Even for the healthiest of eaters, good intentions can fly out the window when your stomach begins to rumble. If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, finding the right kind of foods - healthy foods that will fill you up for the longest amount of time - is essential, according to everydaythealth.com.
“Clients who are trying to lose weight tell me they get hungry every three to four hours,” said nutritionist Beth Kitchin, RD, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. “You’re supposed to feel hungry that often, so eating low-energy density foods, meaning those high in nutrients, can really help.” High-protein foods, high-fiber foods, and healthy fats are all on the top 10 list of most filling foods.
Here are 10 foods that fit the bill:
1. Snack on sweet prunes -a high-fiber food means they help you feel full longer and feature healthy antioxidants. Prunes can also included in a great dinner entrée.
2. Fill up first on vegetables - a key to feeling full longer and crucial to weight management strategies. Salads are classic low in calories and high in fiber fare, but extra veggies to cooked dishes also add volume.
3. Get Going with oatmeal - a comfort food that high in fiber and helps keep you feeling full longer. Oatmeal can be a little bland on its own, so liven it up by adding low-fat milk, sliced fruit, and a sprinkling of nuts for an indulgent yet healthy breakfast.
4. Start the meal with soup - studies show soup first, means eating less. Opt for a broth-based soup full of high-fiber foods rather than a creamy, salty concoction. Homemade soups are great to make when you have time, and then freeze for a quick meal when you need it.
5. Go for a dip - the flavor and the fat will keep you feeling full longer and can help your body absorb nutrients like beta-carotene more effectively. Try a little salad dressing, or whip up a batch of creamy, delicious hummus to go with all those good-for-you veggies.
6. Load up on lean protein - research shows it satisfies hunger. In fact, a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet is an effective strategy to manage weight for some people. Animal and plant proteins all add to your sense of fullness.
7. Count on beans and other legumes - like lentils and chickpeas are nutritious, filling high-fiber foods that can be included in a number of different types of entrees and healthy snacks. Because beans can add up to a lot of calories if you eat more than a serving or two, you might want to combine them with vegetables and whole grains for a more complex meal that will keep you feeling full longer.
8. Don’t skimp on potato skins - that happens to be one of the best sources of potassium you can include in your diet (followed by bananas). Eating the skin is what makes the spud a nutritious, high-fiber food that’s also filling. Tasty toppings, like herbs and salsa, will add to your sense of satisfaction.
9. Pick fabulous fresh fruit - high in water content and flavor and very satisfying for their low calorie counts. An apple, or a serving of grapes or berries, all make the list of most filling foods. Keep fresh fruit on hand for an easy snack when you’re trying to lose or manage weight, or opt for a lush dessert such as baked apples with dried fruit and walnuts.
10. Filling but not sweet - nuts, such as pistachios, almonds, pecans, nuts, and seeds - all of which have plenty of healthy fats in them - will help you feel full longer because of their fat and protein content. For the same reasons, you have to keep the serving size reasonable, say 6 to 12 nuts. Try combining nuts with dried fruit for a high-fiber snack.