Reducing Holiday Weight Gain


By William Misner, Ph.D.

William Misner, Ph.D.
William Misner, Ph.D.
From 1996 until his retirement in 2006, Dr. Bill worked full-time as Director of Research & Development at Hammer Nutrition. Among his many accomplishments, both academically and athletically, he is an AAMA Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner and the author of "What Should I Eat? A Food-Endowed Prescription For Well Being".
As many of us have experienced, the 6-week period prior to the New Year (and oftentimes for several weeks after the New Year) is a time when body mass index experiences a 1.5-7.5 lbs fat weight gain. This is an interesting antithesis opposing both efforts + expenditure $$$ to improve endurance performance. Runners often pay an extra $90.00-$120.00 for 5-10 ounces lighter weight racing flats or lightweight training shoes. Cyclists and triathletes do not hesitate to spend thousands of dollars to lighten a pound or two off their bicycle. Yet the holiday sirens are poorly resisted, resulting in a significant performance-inhibiting weight gain. The culprit is the appetite stimulated by the scent of home cooking, habit, and cuisine meant for royalty.

There is a method – besides using p.o. (orally dosed) appetite-suppressing Appestat – to harness our calorie-excessive drive. The appetite is driven by a number of mechanisms stimulated by the stomach, hypothalamus, pituitary, and kidneys. The appetite is strongly linked to the amount of the blood sugar and the accompanying hormone Ghrelin in the circulation. Ghrelin is a polypeptide containing 28 amino acids linked together manufactured primarily in the stomach, with lesser amounts produced in the kidneys, pituitary and the hypothalamus. Blood levels of Ghrelin are lowest shortly after the consumption of a meal, then rise during the fast just prior to the next meal. Excess production of Ghrelin is associated with binge eating. When the stomach is physically extended by volume of fluid or food, Ghrelin release is inhibited. Interestingly, dietary protein alone during amino acid digestion inhibits release of Ghrelin.

Here is an application suggestion to reduce calorie intake but produce the same satiety level as an excess-calorie meal.

  1. Drink 10-fluid ounces water 30 minutes prior to meal.
  2. Chew each individual mouthful of food until ready to swallow then chew it 10 more times.
  3. Eat protein first and separate from carbohydrates, fats.
  4. Swallow ONE mouthful of water between each mouthful.
  5. Repeat 1-2-3 until appetite is completely satisfied.
  6. The longer it takes to consume a meal the more effective will be this Ghrelin-inhibiting appetite suppressing application.
  7. Application of 1-5 results in 300-750 fewer calories consumed per meal with equicalorie satiation.

While this application appears simple, most of us find it difficult to practice, but of the few who do, the reward is being satiated not only after a meal but more-so after an endurance event on a climber's course.
Knowledge Search