Image Courtesy: Michele Ferretti
Many people have discovered that the low-calorie, low-in-fat fad that has made its way to every aisle in the supermarket has one major caveat: these foods don’t leave you feeling full for long. As the consumer demand for healthy foods continues to grow in 2008, so have the number of products that are created with the purpose of providing longer-lasting satiety. But there’s no need to buy packaged goods in order to eat well, and feel full without overdoing it.
Here are some great naturally filling food and drink options that can be found in any grocery store:
Many people mistake hunger for thirst, causing them to eat more than their body really needs. So even though recent headlines have questioned the validity of whether we really need to gulp down 8 solid glasses of water a day, there’s certainly no harm in staying hydrated, especially if it can save you from unnecessary calories by helping you feel fuller longer. Challenge yourself: tomorrow, drink a full glass of water before you sit down for a meal, and see if it makes a difference in how much you eat.
Studies have shown that enjoying the seeds from pine cones – which are similar in taste to cashew nuts – can stimulate appetite-suppressing hormones in the body. Pine “nuts” (which are actually seeds) are high in protein and dietary fibers, and can be eaten in-between meals to help relieve hunger pangs.
Negative Calorie Foods
Surely you’ve read about the benefits of eating a salad before you start your meal – that’s because the greens in a basic green salad not only help to fill you up, but the calories are also so low that you actually burn more digesting them! Add vegetables like celery, lettuce, beets, and broccoli and fruits like apples, oranges and pineapple to your daily diet and you’ll eat less and take in fewer calories every day.
Beans and Lentils
These plant-born foods contain compounds that cause bodily absorption to move in slow-mo, leaving you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Both beans and lentils are rich in protein and come in a wide range of varieties, so it’s easy to find one that satisfies your taste buds.
This whole grain can be enjoyed in copious forms, such as bran cereal, rice, or oatmeal products. Because bran is known to reduce moisture loss, it can help your body absorb all the water you’re drinking, and leave you feeling satisfied.
The benefits of enjoying watermelon – which is made up of approximately 90% water – are the same as drinking water, except in one way. Studies have shown that, traditionally, people tend to report feeling more satisfied when they eat solid foods than they do after consuming liquids. Some evidence has refuted this belief (for instance, soup has been shown to be a great appetite suppressant, much like the green salad), but no matter what you prefer, this low-calorie fruit is another great option for staying hydrated and full.
Adrienne writes for special-interest magazines and has worked on the production of women’s lifestyle channels at AOL as well as at E! Entertainment Television. She graduated from CUNY Baruch, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper The Ticker.