A common problem people can have when trying to eat healthier is feeling hungry all the time! They might be trying to eat less than usual, or be eating lighter foods, and suddenly within one hour after eating they're hungry again. This doesn't have to be the case!
Depriving yourself of food, either by eating less food than your body needs at any given time, or by eating unsatisfying foods, will only lead to more and more hunger. Making lasting nutrition changes for improved health depends on feeling satisfied throughout the day. This helps to avoid the cycle of under-eating, feeling extremely hungry, and then overeating to the point of feeling uncomfortably full. In order to avoid the chronic hunger that can come from "dieting," put together filling, satisfying meals for yourself.
4 simple steps to build a satisfying meal
A filling meal will include several elements for most people. Use the ZOE app to find the ingredients within each element with the best scores for your biology.
- First, start with plenty of vegetables. Choose your favorite cooked or uncooked veggies, such as salad greens, roasted broccoli, collard greens, onions—whatever you like! The fiber in the vegetables will help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, while delivering to your body a ton of key vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that keep everything working smoothly.
- Next, add some protein. Try options that are lower in saturated fat such as fish, tofu, or legumes. Protein helps to rebuild or maintain your muscles, contributes to the structural repair of the cells in your body, and also makes a meal more satiating. Having a source of protein at each meal makes it a more substantial meal that will help keep your body strong.
- Then, add some whole grains! Whole grains are chock-full of fiber, which again will make the meal more satisfying. Whole grains are also full of prebiotics, which help to boost healthy gut bacteria. They also contain carbohydrates, which give your body the energy it needs to move, make new cells such as the immune cells, and even think and process stimuli.
- Lastly, add some fat! If your protein source is a higher-fat protein, such as fish or nuts, you might not need to add much more fat to your meal. However, if you chose a leaner protein source, adding fat will go far when it comes to making your meal satisfying for longer. You might cook your vegetables in olive oil, or add a sprinkle of seeds to your protein and grain-based salad, or include a nut butter in your sauce or dressing. However, you like to add your fat, don't forget this crucial meal component to make it more filling and tasty.
Putting together these different building blocks in whatever combination you like will make for a nutrient-dense, flavorful, and filling meal that will keep you satisfied throughout the day.