Three Tips to Stay Fuller Longer

One of the biggest challenges clients often report during a weight loss journey is having to battle constant hunger. It can feel like persistent nagging, pestering you and making you desire more. Is there a way to control these thoughts and feelings? Does losing weight mean a constant battle of willpower? One important factor to consider is that the weight loss balance is not just about the quantity of food but also the quality of meals and snacks. Try these tips to feel fuller longer and mute the nagging hunger. 

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Choose high-fiber foods 

Complex carbohydrates (found in whole grains, vegetables, and fruit) take longer to digest. This means they extend the period of satiety, or fullness, after a meal. Adults should aim for 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day, but most Americans are falling short of this.  

When reading a food label, choose foods that list whole grain or whole wheat as the first ingredient. Select breads with at least three to five grams of fiber per slice and cereals with at least five grams of fiber per serving. Instead of drinking juice, eat the whole vegetable or fruit – up to 90% of fiber can be removed during the juicing process. 

Don’t shy away from healthy fats 

Fat is essential for a healthy diet. It helps to absorb certain vitamins, provides insulation and cushion to organs, and supports cell growth. Unsaturated fats are mostly from plant sources or fish and have been deemed the “healthy” fat because they are beneficial for heart health.  

Some research has shown that adding a source of healthy fat to snacks and meals can help you feel fuller longer by controlling the release of appetite hormones and slowing digestion.1 Food sources of unsaturated fat include salmon, avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. A good goal is to consume about 30% of your total daily calories from healthy fats.  

Pair with a protein 

Protein can have the biggest impact on satiety. Researchers believe the body burns more energy processing protein compared to carbohydrates or fat.2 Most healthy adults need about 0.8 grams of protein per each kilogram of body weight. (1 kg = 2.2 lbs) For someone who weighs 160 lbs, that would be about 60 grams of protein per day. Try to choose lean sources of protein such as grilled chicken, eggs, lentils, turkey, beans, or low-fat dairy products. 

Combining the recommendations above for meals or snacks will be the best bet to silence hunger. For example, try salmon with sides of whole grain rice and grilled veggies or sliced avocado on whole wheat toast with a couple of hard boiled eggs. Set yourself up for success and feel empowered to continue without the nag of hunger. 

Kim Meeuwen, RDN, CSOWM

Kim Meeuwsen, RDN, CSOWM is a registered dietitian and Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management from West Michigan. Kim has over 10 years of experience providing nutrition care to both inpatients and outpatients in acute care and rehabilitation settings. Her experience is diverse, counseling families and patients with various disease states across the lifespan. Kim’s passion is promoting and teaching health optimization with food first.

If you have more questions about this topic, it’s always a great idea to speak with a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians are the only credentialed experts qualified to address your unique health questions. Click here to request a direct consultation with a dietitian today!


References:
Samra RA. Fats and Satiety. In: Montmayeur JP, le Coutre J, editors. Fat Detection: Taste, Texture, and Post Ingestive Effects. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2010. Chapter 15. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53550/ 
Jane Bowen, Manny Noakes, Peter M. Clifton, Appetite Regulatory Hormone Responses to Various Dietary Proteins Differ by Body Mass Index Status Despite Similar Reductions in ad Libitum Energy Intake, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 91, Issue 8, 1 August 2006, Pages 2913–2919, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2006-0609 

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