#2. Eat More Fiber
Here’s a hardcore nutrition fact: eating foods with low caloric density will help you control your hunger and maintain a healthy weight, while keeping you full and satisfied at the same time. How come?
Energy/calorie density refers to the number of calories in a specific amount of food. High energy density means that there are a lot of calories in a small portion of food, while lower energy density means that there fewer calories in a large portion of food. Therefore, you can eat bigger quantities of low-energy-density foods without having to worry about the calories, which is the absolute best way to lose weight without starving yourself. Studies have repeatedly shown that more fiber equals less hunger after the meal is over.
And the ultimate low-calorie foods are of course, high-fiber foods! Not only do fibrous foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains provide volume, but they also take longer to digest. By filling you up for fewer calories and slowing the rate at which you digest the entire meal, high-fiber foods will keep you satiated longer. Sadly, fiber is one of the most overlooked parts of our diets and most Americans are only getting a fraction of the daily recommended 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.
Getting more fiber isn’t that hard to do – just swap your white bread, rice and pasta with their whole-grain versions and you can increase your fiber intake by more than 5 grams per meal. Also, you can give any meal a fiber boost by adding some fiber-rich vegetables that will slow down the digestion rate of the entire meal. Flaxseed are another excellent source of fiber, providing 3 grams per tablespoon for just 55 calories, so make sure to add a tablespoon of flaxseed to your nightly Greek yogurt or morning oatmeal.
Or – even better – try to replace one of your typical meals with a huge, heaping plate of raw and cooked veggies, grains like quinoa or millet, and flaxseed, to provide your body with an abundance of fiber, water and precious vitamins and minerals. The best choices include dark green leafy vegetables, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, collard greens and green peas. You’ll be surprised to find out that you can’t even think about food for hours after loading your belly with multiple sources of fiber!
What’s even better, over time, as your digestion improves, instead of feeling drowsy and tired after a meal you’ll start feeling full yet light and vital. Yes, fiber is THAT awesome!
#3. Eat More Vegetables
The reason why veggies get their own section is because we really want to emphasize the importance of increasing your intake of all types of vegetables, not only for suppressing hunger pangs, but also for improving overall health and well-being.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that most Americans eat less than half the amount of recommended vegetable servings, which is really frightening, given that science has long ago uncovered that diets rich in vegetables and fruits are associated with lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and many other chronic health issues. Consider that most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories, while providing an abundance of nutrients such as potassium, fiber, folate, vitamins A and C and many, many others.
To reap all possible benefits from fruits, you need to eat a minimum of three servings of leafy greens and red, orange or yellow veggies such as carrots, peppers and beets each day. Besides being loaded with nutrients and powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, vegetables will help suppress your excessive hunger, thanks to their fiber and water content. What’s best – they can be easily added to almost any type of solid or liquid meal, and you can eat as much of them as you want without breaking the calorie bank.
You can prepare a delicious vegetable soup as an appetizer to fill up, add veggies to your omelets and instead of topping cooked fish or meat with a sauce, use use sautéed vegetables, such as peppers, onions and tomatoes. Also, you can grill your veggies to improve their flavor or make a vegetable smoothie with a juicer for a healthy addition to any breakfast. The options are literally countless, and the benefits will be pretty amazing!
These three tips are guaranteed to help you make your diet both healthier and more filling. Keep in mind that creating new habits takes time, so be patient with yourself and try to incorporate them into your diet as much as possible and great results will follow.