Whether you're trying to either lose weight or just eat healthier, there's always a challenge when it comes to feeling full. However, choosing the right foods can help you conquer hunger pangs and feel fuller longer.
When determining what to eat, it is important to compare the calories in food versus the volume of food consumed. For example, foods such as desserts are small in portion size and high in calories while many fruits are low in calorie count and can provide a larger portion size, allowing you to eat more and feel fuller without adding to your waistline.
The absence of feeling full can be psychological. Ask yourself if you're physically feeling hungry or "if your mouth just wants more."
Foods should contain three important elements to help you feel full:
- Fiber-stays in your gastrointestinal tract longer and takes longer to digest
- Protein-helps to stabilize blood glucose levels, which in turn reduce hunger by lowering insulin levels
- Water-provides volume without calories
When you're forming a meal, be aware of how you're building your plate. Start with your protein, then incorporate your fiber and finish with fruits and vegetables.
Some foods proven to help you feel fuller longer include:
- Apples-a good source of fiber and high in water content (Foods high in water content, such as fruits and veggies, provide extra volume in your stomach and allow you to feel fuller faster.)
- Beans-a high-fiber food
- Fish-low in fat and high in protein
- Oatmeal-adds volume and is another great fiber source (Add extra volume by including berries, nuts, bananas or raisins in your oatmeal.)
- Popcorn-a low-calorie bulk food that fills your stomach and satisfies your taste buds (You can eat more of it instead of fatty potato chips, as long as it isn't laden with butter.) Consider this a snack.
Consuming a salad before you eat a meal is another easy way to fill up before you start your main course. Load it up with cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cheese and fiber-packed foods, such as garbanzo beans that are high in water content and rich in protein. Also, drink a glass of water before snacking when hunger strikes, to determine if it is thirst, physical hunger or the psychological drive to eat.
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Source: Adapted from MyHealthLibrary.com