Eating healthy and sticking to a rigid diet can seem impossible some days, especially when you’re trying to change up your usual meal routine. Trying to get through the day without being able to have a healthy snack can also make life even more difficult. Whether you need to get through an afternoon without overeating or you’re trying to maintain your energy while being unable to stop for a quick bite, eating a series of appropriate and well-balanced meals throughout the day can play a role. a huge role in helping you feel full. for a long time.
Eat this, not that! enlisted a handful of experts to learn the best ways to maximize your meals while fighting hunger throughout the day. By learning exactly how to hack your daily diet, you can find ways to feel fuller for longer periods between meals and, therefore, resist the urge to indulge in tempting, convenient, yet unhealthy treats.
Rest assured, snacking is not the underlying cause of why you can’t feel full longer; food between meals throughout the day. In fact, many dietitians encourage snacking to help manage cravings, as long as you make healthy choices. Read on for more dietitian-approved tips on how to feel full longer throughout the day — and for more ideas on how to snack smart with quality options that don’t break. your diet, also be sure to check out 50 Healthiest Snacks to Eat for Weight Loss.
“Working even a small amount of fiber into every meal and snack is an easy way to keep you full longer,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, and consultant at Balance One. “That’s because fiber is digested more slowly than other nutrients and therefore keeps the gut full, literally.”
“Fascinating new research points to another reason why fiber keeps you full longer: acetate,” she continues. “This is a molecule that is found in fiber and is released during digestion in the intestine. It is then transported to the brain through the bloodstream where it signals to us that we are full and that we we have to stop eating.”
Staying full goes beyond just what you eat.
“Drinking plenty of water is not only important for hydration, but also for controlling your hunger,” says Best. “Drinking water can help you stay full longer for two main reasons: First, it’s possible to confuse thirst with hunger because thirst signals can be weak. Second, drinking water can activate receptors stretching in the stomach, which signals satiety to the brain and hunger hormones.”
If your goal is to stay full longer, it’s essential that you drink a glass of water and not another drink with artificial sweeteners, such as soda.
“That’s because sugar and artificial sweeteners create a glucose and insulin response that’s actually been known to cause overeating later in the day,” Best advises.
While more fiber in a meal can help you feel fuller, avoiding certain nutrients can be just as important.
“Carbohydrate foods made from refined carbs, like those found in white breads and pastries, are devoid of many nutrients that keep you full, like fiber and protein,” Best says. “These types of carbohydrates are also processed quickly by the body, leaving you feeling hungry soon after a meal. This is especially true for pasta dishes where the pasta is made from refined carbohydrates rather than whole grain sources like quinoa or whole wheat.
“With that in mind, consider replacing your morning pastries with oatmeal or your white bread at lunch for a whole-grain option,” Best adds. “When eating out, avoid fancy pasta or pair it with a high-fiber salad or whole-grain bread.”
Incorporating the right kinds of ingredients can make all the difference when you need to stay full longer.
“Foods that take longer to chew make us feel fuller faster and longer,” says Best. “Crunchy products like carrots, apples, cucumbers and celery have a high water content while being bulkier. This combination makes them low calorie density while activating the stretch receptors in the stomach faster .”
“These characteristics make crunchy products more hearty and also take longer to digest,” continues Best. “Due to their tough texture, the body has to work longer and harder to digest them. This results in more calories burned in the digestion process and longer digestion. Therefore, crunchy products are a great addition to any meal or snack for satiety and low calorie density.”
The products can help you feel full, but incorporating extra protein into your meals really makes a difference when you need to maintain that feeling of fullness for an extended period of time.
“Protein helps you feel full faster and stay full longer after meals,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LDand author of The Sports Nutrition Handbook. “Because protein takes longer to digest than carbs, when protein and carbs are eaten together, it slows the rate at which sugar enters your bloodstream, which helps manage your blood sugar and blood sugar levels. hungry for the next few hours.”
“Consuming protein at meals and snacks helps your blood sugar levels look like hills, gradually rising and falling,” Goodson adds. “At meals that might look like eggs with whole-grain toast, fruit, and milk. At lunch, it might be a salad with protein with fresh fruit or a whole-grain bun. At dinner, it can be lean beef with sweet potatoes and roasted vegetables,” she continues. “Don’t forget to add protein to snacks, like Greek yogurt with berries, whole-grain crackers and cheese, and walnut jerky with a granola bar.”
Keeping track of your blood sugar can make all the difference when you need to feel full throughout the day.
“When blood sugar levels are high, individuals are more likely to experience increased food cravings, low energy, brain fog, and the infamous mid-afternoon slump,” says Daria Piazza, MS, RD. In tandem with complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, further promoting satiety and feelings of fullness.
“One of the most effective ways to promote satiety is to focus on meals that balance blood sugar. This looks like a meal or snack that contains all three macronutrients, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. i.e. vegetables, grains, legumes – are preferred over simple or refined carbohydrates.”
A balanced meal with a little healthy fat ensures that your meal will keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day.
“The protein, fiber, and fat in nuts help you feel full longer, so you might end up eating less throughout the day,” says Dr. Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, and author of Finally full, finally thin.
“Fat helps you feel full after a meal and usually keeps you from reaching for food for a while because you’re just not hungry,” Goodson says. “The goal, however, is to eat more healthy fats like nuts and nut butters, seeds, avocado, fatty fish, and liquid cooking oils.”
“It’s important to note that fat produces more calories per gram (or bite) than carbs and protein, so you don’t need as much fat at a meal as the other two macronutrients,” continues -she. “Think about ‘filling your plate’ with fat. For example, sprinkle nuts and seeds on your oatmeal, add avocado to a wrap, eat peanut butter on a slice of bread, and [so on].”
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