5 Healthy, Effective Diets

The Instinct Diet

The Instinct Diet has a major thing going for it: its author, Susan B. Roberts. She's a nutrition and psychiatry professor at Tufts, she's been overweight herself (by 55 pounds) and she used to be a chef.

Roberts points out that there are three centers in the brain that tell you when you're hungry: satiety, reward and pleasure. As she told the Tufts Journal, "When people get hungry, they want to eat. If there's food there, you eat it. If it's got calories, you like it more. If there is more variety, you eat more" [source: Flaherty].

It all starts with a strategy for learning how to control your hunger. That doesn't mean desperately trying to convince your stomach that you've eaten by chewing ice cubes and visualizing fullness. You get training wheels.

Instead of getting to the point where you'd trade your first-born to Rumpelstiltskin for a Snickers ice cream bar, find new foods to love that will make you feel full. That means high-fiber foods, high-protein foods, high-volume foods and low glycemic index carbs.

We realize that none of that sounds even remotely appetizing. But when you rephrase it as "a snack of cereal with chocolate melted over it," maybe you can see why this is an easier diet than most to follow.

Also, according to her research, average weight loss for those on the Instinct diet is 30 pounds over five to six months -- and 90 percent of them maintained it.

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