When choosing a diet to help you lose weight it is important to consider “fullness factors.” Foods that contain large amounts of fat, sugar and/or starch are so easy to overeat because they have low fullness factors. Foods that contain large amounts of water, fiber, and/or protein have the highest fullness factors and do a better job of satisfying your hunger. Most vegetables, fruits and lean meats fall into this category.
Green vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage and bokchoy have so few calories that you can fill up on an unlimited quality because they are considered “free foods.” The fiber in beans and lentils trigger stretch receptors in our stomachs which signal to our brain that we have eaten a full meal. Whole oats are more filling than instant oatmeal. Soak the raw oats overnight and then microwave them for 1-2 minutes in the morning.
Choosing foods with texture helps trick the stomach into feeling full. Eating a big apple will suppress the appetite because the bulky fiber fills up your stomach and turns off your appetite control hormones. Plus, apples contain vitamins and minerals, as well as being a good source of folic acid. Chopped apple is more filling than applesauce, while mashed potatoes are less filling than whole boiled potatoes.
Fibre, protein and the fluid content of food help determine the fullness factor. If you reach for processed foods (chips or cookies, for example), and eat until you feel full, you may have consumed 1,000 calories or more. This is almost half the the calories you need for the entire day. Drinking lots of fresh water, plenty of leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, and lean protein will make you fill up quicker and stay satisfied longer.
Kathleen Terrana is the owner of Beautiful Bridal specializing in discount tiaras, veils and bridal jewelry.