I’m excited to start the new, Research Roundup series on the blog. For those that don’t know, I love learning and figuring out how research can be applied to everyday life. Every post will include links to a couple recent research articles and my thoughts on them. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts too – did I mention I love learning?
Study #1 (via AND Knowledge Center Daily News):
Your Smartphone Might Help You Lose Weight: “Personalized feedback and coaching along with education let patients shed pounds, study found.”
In my opinion, the two most insightful quotes of the article:
Bonnie Spring, study author: “This reminds us that few, if any, commercially available weight-loss apps have been tested in rigorous clinical trials, and that technology may work best when it’s integrated into a care system that also provides accountability and support.”
Dr. David Katz, director of Prevention Research Center at Yale: “Not much weight loss happens at a clinical visit, of course, weight loss happens in between visits … It makes sense to extend coaching and guidance between visits.”
Making healthy changes to your eating and physical activity habits can be hard; accountability and support are key, whether it comes from within yourself or from other, caring individuals. While it’s not the most time efficient for practitioners, small frequent “touches” such as check-ins, motivations, etc. is the best way to stay in touch with a client between sessions. It can also become its own unique service model – frequent, small touches for a monthly fee rather than one big follow up. Thoughts?
Study #2 (via AND Knowledge Center Daily News):
All in the mind? Meal memories may influence later feelings of satiety: “People who believe they have eaten a large meal feel less hungry for hours after the meal, irrespective of the actual amount they consume, say researchers.”
Interesting, though you’re probably not going to have someone pulling soup from your bowl or chicken from your plate as you eat it. You know how much you’re cooking for yourself and research shows the larger the portion we take, the more we eat of it. So how to implement this finding? Maybe stare at a big box of cookies and imagine eating all of them (and feeling full from it). Then only eat one or two slowly (take them out of the container and put the rest away before eating). Happy to hear other suggestions.
Regardless, this does give credence to a neural aspect of satiation, which would operate independently of the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin. Same idea applies to the research by Brian Wansink that shows eating meals on smaller plates makes you feel more satisfied form the same amount of food.
The last piece of the article regarding the use of artificial sweeteners and fat substitutes in foods and how they may impair our sense of satiety. Some research exists in this area, especially with sugar substitutes and links to overeating. In other words, highly processed foods aren’t so great for us…who knew? (note the sarcasm)