Blog - Satiety rules; Is tasty and unctuous the key to long term weight loss?

By Claire Arnott | 28th May 2018

I believe to lose weight you need to eat a lot of tasty foods and a broad spectrum of food tastes/textures – (if that sounds obvious hear me out) were biologically wired that way, our taste buds exist to allow us to determine nutrient rich foods from poisonous ones, our sense of taste has played a vital part to our survival. Evolution tells us if our nutritional needs aren’t met we’ll crave certain foods. We know in pregnancy cravings can be lead by babies nutritional needs – the relationship between our taste, cravings and the food we eat can be complex but it is not rocket science – it makes sense, it’s natural and evolutionary.

The desire to be slim in most of us is just not critical enough to over ride our primal instincts & patterns. Willpower is not key. Willpower would need to override instinct, DNA our unique biology. Even when our addiction to the wrong foods becomes life threatening we see individuals often unable to stick to a ‘diet’ or ‘regime’. We see that willpower is not enough. There are many valid theories around food addiction and addictive eating patterns. The one that I’m interested in and can relate to is that as long as my system is a) nutritionally deficient and b) ‘unctuous’ taste deprived, I continue to crave and consume foods that fill rather than fuel, hinder rather than help, poison rather than provide pleasure.

The companies that make food like crispy creme doughnuts know that there is a particular ratio of fat to sugar (with salt) that in trials proved *almost impossible to resist (human trials too not mice I recall). A fool proof combination for food manufacturers. A moment on the lips lifetime on the hips for us ; ) .
Coca Cola know that it’s the caffeine/sugar coke taste combination that got people hooked when the diet variations came later people were already sold to the flavour and brand, if the diet versions had come first sales would have been as flat as a cracked can.

So my question to you is, if your trying to stick to a diet, lose weight or change your eating habits long term, how ‘tasty’ is the food you eat??

How ‘unctuous’ is the low fat diet your trying to stick to?

How ‘satisfying’ is the artificial sweetener or diet foods your using to trick your sugar accustomed palette into eating sugar free?

How tasty is the food you eat really?

And I mean tasty…..pickled onion monster munch are not tasty (though my husband may beg to differ).

And I mean ‘unctuous’ – reduced fat cheese, plastic textured and pumped with flavours and stabilisers is not ‘unctuous’.

Neither food above are competition for the crunch of Brazil nuts or cubes of feta from local goats – were just primed to see the latter as high fat and off limits and the former as acceptable.

It’s common knowledge now that ‘fat does not make you fat’ but we’re stuck in years of conditioning AND we’ve trained our tastebuds to settle for less and it’s made us fatter, we slide between diet mode and normal mode and both of these are high sugar/carbs mode.

Therefore isn’t the key to weight loss not to ‘not eat’ or to ‘eat less’ but to eat lots and lots – lots of the tasty stuff, the unctuous stuff, the filling stuff (proteins&fats), the stuff with succulent texture and a silky feel & flavour in the mouth?

I have both experienced and observed that the key to weight loss is to ditch the diet foods and the refined carbs and the white sugars and the simulated sugars or fake sugars, to ditch the 99% fat free (and satisfaction free) muller yogurts and skimmed milks and lo cal chocolate bars.

Well “My diet is tasty though you think to yourself, I am not taste deprived” you’ve decided and so I ask you then

Do you eat 3 meals and two snacks a day that comprise of protein, fibre and healthy fats?

If your snack is a kit Kat does it taste as good as oatcakes with peanut butter and chopped banana or Brazil nuts & dark chocolate or Greek yogurt & honey & raspberries?

Does your meal plate comprise protein, healthy fats &complex carbs and is around 1/2 the plate made up of salad & veg?

If your lunch was baked potato and Tuna – did you have butter or did you deny yourself – did you order the side salad or did you not want to spend the 3quid so made do with the garnish, if you ordered the side salad did you hold the dressing because you can’t afford the (points/sins et al) after that kit Kat snack ; )

My lunch was a baked sweet potato with a can of pre made (John west) chipotle chilli tuna with avocado on top and on the side stir fried carrot, red cabbage, leeks and mushrooms (all the veg that needed eating in the fridge) tossed around in oil & organic stock powder, some extra olive oil on my JP. That was tasty. Washed down with some fizzy water and lemon ice cube.

Was your dinner healthy though? Fish? Light on dressing and low on veg – cause you had one cal spray wedges and potatoes a vegetable right!? Did you hit the hob nob tin at 9pm or worse the B&J (Saturday after all). Not that I’m ice cream police – ice cream is great- when it’s unprocessed and full fat or better vegan and made of bananas or coconut cream.

Anyway I digress – my dinner was leftover brown rice pasta with homemade pesto, a big spoon of beef chilli with chickpeas thrown in (made for the kids), 1/2 an avocado with Tabasco, 2 baby beatroots & a pinch of sea salt on everything, a portion of cold steamed broccoli drizzled with tahini.

This isn’t special show off food – this is bog standard what’s in my fridge today food

And my husband eats it….
And it’s always eclectic but sooooo tasty

Yep I eat a lot. Today I also ate macadamia’s, oatcakes, 1/2 a large bar of 85% cacao dark chocolate, red pepper hummus, a small Apple and flax oat porridge at breakfast.
Too much tea!

My tip – make vegetables the base for dishes and get into flavours way more – herbs, seasonings, butters, oils, condiments, stocks…..make natural foods sing and your health will too.
Starchy veg are carbs don’t forget…..

I have been underweight and overweight, I have yo yo dieted, I have binged, purged and at times I’ve been addicted to under eating and at times overeating. My mental health has suffered to the extent it became impossible to say what affected what first – the disordered eating or the ‘eating disorder’.

What I know is that 10 years of being gluten free and exploring new ways of eating/cooking eating a diet generous in fats has not made me fat – not skinny either but it has made me stronger, mentally and physically resilient, energised and Happy. There have been blips and decline and food has again been part of my medicine. There have been pregnancy’s and these have only helped me love tasty food and my miraculous body even more.

I don’t feel a need to control food or that food controls me. When I eat a lot I have a lot of energy, I am not fussed about being thin I’m fussed about feeling sluggish, foggy and knackered. If I wanted to lose more weight still I wouldn’t eat less, I’d cleanse, and I’d eat cleaner even (less meat/less caffeine/wine/less dates&bananas (fast sugars) & less chocolate/less dairy) I’d drink more green tea and water, I’d up my probiotics. Everything I do anyway just more of it. I’d watch my animal proteins……plant proteins rule!!

I enjoy cooking, I enjoy eating and I truly believe life is to short to eat shit food, cheap food, diet food, tasteless food or pickled onion monster munch.

I believe to lose weight you need to eat a lot of tasty food and a broad spectrum of food tastes, that are unctuous and pleasing.

Satiety rules, we’re not designed to be nutrient deprived, were designed to thrive, humans have been consuming fats since the beginning of time but refined sugars only 300ish years, highly refined of which has been the last 40years. Easy to see where the solution lies and I’m so grateful and privileged to know it!

An avocado a day……