When the vocabulary of modern dieting is dominated by carb-cutting, cleanses and fasting, it’s hard to believe that a little bit of what you fancy could ever be a short cut to sustainable weightloss. No, we’re not talking about ‘cheat day’ pseudoscience. Research into our brain cells, conducted by the University of Warwick, has discovered an internal motherboard for controlling hunger and appetite. And it can be hacked.
The study revealed that certain moreish foods can trigger your tanycyte brain cells, stimulating the feeling of being full. It’s news that should prompt a rethink of popular theories promoting restrictive diets as the route to a leaner body. Kale’s days, it seems, are numbered.
Tanycytes are activated by the same receptors in your taste buds that sense savoury umami flavours, and are triggered when your tongue detects certain amino acids. The two amino acids that work best are arginine and lysine, which are prevalent in foods such as pork, apricot, chicken and sirloin steak.
So, far from being off the table, that gourmet pork pie you’ve been craving can rewire your internal appetite regulator. Not only is this tasty information, but the fact that you’ll speed up your weightloss as a result – without having to go hungry – is truly delicious. Forget tasteless starvation tactics and half-baked diets: it’s time you pigged out.
Tell Hunger Pangs Porkies
We asked pie maestro Calum Franklin for his pastry ‘cutting’ recipe
Ingredients (serves 8)
• Shortcrust pastry, 1kg
• Minced pork, 1kg
• Bacon, 450g, diced
• Dried apricots, 100g
• Sage, 2tbsp, chopped
• Salt, 5g
• An egg yolk, beaten
• Gelatine leaves, 6
• Chicken stock, 300ml
• Dry cider, 50ml
• Apricot juice, 50ml
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Set aside a quarter of the pastry for the lid and roll out the rest. Line a non-stick tin with the pastry, leaving an overlap on top to join the lid. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
2. Pack in the combined meat, chopped apricots, sage and salt. Seal with the rolled-out lid, making a hole in the top for steam to escape. Brush it with the yolk and cook it for an hour, then leave to cool.
3. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes and boil the cider and juice until they reduce by half. Add the gelatine and stock to the cider, sieve it and then pour it into the pie. Let it cool for an hour, then get stuffed.