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How can eating some fat before a meal help me lose weight?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The slower you digest food, the slower your stomach empties and the fuller you'll feel. Although eating fiber is one way to do that, eating a little fat before a meal can be even more effective in keeping you full.

Simply, if you have a little fat before your meal, you'll prevent your stomach from emptying quickly. Example: If you have tea and unbuttered toast in the morning, your stomach empties in about 20 to 30 minutes, leaving you craving a mid-morning Doritos binge. But if you add some peanut butter or apple butter with your toast, it takes about three and a half hours for the toast to leave your stomach.

Feeling full slows everything down. I recommend eating a little fat at each meal but especially before your most gorge-prone meal of the day-dinner. Eat about 70 calories in the form of healthy monounsaturated fats. That's about six walnuts, 12 cashews, or 20 peanuts. The extra fat also has another advantage: It helps absorb fat-soluble nutrients like lycopene in tomatoes.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.