Old habits are like an old pair of shoes – you keep wearing them because they are familiar. Maybe it is time to cast aside that old pair of shoes – worn down at the heels, scuffed and scraped beyond the magic of shoe polish. New shoes like new habits take some breaking in and part of that breaking in involves using information to help you to gain new understandings. So it makes real sense to put the effort into making helpful, healthier choices.
You probably grew up reaching for juice and possibly soda pop and as an adult added coffee, tea and other drinks – ice caps or alcohol of some kind. While the list may be familiar to you – the number of calories for each item might be a surprise!
- Orange juice with breakfast – 110 calories
- Morning cafe mocha – 400 calories
- Lunchtime fruit drink – 230 calories
- Afternoon pick-me-up soda after that endless meeting – 280 calories
- Iced tea with dinner – 200 calories
- A beer during the big game – 150 calories
Individually, these might sound reasonable. But over the course of a day, these drinks add up big time. 1400 calories big time!
Think what you could enjoy instead if you ate those calories rather than drank them away in a few gulps! An average potato is only 225 calories and has the highest satiety rate (satisfaction) of any food. Imagine how much you could have on your plate if you filled with other whole plant-based foods that offer you delicious taste and a satisfied tummy?
You can enjoy a fizzy beverage – try a sparkling water with lemon, lime or orange wedge.Or make it more exotic by adding a tsp of flavoured vinegar. For example, add a tsp of Cara Cara Orange Vanilla Vinegar to sparking water and get a “dreamsicle” flavoured drink! Let your imagine go wild!
Or still spring water that is thirst quenching. Or if you prefer a warm drink – what about a decaf coffee or herbal tea? These are all easy to get when out with friends and keep you connected without standing out. The added bonus is you are saving your calories for food that fully satisfies!
Chewing your calories sends signals to your brain. Harvard Health reports . . .
Scientists have known for some time that a full stomach is only part of what causes someone to feel satisfied after a meal; the brain must also receive a series of signals from digestive hormones secreted by the gastrointestinal tract.
Stretch receptors in the stomach are activated as it fills with food or water; these signal the brain directly through the vagus nerve that connects gut and brainstem. Hormonal signals are released as partially digested food enters the small intestine. One example is cholecystokinin (CCK), released by the intestines in response to food consumed during a meal. Another hormone, leptin, produced by fat cells, is an adiposity signal that communicates with the brain about long-range needs and satiety, based on the body’s energy stores. Research suggests that leptin amplifies the CCK signals, to enhance the feeling of fullness. Other research suggests that leptin also interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain to produce a feeling of pleasure after eating. The theory is that, by eating too quickly, people may not give this intricate hormonal cross-talk system enough time to work.
You can consume food much more slowly when it is at the end of your fork rather than at the end of a straw! So chewing your calories rather than sipping them will help you feel full and satisfied for longer! Happy Chewing!!!