If you have ever tried dieting, you know choosing the right foods can be a pain. Many fad diets fail because people lose interest eating the same food over and over again. And there are so many "diets" that wouldn't keep a mouse's stomach full.
Don't be afraid to eat. You can feel confident when you reach for a mid-day snack if you know what foods to eat. Here are some foods that will keep your stomach full and your taste buds happy.
We don't mean applesauce or apple juice. Manufacturers pack those snacks with unnecessary sugars and preservatives. Go all natural for this snack. A regular apple is rich in dietary fiber, aids your digestive system, and reduces cholesterol. Not to mention you can enjoy an apple for only 95 calories.
Also, don't overlook what the crunchy texture of an apple can do for you. Some studies suggest the act of chewing sends signals to your brain. Those signals convey you've eaten more than you have. This means your brain will think you're less hungry and won't want to eat for a longer period of time.
One of the best parts about apples is the guilt-free sugar. Although they're high in natural sugars, apples also contain soluble fiber that blocks some sugar from entering the bloodstream. This process prevents fat storage because you avoid spikes in blood sugar that cause hunger.
If you're craving chocolate, then go for it! But instead of milk chocolate, reach for dark chocolate. The trick is to choose dark chocolate made up of at least 70% cacao. This kind of dark chocolate not only cures a broken heart-it may help prevent heart attacks too. A biochemical in dark chocolate may reduce blood clots, lower blood pressure, and fight against hardening of the arteries.
Another way dark chocolate helps health is by reducing insulin spikes. The healthy fats in dark chocolate slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Sugar spikes stop your body's fat-burning system and cause hunger. By eating dark chocolate, you keep sugar levels even and avoid insulin spikes. Just remember to eat this treat in moderation.
Skip the cereal and start your day off with some sunny-side up eggs. Eggs are full of protein that keeps you feeling fuller longer. Also, several studies have shown by starting your day with protein you eat less throughout the day.
If you want to stick to your diet, it's important to feed your hunger with foods that will last. Studies suggest that beans have a hormone that suppresses appetite and keeps food in your stomach longer. Beans digest slowly, too, which means you will eat less during the day. Plus, beans are inexpensive, so you'll save money on your grocery bill and calories on your diet. Talk about an inexpensive health boost!
Grapefruits have been a diet staple for decades, but with good reason. Most people eat grapefruit one segment at a time, which forces them to pace their eating. Grapefruit also contains phytochemicals that reduce insulin levels. That's great news for people who love grapefruit!
Nuts keep your stomach more full throughout the day because of the fats. A small portion a day can keep your stomach full until your next meal. They are a great alternative to snacks with empty, non-nutritious calories. Like apples, nuts have a crunchy texture that sends "I'm full" messages to your brain. Just watch your portions-if you eat too many nuts, you'll consume a lot of fat.
Almonds are a particular favorite to some nutritionists. In 167 calories (a 1-ounce serving), they have 6 g of protein and 3 g of fiber. Those compounds will keep your metabolism busy breaking down healthy nutrients and you won't feel as hungry.
Hot Sauce or Peppers
The hunger-fighting secret of these foods is capsaicin. This chemical found in chili peppers and hot sauce may help suppress your appetite. Add a splash of hot sauce to your meal and avoid extra portions-and their calories.
Research shows eating spicy foods also increases your metabolism. Give your food a flavor punch and increase your metabolism? Sounds like a win-win!
If you eat sugary foods, you experience an insulin spike that makes you feel hungry. Research from the US Department of Agriculture found cinnamon helps control that spike. A quarter teaspoon a day may lower cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and blood sugar. You can use cinnamon on toast or oatmeal every morning to start your day in a healthy way.
Basic Principles of Eating to Fight Hunger
Most of these foods use similar methods to fight hunger. You can avoid empty calories when you eat foods that are rich in protein and fiber. Many of these foods also have nutrients that fight sugar spikes in your bloodstream. Whatever you put in your mouth, make sure your food is working for you, not just satisfying a craving.
Also remember to eat slow and enjoy the texture. A rushed meal can make you hungry sooner. The goal is to appreciate your food, so don't rush through meals.
Now that you know how to eat foods that will help fight hunger, check out our other blogs for more health tips.