“Ahhh…” Satisfaction (sat-is-fak-shuhn); who doesn’t love that wonderful feeling after a good, healthy meal? Below are some key pieces of advice on keeping you satisfied, both faster and longer.
1.) Fiber: Foods that are full of fiber fill you up with fewer calories. Fiber is found in complex carbs that come from whole grain products such as bread, pasta, cereal, etc. Fiber is also found in many fruits and vegetables. Avoid simple carbs (refined flour) such as candy, soda, and other junk food.
2.) Fruits and veggies: Not only are fruits and veggies loaded with fiber, but they are also loaded with good ole’ H2O. Eat your water; hydration never tasted this good! Have the mid-morning/afternoon munchies? Grab an apple, orange, etc. to keep your hunger at bay until your next meal.
3.) Lean protein: Protein is ranked high amongst the foods that help keep you feeling satisfied for a longer time frame. Protein doesn’t have to come from lean meats such as chicken, fish, or turkey. Protein can also come from eggs, fat-free Greek yogurt, and beans. Change things up and you’ll never get bored with healthy eating!
4.) Good fats: We need fat for survival (insulation/nutrient absorption) and people are often afraid of the word “fat” when it comes to food choices for obvious reasons. There are such things as good fats, as long as the fats are monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Foods that contain healthy fats include almonds, avocados, olive oil, etc. Stick to the serving sizes! Although healthy, they are high in calories. Avoid foods high in saturated/trans fats!
5.) Drink water: Some people have a lot of trouble recognizing the difference between hunger pangs and thirst (dehydration). If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Try drinking a glass of cold water and if the pang still persists, enjoy a well-balanced meal or healthy snack! And if it’s gone, now you’re hydrated and you’ve boosted your metabolism. WARNING: Refrain from drinking empty calories!
6.) Start smart: Begin your meal with a broth based soup or veggie salad with low fat dressing. Doing this will cause your belly to feel satisfied much sooner when you are served the main course, lessening the chance of binging/over-eating. These 2 food choices allow you to eat in bulk without adding a lot of extra calories to your day.
7.) Smaller plate: In a society filled with super-size-deluxe-have-it-all food options served on what can be considered family-sized serving dishes, it’s easy to become astray in sensible portioning. Try eating off/out of smaller dishes. You’ll subconsciously trick yourself into thinking you’re eating more. Dig in! Now you can clean your entire plate and feel satisfied (not stuffed) at the same time.
8.) Eat breakfast: It’s never a good idea to skip a meal, especially breakfast! Your chances of binging later on in the day will increase dramatically. Keeping your meals spread out evenly during the day will keep you feeling full, focused, and energized. Your metabolism will also work more efficiently if you stick to a normal eating schedule. Pressed for time? Hate breakfast? NO MORE EXCUSES!
9.) Eat slow: Put the brakes on fast eating. This isn’t a pie eating contest. This is time for you to enjoy every morsel of your meal. Use all of your senses while eating. It takes approximately 20 minutes for the stomach to send signals to the brain that it’s full. Take smaller bites, put the utensil down, chew slowly, and you won’t feel that uncomfortable I’M-GOING-TO-BURST feeling ever again.