Pioneering Obesity Expert and Author Says Key to Reaching and Maintaining a Healthful Weight is to Eat, Eat, Eat
MIAMI, May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — “Forget everything you think you know about losing weight,” says a prominent weight-loss doctor. “The conventional wisdom on weight loss has helped make the majority of Americans overweight or obese.”
According to Sanford Siegal, D.O., M.D., a leading obesity expert whose successes with celebrity entertainers and athletes have made international headlines in recent years, the key to losing weight is to eat more. More often, that is. How often? Every two hours between wake-up and bed time. On the Miami-based doctor’s new eating plan, dieters eat nine small snacks a day plus a generous 500 to 700 calorie dinner. Eating times are spaced two hours apart so that hunger never gets out of control. The total daily diet is 1,000 to 1,200 calories, on which Dr. Siegal says most adults will lose about ten to fifteen pounds per month.
Dr. Siegal says that the idea of eating frequent small meals has been touted for years as a way to keep up one’s metabolism. He categorically dismisses that justification, yet he supports frequent snacking for another reason.
“The idea that eating frequently increases your metabolism and promotes weight loss is utter nonsense, but eating often is a good idea because it controls hunger,” said Dr. Siegal. “Hunger is the chief culprit in diet failures.”
THREE MEALS A DAY: AN UNHEALTHFUL “SOCIAL PHENOMENON”
Dr. Siegal’s revised eating schedule is his most aggressive attack yet on the practice of eating three meals a day, a routine that he has battled for decades and that he argues is a fairly recent social phenomenon with no biological rationale to support it.
“In the span of human history, the practice of eating large meals at fixed times is new, and it’s unique to our species,” said Dr. Siegal. “Our ancestors, like all other creatures, ate when they were hungry, not when the buffet opened or the early bird special was available.”
Dr. Siegal calls his new dietary regimen Plan 10X because one eats ten times a day, nine small snacks plus dinner.
“The eating schedule I propose breaks the habit of devoting a total of perhaps two hours a day to eating three large meals, then trying to starve yourself for the other 14 or so waking hours,” said Dr. Siegal. “As I’ve said for 36 years, the key to losing weight and keeping it off is to avoid hunger. When you eat something every two hours, when is there time to get hungry?”
According to Dr. Siegal, it doesn’t take much to stave off cravings.
“When you were growing up, your mother cautioned, ‘Don’t eat that or you’ll ruin your appetite!’ and she was right,” said Dr. Siegal. “It takes a surprisingly small amount of certain foods to take the edge off your hunger.”
Dr. Siegal warns, however, that choosing the right foods to snack on is essential to achieving adequate hunger control.
“It’s unlikely that eating 50 or 60 calories of just anything would produce the necessary hunger control to enable you to stick to a diet of 1,200 calories or less,” said Dr. Siegal. “Some foods do a better job than others at satisfying hunger, and some foods can actually stimulate hunger.”
Since the early 1970′s, Dr. Siegal has focused on controlling hunger as the key to losing weight and keeping it off. In his 1985 book, Hunger Control Without Drugs (Macmillan, ISBN 0026106604), he examined how certain substances in food affect the hypothalamus, an area of the brain sometimes called the “appestat” because of its role in regulating the hunger sensation.
“The answer as to which foods are most effective at controlling hunger is a complicated one to which I devoted an entire book a few years ago,” said Dr. Siegal. “The simple answer, however, is that proteins do the job best.”
While writing his book about hunger control in the 1970′s, Dr. Siegal decided to apply his theoretical ideas to the practical task of engineering a snack food that was particularly effective at satisfying hunger. His goal was to help control his patients’ hunger so that they could adhere to the low-calorie diet that he uses in his practice.
“By the time I began researching my book, it was already well-established that proteins are most effective at controlling hunger,” said Dr. Siegal. “I was convinced, however, that certain amino acids from particular proteins offered greater satiety per calorie than others, and I set out to engineer a snack food containing a particular amino acid spectrum.”
The snack food that Dr. Siegal created was a cookie. It was used by doctors throughout North America for three decades before arriving at retail stores in 2007 under the Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet brand. Dr. Siegal’s approach has enjoyed great commercial success and has appeared in People magazine cover stories, full-page articles in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and numerous TV shows including Good Morning America, Today Show, The View, and Entertainment Tonight.
ABOUT SANFORD SIEGAL, D.O., M.D.
Sanford Siegal, D.O., M.D., is a practicing physician whose South Florida medical practice, Siegal Medical Group, has treated more than 500,000 overweight patients. He is the author of several books on subjects including the importance of fiber in the human diet, controlling hunger without drugs, and the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism in the overweight patient.
Dr. Siegal has been profiled by dozens of major media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Toronto Globe and Mail, Good Morning America, and Today Show.
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SOURCE Sanford Siegal, D.O., M.D.