Are you looking to reduce food cravings that are often high in calories to lose weight?
Do you find yourself having a healthy breakfast and lunch but feel unsatisfied later in the day? Does this result in a larger dinner or high intake of snacks (especially at night)?
If you can relate, this is for you!
I remember starting diets and having small portions for breakfast and lunch but finding my body feeling deprived later in the day! This would result in late night snacks and double portions for dinner!
Feeling like food and the scale controlled my life and my thoughts was not a place I enjoyed.
So, today I want to help you learn how to feel your fullness and pursue healthy weight loss.
Let’s get to it!
What Diets Tell Us All To Do
How many times have you wanted to lose weight and found yourself extremely motivated and decide to start a diet?
And after a few days, beginning to see changes in the scale. And after a few weeks, even more results!
You probably felt happy and encouraged and wanted to continue! But, then…
The adrenaline, motivation and rush began to wear off.
You began to feel annoyed, deprived and hungry!
Personally, too many!
When I was younger, I found myself in this cycle too many times to count and it was horrible!
You see, diets are short term solutions. They tell us to make drastic changes to lose weight. They create an illusion that removing food groups or foods we highly enjoy is sustainable when in reality it’s not!
Diets tell us that we can ‘feel and look good” but they’re almost like a drug. We try it, feel good, it “wears” off (AKA we get over it), we feel down and then we want more!
Again, it’s a crazy cycle!
What’s The Solution To Diets?!
First, building a strong foundation of nutrition. Learning the basics and going deep into it and not skipping steps!
You can’t expect to become a star athlete by simply being born, you have to learn and train! You get better and keep going!
To feel your fullness you have to learn how your body works and how foods benefit your health. You have to understand why registered dietitians like myself encourage everyone to pair foods!
Avoiding meals with just one food group is highly beneficial. I always tell my clients pairing food groups is an art and can have a massive impact on your weight loss goals. For example, protein + fiber!
The solution to diets is to start in step one and learn about the food you’re eating. Step one is not to avoid an entire food group and hope for the best. Step one is not adopting a high fat diet and then learning your lipids are high.
Take the time and learn, I promise it’ll be quicker than continuing to practice diet after diet.
So, let’s get into some basics when talking about feeling your fullness and preventing overeating.
What Helps Keep You Full
Protein – Everyone knows about protein, it’s like the cool kid in the block and I get it! It is pretty cool! But all in moderation, let’s review!
I typically recommend having a goal of 20-30 grams of protein per meal and having a higher intake during breakfast to curb cravings throughout the day, this can have massive impacts on your weight loss journey.
If you’re new to the gram game, I recommend getting comfortable reading food labels and even weighing food (at least for a few weeks) until you become familiar. It’s important to consume proteins that are lower in fat, especially trans and unsaturated fats.
Fiber – My personal favorite! Perhaps I’m a bit biased since I also largely focus on gut health, but for good reasons! Although fiber often gets neglected like the middle child (just a joke!) it’s such a rockstar!
To visually understand how fiber works, I like to talk about a simple example. Have you used Chia seeds? If so, what happens?
Yes, it thickens!! (This is also known as soluble fiber)
And guess what, when it thickens, it helps increase fullness which can lead to decreased food intake and hence, support weight loss goals! It also helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels!!
Now, apart from helping you feel full, it also helps support a healthy digestive system. This is vital for overall health as your gut microbiome can largely dictate your health status!
Fat – We all know about this one, but many don’t give it the attention it deserves and I think it’s because so many are scared!
But I get it, I used to believe that eating fat will make you gain weight! But in reality, weight change is so much more complex than that! However, fat intake should be limited and sources should mainly come from poly- and monounsaturated fats.
Fat also takes long to digest which again, helps keep you full! All in moderation friends.
6 Tips To Help You Feel Your Fullness
- Begin your meal with “What’s my protein?” – Make sure to monitor your portion and include an adequate amount. My favorite sources of protein include chicken, fish, nonfat plain greek yogurt (add fiber like fruit to add taste), legumes, and eggs. Aim for about 20-30 per meal.
- Follow with “What’s my fiber?” – Add some color to your day! Adding fruits and vegetables is an easy way to increase your fiber intake. Also, try to make at least half your grains 100% whole wheat for more fiber!! And if you find yourself having difficulty reaching your daily goals, you can supplement with products until you feel comfortable having it from foods.
- Make sure to meet your daily water goal – I know we hear this all the time, “drink you water”, blah bah, blah…But YES, drink it!! I mean this, often you may find that a food craving was just your body telling you it was thirsty! Before what I call “snacky” time, drink at least 20 ounces of water and consume fiber like metamucil or chia seeds to see if that helps curve the craving. If it doesn’t, it’ll likely at least reduce your intake.
- Take your time and avoid distractions – How many times have you found yourself starting a bag of chips while watching your favorite tv show to find the bag gone! Personally, too many! And because of distractions like Tiktok, Instagram, Nextlix and so many others, I always recommend eating meals and snacks with no electronics. This allows you to be mindful of how much you’re eating and how your body feels.
- Make sure most of your fat intake should come from poly- and monounsaturated fats – This is also important as high intake of saturated and trans fats can increase your risk for heart disease. Make sure your fat is coming from products like avocados, olive oil, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
- Adequate sleep – This is another of my favorites, I know I have too many! But they’re so important! Sleep can really impair hunger hormones which can lead to feelings of excessive hunger. Go back to a time, you didn’t sleep well, how did you feel? How did it affect your appetite? Did you snack more? If you’re not sure, note this down for the next time your sleep is inadequate.
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