect weight management ingredient. Dark chocolate also seems to improve satiety because it contains high levels of cacao butter, which also digests slowly in the stomach.
Changing Cellular Fat Metabolism
Wouldn’t it be marvelous if some nutrients could speed up the fat breakdown in the cells, especially around the belly? Although the research is still at an early stage, it looks like both oat fiber and fish oil may have this effect.
Influences the Hunger Hormone Response
Probably the most fascinating thing about satiation is the role of the hunger hormones. All foods we eat influence fat metabolism, and hunger hormones like ghrelin, leptin, adiponectin and insulin tell the brain to eat more or less. Again, research shows that oat fiber influences these hormones, as does omega-3 from fish and most likely anti-oxidants found in dark chocolate and green tea.
Reduces Stress Hormone Response
Hormones like adrenaline are stimulated when the body feels in danger. And what is scarier than not getting enough food? Putting yourself on an abrupt and strict calorie diet is doomed to provoke a strong message opposing your goal of losing weight.
Here, omega-3 comes to the rescue. Study after study shows how fish oil reduces stress hormones, makes us less nervous and improves focus. And if your body can relax more, your food cravings will also decrease.
Improves Overall Mood
While we are likely to feel despair when we discover that the pounds of fat are not so easy to get rid of and that weight loss takes time and sacrifice, omega-3 has a mood lifting effect. The emotional benefits of omega-3 have been clearly demonstrated in large clinical trials.
More ‘Bang for Your Buck’ Exercise
If you include exercise as part of your weight loss program, omega-3 gives your exercise efforts an additional boost. A full omega-3 dose will help you be less stiff afterwards. In addition, studies show that fish oil helps build up your muscles faster and adds calcium to your bones. That’s a pretty good deal!
These principles can be applied to any kind of weight management program. And the take-home message is the same whether you are choosing to eat a bowl of oatmeal and enjoy a salmon dinner or have an Omega Passion for lunch: choose nutritious foods that work with the body’s natural responses in order to lose weight. It’s the safest and most pleasant way to keep your mind – and stomach – working with you.