Battling the bulge is the new reality of adult America. Processed food companies are taking full advantage of the situation by advertising "fat free" foods. I love the idea of less fat. But there's now evidence that these foods might actually increase your appetite and your waste line, not decrease them.

Here's why: Many of these foods are loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other high glycemic ingredients. The glycemic index is a relative scale of the impact of a "food" on your blood sugar. The higher the index, the more the "food' is like real ingested sugar.

In a recent study, researchers followed 14 overweight/obese women. They compared the participants' appetite sensations following high glycemic and low glycemic meals. The women eating the high glycemic foods became hungry much faster than those eating the low glycemic foods.

If you eat foods that spike your blood sugar, your body will naturally react with insulin to correct the higher sugar. That can cause your blood sugar to crash, which will, in turn, spike your appetite. This, of course, means you'll eat more. And if you eat more high-glycemic foods, you'll make the situation even worse.

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The first step in weight loss is to eliminate processed foods. The next step is to look at the glycemic index of even whole foods that you eat. For example, potatoes are a whole food. But they have a very high glycemic index, higher even than some fruits. You can easily check out the glycemic index of foods with an Internet search. Simply eating whole foods you like with the lowest glycemic index can significantly reduce your appetite - and help you lose weight!

Ref: "A high-glycemic meal pattern elicited increased subjective appetite sensations in overweight and obese women," Arumugam V, Lee JS, et al, Appetite, 2007.

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