Have you ever had a day when your stomach felt like a bottomless pit and that no matter how much you ate, you just didn’t feel full or satisfied? What if there were ways to fill your stomach so that you would feel full faster, yet end up consuming fewer calories overall? Would you try them?
1. Eat More Fiber
Fiber is not only good for your health (it helps to lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and more) but eating more of it is a simple way to satisfy your hunger.
High-fiber foods give you volume (making you feel full), plus they take longer to digest, so you feel satisfied for a longer time period. Tasty high-fiber foods include vegetables, berries, pears, avocados, whole grains, seeds and nuts, brown rice, beans, apples, grapes and oranges.
2. Eat Foods That Contain Lots of Water
Certain foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, contain a lot of water. Similar to high-fiber foods, water-rich foods provide volume, making you feel full, but without a lot of calories. For instance, grapefruits are about 90 percent water, but contain only 39 calories per serving (half a grapefruit). This is why loading up on veggies and some fresh fruit (or eating a big veggie salad or bowl of broth-based veggie soup before dinner) is an excellent way to satisfy your stomach but not take in a lot of calories.
3. Take Your Time When You Eat
It’s a proven fact that if you wolf your food down your body won’t have a chance to feel that it’s full (and in the meantime you may have reached for an unnecessary second portion).
“We don’t have immediate feedback from our bodies telling us we’ve eaten enough,” says Janet Polivy, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, Canada. “It takes about 20 minutes for food to be digested enough that glucose gets into the bloodstream and the hormones start working.”
In other words, eat slowly (this includes taking the time to thoroughly chew each bite before swallowing it) and if you think you’re still hungry, wait about 20 minutes before deciding if you really want more.
4. Eat Protein with Every Meal
“Protein is the most satiating nutrient,” says former Harvard University researcher Thomas Halton, Ph.D. You should strive to eat some protein with every meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner and even with your snacks).
Remember that there are a wide variety of ways to get protein. Some excellent choices include a hard-boiled egg, nuts, a small piece of cheese, meats (preferably grass-fed and organic), beans, chickpeas, or a high quality protein whey shake.
5. Take Smaller Portions
Studies have found that the larger a portion a person is served, the more they will eat. However, their feelings of satiety are no higher than people who ate smaller portions.
So take a small portion and eat it slowly. Chances are high that you’ll feel just as full as you would have with a larger portion.
6. Limit Your Choices
People tend to eat more at buffets or in situations where there are a lot of different foods offered. You naturally feel compelled to try a little of everything, and end up eating significantly more overall (i.e. Thanksgiving dinner). When you make meals at home, limit the number of foods you’re serving and you’ll have an easier time feeling satisfied on less food.