When you’re trying to diet and lose weight, your biggest enemy is often your appetite. In fact, most diets that leave you constantly hungry could be setting you up for failure.

But the key to never being hungry again is: You have to eat more and more protein and not cut your calories.

In my book, “The Appetite Solution,” I show you how you can lose weight effortlessly and never be hungry again. Not only can you eat healthy but you can eat plenty. No cutting calories! And what about exercise? Is it necessary and if so, how much and how often?  

Here are the essentials:

The very first step is to change the foods that you are eating. I call it “calorie manipulation” and its prize principle is the elimination of simple sugars, especially in liquid form, and increasing the amount of lean protein in your daily buffet. And don’t start exercising right away— that causes stress. You have to do it over time. You have to fix your mistakes in the kitchen before you attempt to start doing things in the gym.

The sugar rule
The mistakes in the kitchen must be addressed first. The quick rule is no more than 20 grams of simple sugar per day and no more than 5 grams of simple sugar per meal. It might take about two weeks to achieve this status, but if you don't reduce your calorie intake along the way, it is much easier to accomplish. This is described in detail in the book including how and where simple sugars sabotage even the most well-informed dieter.

Here’s what you need to know: Simple sugars are found in regular sodas, processed and refined foods like cake and ice cream and chips and cereal, juices, sauces, condiments, dairy products including most yogurts and even skim milk. Of course they’re also found in foods sweetened with sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup, all-natural fruit juices, and other similar sweeteners. These simple sugars are easy to digest and are quickly absorbed into your blood stream, launching you on a blood sugar roller coaster of spiking and plummeting sugar levels that can drive you insane with hunger. You might even feel like you are starving shortly after a large meal of simple sugars.

Don’t worry about the sugars in fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, and legumes because they are complex sugars, complex because they are packaged in fiber, are more slowly digested and therefore do not bounce your blood sugar around like a pingpong ball.  Only simple sugars count toward your total of 20 grams per day and 5 grams per meal.

The protein push
Try to consume as many grams of protein per day as the amount in pounds that you want to weigh. 150 pounds = 150 grams of protein per day. You can use high-protein, low-sugar shakes to help you get there.  I recommend those that contain 40 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of sugar. Your cravings will be banished forever.

Once again, cutting calories is a mistake. It induces stress and makes you insanely hungry. Protein is mother nature’s appetite suppressant. It works directly on your brain’s appetite center to make you feel full and comfortably well nourished. Lean protein provides the essential ingredients to fuel your metabolism and it never gets converted to fat! Beside all of that, your muscles need protein to both grow and to give you strength. Don’t be afraid to feed them well.

The appetite fitness plan

One of the most critical mistakes you can make when attempting to lose weight is to begin an exercise program at the same time that you start a reduced calorie diet. You will be both tired and hungry, and your weight loss will be temporary and scant.

Exercise should be introduced after you fix the calorie mix. Cut down the sugar and jack up the lean protein, and only then introduce exercise. “The Appetite Solution” features appropriate and detailed exercise regimens for both beginners and accomplished gym goers. The sneaky essential trick to getting the most from your exercise routine is to engage the large muscles of your body, those in the thighs, buttocks, chest and back. Using those muscles increases your own natural production of testosterone and growth hormone. This will fire up your metabolism and help you to build more lean muscle, creating a cycle of calorie burn and weight loss that actually works in your favor.

Once you get your daily calorie mix figured out, you should shoot for between 120 to 150 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise per week. Remember that resistance training should represent at least one half of your exercise routine, to achieve the most long-lasting boost to your metabolism.

The exciting thing about “The Appetite Solution” is that it works — regardless of your diet history, your childhood eating patterns, or your genes. In fact, eating this way actually transforms the way your genes express themselves, giving you the chance to influence your genetic destiny in a whole new way.

I’ll tell you exactly what I tell all of my patients: Your weight is not your fault, and neither is your appetite. If you follow the principles of “The Appetite Solution,” you will gain control of both your appetite and your weight and be able to live the life that you deserve.


Joseph J. Colella, M.D., F.A.C.S., is an internationally recognized weight loss expert, and robotic/ bariatric surgeon. He has served as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Hahnemann Medical School, The Medical College of Pennsylvania, and The Drexel University College of Medicine.   He is a founding member of and is currently on the executive Board of the Clinical Robotic Surgery Association, an international association of the world’s premier robotic surgeons. Dr.  Colella is one of the few weight loss experts in the world with his surgical training and experience. This training and experience allows for a singular perspective on human anatomy, physiology and disease processes.