Don't let hunger derail your diet. Here are the best healthy options to keep you feeling full...
One of the most likely reasons to fall off the weight loss wagon? You’re hungry. If your stomach is starting to rumble, that chocolate biscuit is going to look very tempting. Here are the top 10 foods to fill you up during the day to stop you reaching for the biscuit tin.
‘Almonds have the highest protein and fibre content of all nuts,’ says nutritional therapist Caroline Sherlock from Eat Drink Live Well (eatdrinklivewell.com)
‘As well as being higher in hunger-reducing protein. Greek yogurt is also lower in carbohydrates than ‘normal’ yogurt, reducing the blood sugar spike that can quickly lead back to hunger,’ says Caroline.
‘High in protein and fibre, edamame beans also have a low glycaemic load helping keep hunger at bay,’ says Caroline. Add to salads and stews or enjoy them steamed in their pods.
‘Opting for a smooth rather than chunky soup can make all the difference,’ says Caroline. ‘Research shows blending vegetables into soup makes them more filling. Scientists found blended soup stayed in the stomach for longer than vegetables and water consumed separately. Add beans and lentils for extra protein and fibre.’
Adding to their health hero status, it turns out berries are great at staving off cravings. ‘They have on of the lowest glycaemic loads of all fruits,’ says Caroline. ‘They keep blood-sugar levels stable, so we avoid the energy dip that has us reaching for sugary snacks.’
‘The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil can help suppress appetite – hence the popularity of Bulletproof Coffee with added MCT oil,’ says Caroline. Add it to dressings and smoothies, use it to roast vegetables and for baking.
Add just half an avocado to your lunch and it’ll reduce your desire to eat by 40% over the next three hours. ‘The combination of healthy fats and fibre in avocado work together to boost that feeling of being completely satisfied and helping us feel full for longer,’ explains Caroline.
Get familiar with the satiety index, which measures how full people feel after eating foods. ‘Fish scored higher than protein – rich beef and eggs,’ says Caroline. Go for omega-3 rich oily fish.
‘The high protein content in eggs helps to reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin while raising levels of peptide YY, a hormone that helps us feel full,’ says Caroline.
Craving something diet-breakingly sweet? Try dark chocolate. It’s lower in sugar than milk chocolate and a 2010 study showed women who ate or even just smelled dark chocolate showed decreased appetite. ‘Look for 85% cocoa or more,’ says Caroline. ‘And don’t go crazy – just a few squares per day!’