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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Unwelcome Weight Gain
Posted by: Dave
Date: December 14, 1999 2:44 AM

I am a 54 year old muscular male. I exercise 5 times a week, consisting of 30 minutes of target zone cardiovascular and 30 minutes of moderately intense weight lifting. My appetite is uncontrollable and my weight is slowly creeping up. I snack on low fat stuff .... but lots of it. Aside of having my jaw wired, any suggestions to help this awful hunger?

Unwelcome Weight Gain
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: December 18, 1999 12:46 AM

Many people find that carbohydrates drive their appetites. This includes sweets, obviously, as well as fruits, and the four nemeses of overweight people: potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread. Elimination of these items often lowers appetite dramatically. Steamed colored veggies (complex carbs) and poultry can make a good substitute. Regular meals, at specific times also lowers appetite as grazing and snacking increase it. It helps to "practice" not eating. This is a skill like any other skill. One can "learn" to not eat and to delay eating until a later time and to simply experience the way the body feels in the interim. Particular methods of losing weight include a 100% raw food diet and juicing. Taking on these methods requires a certain amount of education and guidance; they are not practices to plunge into without preparation. However, unless you will make a lifestyle of these methods, you will still need to learn disciplined ways of eating and proper selection of food to avoid regaining the weight. While it is true that regular exercise burns off calories, it is also true that it increases appetite. The purpose of exercise is to remain healthy and it is much more effective for this purpose than it is for losing weight. I find it useful to delay eating until I am very hungry, then to exercise in place of eating. A good hard session of aerobic exercise decreases appetite as well as burns calories. After that, I wait until my hunger has fully returned and then I consume sensible amounts of complex carbs and a little protein and as much fat as I want. I am not worried about fat as long as it is from vegetable source and not heated (fried) or adulterated by "hydrogenation" or some such intervention. Fatty acids (e.g. olive oil, flax oil, canola oil) are not stored as fat but rather burned off preferentially for energy. Simple and refined carbs on the other hand are converted and stored as fat rather efficiently. Use of "protein" bars is a great way to put on weight. Ever wonder why those "protein" bars taste sweet? Weight loss should not be sudden or it will not last. One to two pounds per week is about right and the style of living must change concurrently or the weight will be back.



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