Univision Noticias / Dr. Youdim

8 things that make us eat more (and we do not usually take into account)

February 1, 2018


The hours and the speed with which we eat, the size of the dishes or the lack of sleep are factors that affect our health and our figure and that are worth not neglecting.

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UNIVISION January 28, 2018


The hours and the speed with which we eat, the size of the dishes or lack of sleep are factors that affect our health and our figure and that it is worth not neglecting.

by Natalia Martín Cantero



If you have proposed to reduce the waist, you do well: the most recent research shows that a decrease of only 5% of the weight has a huge impact on health; among other things, the risk of suffering from diabetes or cardiovascular diseases is significantly reduced . Not only is it important to pay attention to what you eat, but also to how you do it. The distractions of daily life reinforce the feeding mechanically, and this is a factor of weight gain and obesity. Sleep, schedules or even smells are elements that also influence, as we see below.

1. What was missing: smelling the food makes you fat

That of ‘smell that feeds’, which until recently had a figurative sense, could be true. A study at the University of Berkeley showed that the aroma of food may make us gain weight. For what is this? One hypothesis is that the smell of food makes our metabolism believe that it is lunchtime, so the body prepares to store calories and nutrients ingested. On the contrary, by canceling the sense of smell, the metabolism continues to burn energy, so it more easily eliminates the calories consumed. The study points out that the smell of what we eat plays a fundamental role in how the body deals with calories . If you can not smell the food, you could burn it instead of storing it.

2. Eat with conscience

For pediatrician Jan Chocen Bays, author of several books on the subject, eating with conscience is a way to rediscover one of the most pleasurable things we do as human beings. ”If when we eat we connect with our own experience and with the people who grew, served and cooked the food, we will be more satisfied, even if the food is scarce. This is the gift of a food with conscience: it restores our feeling of satisfaction no matter what we are eating, ”he says.

Chocen Bays usually refers to seven types of ‘hungers’. The one in the eye (“mmm, what good does that cake look like”); the heart (“that cake reminds me that my grandmother cooked”), the mind (“I should not eat that cake, I have to lose three kilos …”) And so on, the questions posed by the expert the existence of these different types of hunger are simple, but the implementation is not so much: Why eat what you eat what way you do and how you feel after what is your attitude towards food??? ” All the distractions of daily life reinforce the ingestion of food mechanically, and this is an important factor of weight gain and obesity, “he says.

This is related to the functioning of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”, which secretes the stomach and that produces the sensation of appetite. Just before eating ghrelin levels are higher, and it takes between 30 minutes and an hour to return to normal levels. Therefore, if we eat too fast, we are not giving our brain the chance to realize that we are already full .

3. The time is also important

The time of day you eat may be more relevant to losing weight than the amount of calories you eat, according to a study done with mice. ”If we translate it into human behavior, this research suggests that dieting will only be effective if the calories are consumed during the day and when you are active .Eating at the wrong times, during the night, will not mean a loss of weight even if you are on a diet, “says neuroscientist Joseph S. Takahashi . His team seeks answers to the question of why diets that restrict calories extend longevity and discoveries. They give new clues about the relationship between diet, metabolism and behavior.

Scientists believe that the time when food is eaten affects the circadian rhythm and this may be the reason why dietary habits modify life expectancy. This is not the first study in this line. A research carried out by researchers from the universities of Murcia (Spain), Harvard and Tufts came to the conclusion that the most important thing to lose weight, more if that what we eat, is the time when the main meal of the day is made. According to these investigations, when is it good to eat? Soon. Advance the meals, both at noon and dinner, is healthy.

4. Sleeping badly gets fat

Yes, sleeping badly -among other problems- gets fatter. In addition to being in a dog’s mood, or precisely because of that, after the white night we gravitate towards pizzas, cakes or any other dish that does not suit us . ”Sleep studies prove that only two or three nights of bad sleep cause changes in the hormones that promote obesity, as well as changes in hormones that promote insulin resistance,” Univisión told Adrienne Youdim , a professor at medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles.

When we are sleepy, the so-called ‘reward centers’ of the brain seem to respond more intensely to the foods that get fat. On the other hand, we also make more impulsive and less rational decisions when we are sleepy. ”We know that people with limited sleep, such as night shift workers, are at higher risk of obesity. The objective is a minimum of seven hours of sleep, preferably eight, “says the teacher.

5. Eat for the eyes

The ‘eat by the eyes’ is not just a phrase: there is a direct link between the visual perception of food and the desire to eat.

It is, at least, the case in many animal species, in which it has been proven that visual information is transmitted to the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that, among other things, regulates the sensations of hunger and satiety. The appearance of the food can, in short,increase the blood concentration of the ‘hunger hormone’.

6 . In a straight glass drink less

The Alcohol fat, and much (beer has about 200 calories). That is why it is interesting to know that the type of glass in which we drink affects the amount and speed with which we drink, according to a study by the University of Bristol . This research indicates that in a straight glass it takes longer to drink. It seems that the rhythm we drink is linked to our perception of when we have the cup halfway. In the curved glass it is less clear, since it gives the sensation that it contains more drink than there is and this, speculate the researchers, encourages to continue drinking.

7 . The size of the dishes

The restaurants of the United States usually present the food in large plates and bowls, which usually translates into massive portions. ”People do not realize that the size of the portions served by restaurants are larger than most of us,” warns nutritionist Brooke Zigler . The expert encourages sharing an appetizer and a main dish when eating out and, at home, using salad plates instead of the larger ones. ”This makes you believe that the plate is full, but obviously you will take a smaller portion since there is less space.”

8. Silverware also influences

The food tastes different depending on the type of covered we use, according to a study from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, in Spain. This research highlighted that foods are best valued when using a metal covered, and possibly heavy, instead of a plastic one.