Trying to lose weight isn't always easy as it requires you to eat a calorie deficit (less calories than you burn) either through eating less food or burning more calories with exercise. One of the main challenges people face when trying to lose weight by eating a calorie deficit is they are constantly hungry and craving unhealthy foods which aren't going to help in the battle to be a leaner version of themselves. And as a coach who works with people daily who want to lose weight my challenge is to make this as easy and painless as possible.
One of the way's I help clients with weight loss goals is by recommending foods which keep you fuller when dieting reducing extreme hunger and cravings as an obstacle between them and their dream body. Below is a list of five foods which keep you fuller when dieting and when included might make losing weight easier, especially for those with strong appetites like me!
High Protein Foods
Protein is a highly satiating nutrient that is proven to reduce appetite when consumed consistently. A study in to the effects of a high protein diet on appetite revealed that a 15-30% increase in consumption of protein while keeping carbohydrate and fat amounts constant had a very beneficial appetite suppressing effect. The increase in protein in this study resulted in overall less calories being consumed and reduced spontaneous energy consumption (snacking) which ultimately lead to a reduction in bodyfat.
So for a simple and effective way to reduce appetite and keep you feeling full when dieting make sure to keep protein at a relatively high percentage of your overall calorie intake. Just make sure you are stil eating a calorie deficit but swap some of the carb or fat calories for protein and you will feel fuller and snack less.
Beans, Chickpeas, and Lentils
Beans, chickpeas, and lentils are some of the most appetite suppressing foods I have ever consumed making them a terrible choice if you are looking to gain muscle but a perfect choice if you are trying to lose weight and want to feel fuller when dieting on the minimum amount of food. The reason foods like these are so effective when trying to lose weight is their high fibre content meaning they take a long time to digest keeping you satisfied for longer. Whats even better that is that you can get extremely full with these foods with relatively low calories making them a great bang for your buck choice when feeling fuller is a priority.
A study in Australia on the satiating effects of chickpeas revealed a clear reduction in appetite and snacking when consuming chickpeas daily which again had a positive effect on weightloss, and cravings for unhealthy sugary foods.
Love them or hate them starting your day with eggs is one of the healthiest choices you can make for increased fullness when dieting and overall health. A study in Missouri of women who eat an egg based breakfast with 30-40g protein (see tip 1) such as eggs and bacon (YUM!) revealed that those who participated in the study experienced better glucose control in the period following the egg based breakfast. What this means is less energy spikes and drops followed by a consequential increase in appetite which is so common when eating a traditional low fat, low protein, high carb breakfast (im looking at you delicious cereal!).
If you find eggs and bacon boring (whats up with you?) then there are a ton of different ways to enjoy eggs..Fried, boiled, scrambled, omelette, or poached. All easy to do and perfect with bacon and a little bit of healthy fat rich butter. Give the egg based breakfast a go and you will feel fuller for longer and be giving your body and brain a much healthier start than with super processed sugary alternatives.
Cruciferous vegetables and squashes
Another set of classically high fibre low calorie per gram foods are cruciferous vegetables and squashes. Both are rich in fibre meaning a less extreme effect on your blood sugar and extremely nutrient dense. If hunger is one of your main obstacles when trying to lose weight then try eating a ton of these foods which your dinner and see how hungry you are then.
- Cabbages- Kale, spring greens, savoy
- Any squash variety
What I love about these foods is you can eat a ton without consuming too many calories making them perfect filler for people like me who love to eat!
A diet rich in healthy fats like those in eggs is a great way to increase feelings of fullness when dieting as long as you are mindful of the calories you are consuming in fat. One of the healthiest fat choices you can consume is coconut oil which has some amazing superfood properties. For the interest of this article we are going to focus on its appetite suppressing qualities which in a study of people consuming coconut oil in the morning was shown to be strong with 257 less calories being eaten on average per day by its participants.
This could have something to do with the high percentage of medium chain tryglycerides which provide the brain with a readily usable source of energy keeping you working optimally for longer. If you haven't read about the health benefits of coconut oil then you should check it out as the benefits go much further than appetite reduction. We like to cook our eggs in a small amount of coconut oil or put it in a cup of bulletproof coffee!
End hunger when dieting
You don't need to be hungry when dieting! A diet rich in the foods listed above will keep you fuller for longer putting an end to hunger pangs associated with weight loss diets, you might even be surprised by how easy it can be to lose weight without suffering from normal diets which could be likened to starvation. Let me tell you, these are short term strategies and if you want to lose weight and keep it off you will need to consume healthy, nutrient dense foods which keep you fuller when dieting.
Give these foods above a go when you next want to lose weight and are stuggling with hunger and it they aren't enough for you here are some othere honourable mentions:
- DRINK WATER (dehydration mimics hunger)
- Green tea