How to eat less and feel full

Now that summer is coming to a close, you might not be striving for that “summer body” anymore, but that’s no reason to become lazy and stop your healthy eating habits.

You’ve heard it before and it’s true: weight loss is 75% what you eat, and 25% how much you work out/exercise. So if you’re trying to shed a bit of weight, or not put on any extra, it’s important to be health conscious with what goes into your body, especially during the fall/winter season when the weather outside may be a negative motivator to working out or exercising outside. And considering that losing weight is 75% attributed to what you eat, you probably want to eat less, but still ensure you are satisfied, full, and not always reaching for the refrigerator door at home or snack drawer/bag at work or school.

At this point, the question on a lot of your minds is: “What can I eat that will make me full for longer so I don’t constantly snack?” I know some people’s strategies are to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day, and of course you can do that; just make sure your smaller meals are full of fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, rather than candy, donuts, fraps, cookies. But that’s a blog topic for another time.

An alternative to eating smaller meals more often throughout the day is to change how you eat so that what you consume makes you feel full for a longer period of time.

nutrient-rich-foods-Shutterstock
Photo: Luxemburger Wort via Shutterstock

Less carbs and starch. More protein and fiber.

The trick to eating less and feeling full is consuming food that takes longer to convert into glucose and absorb into your bloodstream. If you eat a lot of sugars, starchy goods, and carbs in your diet, they are going to turn into glucose a lot faster (making you hungrier sooner) than if you consumed more protein and good fats (making you fuller longer). Try to opt for whole grains, fruits and vegetables, which give you the calories and energy your body needs, but also make you feel full for longer because they take longer to digest. Whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and veggies will help steady your blood sugar level rather than be absorbed right away into your bloodstream and raise your blood sugar level like sugars and starch do.  In addition, fibrous foods like oats, bran, lentils, and beans will add volume to food without the extra calories. This means you’ll be less likely to snack on something because your stomach will feel satisfied from the nutrient-rich food and tell your brain that you’ve had enough to eat.

Drink more water and eat more food with high water content

We all know that drinking water in general is beneficial for your body and your health. Here’s one more reason you can add to the list. Before a meal, try drinking water, drinking soup, or eating fruits or a salad. These items with high water content will fill up your stomach. Chances are you’ll likely eat less during your meal, because your stomach will feel full. If your goal is to lose weight, drink a glass of water or eat fruits or veggies before a meal and you should see results in no time.

Remember that throughout your journey to lose weight, you have to be in control of the situation. That means if your stomach feels full, stop yourself from eating rather than just eating because there’s food in front of you. You’ll know when you’re full and don’t tell yourself otherwise! By eating less food that is richer in nutrients and lower in sugars and starches you will be well on your way to losing weight, and you’ll also feel good about what you’re putting in your body. Above all, remain dedicated and committed to your health and wellness goals, whatever they may be, and however they may change. Good luck!

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