Will Sensa Really Control Your Weight?

In Diet-Free Healthy Eating / Fat Loss/ Nutrition, DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Methods & Success Mindsetby Matt

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While fixing a treadmill at a local gym today, the TV screens all had an infomercial for this product called Sensa.I jotted the name down and did some quick scanning on the web for the scoop.
I didn’t need to dig too deep.

The main gist is that it’s another food additive that you sprinkle on anything you eat so that you reach a level of satiety faster.

Appetite suppressants are a classic weight loss product that’s been around for years in one form or another. It’s certainly not any sort of new breakthrough.

I have a mixed bag reaction to appetite suppressants.  On one hand their logic for weight loss is pretty sound. Anything that gets you putting less in your pie hole stands a good chance at helping you lose weight. After all, you can hack out 1,000 calories in 3 seconds by pushing the plate away sooner where as it could take nearly 2 hours to work that off in the gym.

So yes eating less is a fantastic weight loss strategy. However you sure as hell don’t need to buy anything to make that happen. Lots of people have been able to significantly cut back on their portion sizes and lose weight simply by paying attention to their natural hunger and satiety levels. After all, a lot of weight gain simply happens because we eat without regard to if we are hungry or full. Simply being mindful of trying to eat less can have just as great if not a greater effect on weight loss than any appetite suppressant.

I have a theory that each appetite suppressant ever marketed does nothing more than help you get in touch with your natural satiety level. The simple act of sprinkling something on food or popping a pill can make you pause for a few seconds and remember that you’re trying to lose weight. Doing this ritual is a great way to say to yourself “okay you’re going to eat, but pay attention to how you feel and stop eating as soon as you comfortably can.”
I wonder if any simple ritual before eating would do this including counting to 10, saying “I’m trying to lose weight” or drumming show tunes on the table.

That theory aside, I’m also surprised that appetite suppressants may work at all. When we take stock of why we may overeat, hunger is often not the primary reason. Social situations, emotions, stress, enjoyment, taste, and obligation are all reasons we may keep eating excess calories. True physiological hunger is but a single (and often fairly minor) factor in weight gain.

On top of all that, the physical processes that control hunger are very complex and not at all completely understood. We don’t get hungry purely because of a drop in blood sugar or a subtle hormone shift. The bottom line is that there are a million and one reasons why someone might overeat and no single product can even come close to covering all of those reasons.

Let me ask you, have you ever felt full and yet you still keep eating for one reason or another? I know I sure have and probably will continue to do so in the future to some extent. So if natural levels of satiety don’t stop us from eating how is an artificial level of satiety going to help?

Even so, if the level of satiety is so darn effective for weight loss, there are a loads of other ways we can improve our satiety level that don’t involve sprinkling funky stuff on our food.

Examples include:

–         Eating fruits or veggies at each meal.
–         Including hot and spicy garnish or condiments with a meal like peppers or hot sauce.
–         Making sure there is some sort of protein with each meal
–         Drinking calorie-free carbonated beverages (like club soda) during a meal and through the day.
–         Staying active throughout the day.
–         Keeping food stored away rather than constantly in view
–         Getting enough sleep to help regulate the hormones that control hunger and satiety
–         Smaller portion sizes on the plate
–         Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
–         Burning off some stress with some fun or leisurely activity after work.

Those are just off the top of my head, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that collectively they will have a bigger impact in helping you control your hunger than any appetite suppressant.  Plus they will also do far more for your health, physical well being and quality of life.

In the end, an appetite suppressant probably does stand the best chance to help you lose weight out of any weight loss supplement. However there are lots of far more effective, more beneficial, cheaper and more convenient methods to use. Plus always keep in mind that whatever you do to lose weight will have to be maintained in order for you to keep that weight off. So the real question is, are you willing to sprinkle that stuff on all of your food for the rest of your life?

No thanks. I’ll just pack an apple in my lunch and go for a brisk walk.