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Everyone Who’s Fat Eats Too MuchSteven R. Kanner, MD, MSM Orchard Health Care Copyright © by Steven R. Kanner, MD
Some Background on Nutrition and WeightThis section reminds you of important information that you probably know but may have forgotten or never heard in an organized fashion. Knowledge is key to success.
Why Is Weight Medically Important?Overweight promotes the big three diseases of modern midlife —diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. These three conditions together produce early death from heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
How Does Weight Loss Help?Returning to a healthy weight (what I call “trim weight”) for many people can substantially correct the biological abnormalities from early diabetes, mild hypertension and high cholesterol. It may not be sufficient by itself, but weight control always helps to manage those 3 diseases. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
To Whom Am I Speaking? This dialogue is for all of you who have had great difficulty in maintaining or reattaining a healthy weight. I am convinced that reaching and maintaining proper weight is possible for almost everyone. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Who Are the Exceptions? If you always eat when sad or stressed, if food is the absolute center of your life, and especially if you eat when you aren’t even hungry, then you have a pathological relation to food and truly need behavioral management approaches to your issues. Education alone will fail. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“How Do I Know if I Am Overweight?”Look in the mirror when you are shaving or doing your hair. If you can’t see the hollows above and below your collarbones, you are at least pounds overweight. If you can’t even find your collarbones, you are even more overweight than that. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“Seeing My Collarbones? What About the BMI?”The BMI is a popular but flawed measure that nobody really remembers how to calculate. Arnold Schwarzenegger is obese according to the BMI, but you can see the hollow above his collarbones. He is muscular, not fat. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“So What Should My Weight Be?”You want to be “trim.” Trim people are not skinny nor boney, but they have minimal unnecessary fat padding. Trim weight is about 20-25% body fat for men (BMI 23), about 25-30% for women (BMI 21). We are talking about ordinary people in midlife, 30-70, not athletes. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“What Does That Mean for My Actual Weight?”Men are trim: 6’2” at 185# 6’ at 175# 5’10” at 165# 5’8” at 155# I.e., about 5#/inch above or below 6’ and 175# Women are trim 5’8” at # 5’6” at # 5’4” at # 5’2” at # I.e., about 5#/inch above or below 5’6” and # © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“I Haven’t Been That Thin Since I Got Married”So? Did you grow taller since then? Are you much more muscular? If not, and you got married in your 20’s or after, you should not biologically be more than your marriage weight. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“Weight Loss Is Tough; Can’t I Just Take Pills?”We have good pills for cholesterol (such as Lipitor) and hypertension (many) that reasonably control those conditions even if the patient doesn’t otherwise cooperate BUT… we don’t yet have really good pills for diabetes — even with insulin shots, overweight patients usually slowly lose the battle and develop serious complications in the kidneys, heart and eyes © Steven R. Kanner, MD
The Crux of the Issue Is Adult Onset DiabetesIf you are fat, your blood sugar is much more likely to rise steadily over the decades and hence you march towards Diabetesland and its physical debilities. Once diabetic, it is very difficult (though not impossible) to reverse. But it is dramatically easier to change course by losing weight, becoming trim, and never reaching Diabetesland in the first place. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“Okay, But I Fail Dieting”“I have tried Atkins, but got tired of sausage and cheese for breakfast, and really wanted some tomatoes and strawberries every now and then. “And I wondered why Atkins had died obese and with heart disease. That made me concerned.” © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“And I Hate Being Hungry”“Most diets I have tried leave me hungry at times and yearning to have one food or another.” “I can deprive myself for a few weeks in a good cause, but then I regain whatever weight I had lost.” “And most diets are just too complicated to remember. You need a college degree to eat supper.” © Steven R. Kanner, MD
You Aren’t Dieting ProperlyPart of the problem is the notion of a diet, often employed to mean some unusual food you eat for a few weeks or month or so to lose a little weight, at which point you go back to your normal eating pattern. That is a misunderstanding of “diet.” © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Diet Is Your Life; Diet Is Proper NutritionDiet really means, or should mean, the description of the normal pattern of your food intake for the indefinite future. A proper diet provides complete nutrition and the correct number of calories for your energy needs. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“How Many Daily Calories Do I Need?”The average woman requires calories per day. The average man requires calories. If you exercise 30 minutes a day, you may need (or burn) another 250 calories or so. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“Okay, Tell Me a Few More Easy Diet Numbers”There are about calories in one pound of fat. To lose one pound of fat per week, you need to lose 500 calories a day. Every extra 10 calories a day will add up to one pound of fat over a year. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“Can I Get Lose Weight and Still Get Proper Nutrition?”Absolutely. Weight loss or gain purely reflects the energy value of the food that you eat (measured in calories). Again, every 3500 calories up or down results in a pound gained or lost Exercise is helpful, but I estimate that exercise contributes at most 20% of loss. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“What About Long-Term Nutrition?”To be healthy, you require proper nutrition, which (based on extensive scientific evidence) means a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, together with moderate amounts of low-fat protein and complex carbohydrates, and some fats and dairy products. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Caloric Balance and Good NutritionThe key to the proper diet, and to attaining and maintaining proper weight, is to adjust your diet so your daily caloric intake is appropriate, and within that energy allowance to get a healthy distribution of foods that are tasty and satisfying. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
“How Fast Can I Lose?” Realistic successful weight loss for a man is 3# per month, for a woman 2.5# per month. Not 2.5-3# per week, but per month. These data are from my own patients who have successfully lost in excess of 15# and kept it off for the long term. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Successful Weight Loss in CaloriesCalories do count. They are to nutrition what dollars are to finance. Successful weight loss of 3# per month is closely equivalent to a 300-calorie daily energy deficit for a man. For a woman, 2.5# per month is 250 calories per day deficit. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Quick Study: Caloric Content of FoodsCheese: cal/oz Red meat: cal/oz Fish/poultry: cal/oz Starches: cal/oz Vegetables, soups, fruits & salads: cal/oz © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Quick Study: Saturated Fat Content of FoodsCheese: 4-5 gram/oz Red meat: 1.5 gram/oz Fish/poultry: 0.5 gram/oz Starches: gram/oz Vegetables, soups, fruits & salads: 0 gram/oz © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Why Can’t I Lose Weight More Quickly?Do the numbers: To lose 2#/week requires a loss of 1000 calories per day. For a woman who burns 1700 calories each day, she’d be left with only 700 and would feel hungry and deprived and would fail. For an average man, he’d be left with 1200 calories and would similarly fail. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Losing Is Much Harder Than Gaining WeightIt is dramatically easier to overeat than to undereat. Remember that. One big barbecue Sunday may easily represent 4000 calories, an excess of 1800 calories over the average man’s 2200 calorie requirement. At a successful 300 calories/day loss, it takes six days to recoup from one afternoon! Did you realize that? © Steven R. Kanner, MD
How to love and live with your satiety centerPhysiology of Hunger How to love and live with your satiety center
Physiology of Hunger If you are hungry, you will eat.There is a part of your brain, called the “satiety” center, that monitors the food that goes to your stomach and decides whether you have been adequately fed. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Satisfying Your HungerThe satiety center responds to food in the stomach and to the sense of distension in the stomach. There is a 15-minute or so delay from food entering the stomach till it registers in the satiety center. You only stop prowling for food when your satiety center powers down. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Deferring Hunger Is Poor StrategyYou can ignore your satiety center and suppress hunger all day to have your one meal in the evening, but when the satiety center then turns on, it is ravenous and difficult to turn off for hours. So you overeat. It is much more effective to eat regularly during the day. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Your Mother Was Right Having a breakfast, lunch, late afternoon snack, and dinner is the best approach to leveling out the food, keeping the satiety center content, and avoiding letting it rev you up to an eating frenzy in the evening. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Meal Sizes for Men Breakfast should be 350-450 cal Lunch 400-500 calAfternoon snack 100 cal Dinner cal TOTAL: cal © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Meal Sizes for Women Breakfast should be 300-350 cal Lunch 350-400 calAfternoon snack 100 cal Dinner cal TOTAL: cal © Steven R. Kanner, MD
High-Volume Low-Calorie Foods Produce SatietyMoreover, the most calorie-efficient approach to pleasing your satiety center is to emphasize the foods that are high in volume and low in calories. These are specifically vegetables, soups, salads and fruits, which typically range from just 5-15 cal/oz. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
How to correct bad eating, not to waste time changing healthy foodFinding the Errors How to correct bad eating, not to waste time changing healthy food
First, “Don’t Eat Crap” This wasn’t my line, but it is too on-target to omit. You can’t sit around and nibble Cheeze-Its and Pop Tarts and such and believe you actually care about yourself and your health. Eat food, real food. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Mental Outlook on Food At the end of every day you should be able to say to yourself, “It was a good day. I liked my food. It was tasty and interesting. I was never hungry. I am not deprived. I’d like to do more or less the same thing tomorrow, but vary the menu.” If you can’t say that, you are not eating properly. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Avoiding Error Is ParamountDon’t worry about being perfect. No one is. If your diet requires that degree of rigor, you’ll never stay with it. Concentrate on avoiding error. That outlook is less stressful and more effective than obsessing about every food item. Let’s think this through together — © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Errors Can Be Infrequent But Very ExpensivePeople eat about 25 times per week. For many people, 20 of those eating episodes are just fine. Some Cheerios, a small sandwich, and so forth. The problem really arises with poorly controlled eating the other 5 times. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Errors Are Usually Evening MealsThe most obvious error is overeating in the evening, typically at home, or when out to dinner. Not every night, perhaps. But just eating a full appetizer and entrée at most restaurants means a 2500 calorie dinner (sometimes more), or excess (which takes 4-5 days to recoup). © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Nothing Wrong With CheeriosThe flip side is to look at your breakfasts. If they are anything like Cheerios with blueberries and milk, you are talking about a healthy 300 calories. No problem there. Then don’t worry about your 7 breakfasts. Look elsewhere for the problem. But if you have a Finagle-a-Bagel each morning, that is 400 cal of plain bread. That is a problem and needs cleanup. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
What About a Sandwich for Lunch? Isn’t That Carbs?Check out your lunches. If they resemble a small turkey sandwich on thin bread (not a big sub roll), or cup of soup and half sandwich, or salad with chicken and some water, there is no problem. Look elsewhere. If lunch is a large Chinese special, part of the problem is there. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Portion Control for Evening Meals Is the KeyFor most people, overeating at night is the key. So achieving portion control at supper or when dining out is the heart of the problem. The next section details how exactly to control your evening meals and summarizes the other principles we have covered. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
How Exactly to Eat to Win at Weight LossRecap of the major errors and a specific approach to controlling the evening (major) meal
Recap: Satisfying Food and Weight LossIf your diet is well chosen, you should be able to enjoy your food, never be hungry and never feel deprived, and still lose weight at the 2.5-3# per month to eventually achieve trim weight. There is nothing incompatible between healthy food and modest, sustainable weight loss. In fact, they go together. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
3 Major Eating Errors Inadequate daytime food intake sets you up for severe hunger and uncontrolled evening eating. Inefficient food selection at dinner means failure to control portions of major meal. Episodic overeating (dining out, parties, etc.) undoes many days of sustained health eating and is highly destructive to any weight loss effort. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Solution #1: Level Your Food During the DayBe sure to eat breakfast ( cal for a man, a bit less for a woman), lunch ( cal not 800), and a small late afternoon snack ( cal, such as a piece of fruit). Daytime eating helps prevent uncontrollable evening hunger and eating. Dinner should be the completion of the day’s eating, not the beginning. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Solution #2: Achieving Evening Portion ControlAllow adequate time to eat slowly so the satiety center can catch up. Emphasize high-volume low-calorie density foods (vegetables, soups, salads, fruit). Think of dinner as a vegetarian plate with a side of protein. Weigh food on a kitchen scale till you really understand portion size accurately. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Calorie-Efficient Satisfying DinnerStart off with a soup Then have a green salad Typical light vegetable soup is 100 calories and is filling Salad with any kind of vinaigrette dressing is about 80 calories © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Dinner: Two VegetablesGreen vegetable 2nd vegetable Always have a good portion of green beans, broccoli, etc (40 cal) Have carrots, squash, beets, turnips or another green veggie (80 cal) © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Dinner: One Starch Starch (≤ 4 oz cooked) if you wantStarch can be a small potato, corn, half-cup cooked pasta, or two slices of bread. Atkins was wrong. He is also dead. About cal. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Dinner: Protein Protein ≤ 6 oz, whether fish, poultry, meat or soy. In this size, the type of protein doesn’t matter much. Poultry or fish are 360 cal, red meat about 600 cal. The body only needs about 4 oz. In Paris you get 6 oz, which is fine. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Summary of Example MealVegetable soup, green salad, green beans, beets, small potato, 6 oz steak This is enough food to make you waddle from the table. It’s about cal with steak, about with fish or poultry. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Solution to Error #3: Episodic OvereatingDining out needs to be approached carefully. Scrutinize the portion sizes. Split entrées. Consider just two appetizers and a salad. Assume the meal is twice too big. Try the soup first. Apply to same principles just reviewed for the normal evening meal. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Summary-1 Weight loss by human beings in midlife is a fascinating problem of human engineering. The problem is simple: we eat too much. But changing that pattern is complex and extraordinarily difficult. Most people fail. I want you to succeed. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Summary-2 This brief presentation has focused on reminding you compactly and clearly of the physiological facts that drive our energy needs and hunger, and of more effective ways for almost anyone to eat good food more effectively in the right quantity. © Steven R. Kanner, MD
Summary-3 I hope we will all be able to say, “It was a good day; I enjoyed my food; I was never hungry; I was not deprived; but I am at my proper weight and I am not diabetic. I have seen Diabetesland and I am not willingly going there. I am winning.” © Steven R. Kanner, MD
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