No one likes to be hungry. When you are watching your weight and counting calories managing hunger pangs is important. There will be days where you eat the maximum calories allowed and yet are still feel hungry. Don’t give up on your new way of eating yet. You need to add and a vital ingredient to your diet plan — satiety. This is the secret to feeling fuller and fuller for a longer time.
Satiety is that great pleasant feeling of fullness you get as you eat and no longer hungry but are no overstuffed either. The more satisfied you feel after a meal, the less you’ll eat later. So how do you increase satiety without eating more?
1. Eat more Low Density Foods. Calorie density refers to the number of calories per gram of food. Foods that are high in calorie density contain a high number of calories per gram; foods that are low in calorie density contain a low number of calories per gram.
If you focus on low calorie density foods, you can fill up on fewer calories because low density foods contain a lot more water, which adds weight and volume to the food, but no calories. Just drinking water will not do the trick. The food must contain the water, it will stay in the stomach longer while the food is being digested.
There is also the psychological component of eating food versus drinking water. Eating, rather than drinking feels better and you feel satisfied with your meal.
The following are all water-rich food choices to eat with about 90% bound water.
- Eat more clear soups.
- Eat more leafy greens like lettuce with fat-free dressing.
- Eat more fruits like apples, papaya, guavas, oranges, pears, strawberries and watermelon.
- Eat more non-starchy vegetables like bindi, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes and gourds.
2. Fill Up on Fiber-rich carbs Fiber contains only 1.5 to 2.5 calories per gram, while other carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram. Fiber-rich foods also necessitate more chewing and slow the passage of food through the digestive tract. The fiber in carbohydrates helps prevent those peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels that can cause cravings and poor food choices.
- Eat more fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables with skins, beans and pulses. Aim for 25-35 grams each day to help reduce your calorie intake and increase your satiety level.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates (like white bread, white rice, white pasta and sugar). When eaten alone, refined and simple carbohydrates can cause rises and falls in blood sugar which trigger hunger every few hours.
3. Eat more Protein
Studies suggest that protein helps prolong satiety more than carbohydrates or fat. Eat some lean protein — seafood, chicken and lean cuts of meat, dals, pulses, and soy. Meeting your protein needs is important, but eating more adequate protein, about one gram per kilo of your weight is needed. No need to overdue it.
4. Eat some Fat. Cutting fat intake reduces the calorie density of a food. In other words, you get a bigger portion of food for the same calories when it has fewer fat grams. However, if you go too low in fat you won’t enjoy the flavor, texture or satiety of your food. Plus dietary fat is essential for staying healthy.
5. Go Nuts. Nuts give you a big bang for the been shown to have a very positive impact on satiety because of their protein and fiber content. A SMALL handful of these nutritious nuggets will often hold you over until your next meal. Of course, portion control is important because nuts and seeds are high density foods. Choose nuts like peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews and others.
6. Drink more water. Drinking plain old water can help with your weight management program, especially if you are substituting it for calorie-containing beverages like regular soda, juice and sweetened coffee or tea. Aim for 8 cups.
So get satisfied with satiety! Finding ways to feel fuller while eating fewer calories—now that’s the secret to success!