Healthy Foods to Fill You Up
True hunger is usually felt first in the stomach – as blood sugar drops, the body releases hormones that stimulate the stomach to contract, and you get hunger pangs. But some people confuse hunger with wanting to eat – which is actually appetite, not hunger.
To help learn the difference, let a moderate amount of hunger to set in – to really recognise the body’s signals that say “time to eat” – and put the fork down when you feel comfortable – not stuffed. It helps to incorporate healthier, filling foods along the way.
High-fibre foods take time to digest, which gives them staying power. And while all whole fruits provide some fibre, berries are some of the highest fibre fruits around. One cup of raspberries has a whopping 8 grams of fibre – twice what you’d get in an apple – for only about 65 calories. Frozen berries are always available, and they’re convenient add-ins to protein shakes – you can also thaw them slightly and use to top yogurt or cottage cheese for a filling meal or snack.
Vegetables are high on the list of filling foods because they’re full of fibre and water – so they fill you up, not out. Broccoli is one of the highest fibre vegetables -one cup of chopped cooked broccoli has 6 grams of hunger-busting fibre. And loading up your plate with cooked broccoli will only cost you about 30calories per cup.
High Fibre cereals
You can get a good amount of fibre from most whole grains – and they hold more water than ‘drier’ grain foods like crackers, so they’re more filling.
Quinoa stands out because it also has more protein than most grains – about 8 grams per cup. And, unlike barley and brown rice that require long cooking times, quinoa is ready in about 15 minutes. Try it as a side dish, or as the base for a main-dish salad with chopped veg and grilled chicken added.
Vegetable soup can be low in calories (provided you don’t add cream or oil), and since it contains so much water, it’s can be very satisfying. Starting a meal with a cup or bowl of broth-based soup often means you’ll be satisfied with a smaller portion of your main meal. A cup of vegetable soup makes a great afternoon snack, too.
Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.