Looking to cut your constant snacking? Long days and just don’t have time to sit down for a meal? Curb hunger pangs on your diet? We have 5 tips to help keep you full!
But before we jump to the list, it is important to note a few of the basic functions our body uses to regulate food: Hunger, Fullness and Appetite.
Hunger: Stretch responders in your stomach lining send signals via your vegas nerve that your stomach full. Often this can be a delayed response, so eating slower and more fibrous foods help.
Fullness: While also associated with the stretch response, the feeling of fullness is often achieved by nutrient satisfaction (calories, macronutrients, vitamins, minerals) and your blood sugar levels. Low nutrient levels and blood sugar will trigger hunger!
Appetite: Your desire for sweet and salty is strong, and food manufactures know! Be cautious of “over-stimulating” foods as they can reap havoc on the balance of nutrient need vs cravings. If you are reaching for the snack drawer, wait 20 minutes. Cravings tend to pass in a short amount of time.
Okay okay… I think we already gave 3 tips. You know trainers, we never know how to count…
TIP 1 – Say yes to Lean Meat
One reason lean meat helps keep us full longer is because our body needs to work harder to breakdown and digest protein.
Protein, like Fat and Carbohydrates, is one of the three macronutrients that make up our food. You have likely heard that protein is vital for the growth and repair of our muscles. It’s true! If we do not ingest enough protein, our body can rob our muscle tissue of protein in an effort to sustain energy (gluconeogenesis). This is important because the building blocks of Protein are Amino Acids, which our body has a hard time storing. We either use it, recycle it, or expel it. For this reason, we need to continually replenish protein by consuming it regularly (≥20g/meal).
Tip 2 – Keep your Pantry Stocked with Beans and Legumes
In addition to being high in protein, beans and legumes are nutrient-dense and packed with fiber.
Fiber can be broken down into Soluble and Insoluble Fibers:
Dissolves in water to create a gel-like material to keep our gastrointestinal tracts run smoothly.
- Black Beans
- Oat Bran
- Lima Beans
Helps our cells do their jobs, slow digestion, and create bulk in our digestive track to feed our healthy gut bacteria (microbiome) and clean our digestive tract.
- Whole Grains
- Root Vegetables
- Fruit and Vegetable Skins
Fiber has also been shown to lower cholesterol! Ideally, buy in bulk and cook yourself, or find low sodium canned beans.
Tip 3 – Don’t Skip Fat!
Having enough fat in your diet will help keep you satiated between meals, improve your body composition, support immunity, nutrient absorption and hormone production. Depending on your goals and health history, fat can be ~20-30% of your diet! Not all fat is created equal, so aim for more mono-unsaturated and Omega-3 poly-unsaturated fats:
Saturated: Fatty Beef/Lamb, Coconut, Cacao
Mono-Unsaturated: Avocado, Egg Yolk, Nuts
- Omega-3: Fish Oil, Seeds (Hemp/Chia/Flax)
- Omega-6: Vegetable Oils (sunflower/Canola)
Tip 4 – Bone Broth
Not only packed with collagen-rich protein (~10g/cup), bone broth is rich in nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It can also help curb your salt cravings! Use bone broth while cooking to pack protein into any meal or simply sip a cup on a cold night. It especially easy and tasty when cooking rice!
Tip 5 – Water, Water, Water!
‘not my first rodeo… say that one coming…’
Water helps keep us full without adding calories. More importantly, our bodies are made up of 70% water! Staying hydrated is important for basic cellular function, cleaning, enzyme reactions, regulating temperature, and transporting nutrients. Your nutrient-dependent hunger can often be triggered by dehydration. Iced, room temp, tap, bottled, mineral, whatever. JUST DRINK IT! At least half your body weight in ounces every day, plus 20 ounces per hour of exercise. Ie, if you weight 150lbs, drink at least 75 ounces.