When trying to lose weight, most people understand they need to eat less, but eating less food means more hunger (which sucks). But they go about eating less all wrong. In order to deal with the inevitable hunger, aim for foods that provide "volume" and help you feel full.
Image by stevendepolo.
Foods like rice, oatmeal, potatoes, and huge salads made with green leafy vegetables are successful because they are effective at keeping people full, due to their high food volume-to-calorie ratio and how satiating they are to the individual. High food volume-to-calorie ratio, in this case, means feeling like you're eating a ton of food for a reasonable amount of calories.
If you aim for foods that satisfy those criteria, you would typically rule out a significant amount of of junk food, since a Snickers bar, for example, is both high in calories and offers very little satiety — no doubt you'd get hungry in an hour. Sure, you can eat half of it, but simply cutting portions is less effective at dealing with hunger than maximizing food volume is.
In other words, you get the sweet spot of being smart about allocating your calories, staying full longer, and reaping in the nutritional benefits of those foods.
Don't be fooled by "low-calorie" foods, which typically aren't satiating. Choose higher fibre, high-volume foods such as:
- green leafy vegetables
- blueberries (and other berries)
- ...and so on
This list is not exhaustive, but keep in mind also that different foods and the composition of the meal can also influence satiety differently for everyone. Experiment with the foods that offer the highest satiety and most amount of food for your calorie needs!
Stephanie Lee is a geeky health and fitness freelance writer. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter or on her YouTube channel.