If you’ve ever eaten a whole meal only to be hungry two hours later, you know how frustrating the feeling can be. When trying to keep your weight down or when you’re somewhere where food is not accessible, eating frequently is not always an option. If you find yourself constantly needing to eat, you may be choosing the wrong type of foods.
“I explain to patients to always remember the "2 F's,” says Beth Warren, MS, RD and CDN. “Fiber=Full. If a food has no fiber, it will not make you full.”
Certain foods have the potential to better fill you up than others, and by consuming them, you can also prevent overeating later. To stop your stomach from constantly grumbling, we’ve come up with a list of six foods that help you stay full longer.
“Because of their load of fiber, chia seeds expand in your gut, helping to make you feel full,” says Warren. These powerful seeds are also a good source of protein, which will keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day. “Try throwing them into yogurt, smoothies or oatmeal,” she says.
“The great thing about all kinds of berries is that they are loaded with fiber and have a lower sugar content than many fruits,” says Warren. “What that means for our tummies is that we can eat more of them without spiking our sugar.” Berries have a high water content, which keeps your stomach feeling full.
Avocados contain a substance called oleic acid, which sends a signal to your brain to let it know you are full. The saturated fat keeps you feeling satisfied longer and regulates food consumption.
Nuts are another nutritious source of fiber. “Unfortunately, many people are still afraid to consume nuts because of their fat content,” says Warren. “However, the fats contained in nuts are the healthy kinds that our body needs and will actually help boost our resting metabolism by 10 percent.” Studies have shown that eating nuts between meals helps people feel satiated as well as curbs their intake of food at later meals.
Foods such as quinoa, whole wheat bread, and brown rice are great sources of fiber. “Aside from helping to make you feel full, they will regulate your blood sugar and help decrease cholesterol,” says Warren. Studies have shown that eating whole grains will keep you more full than eating refined wheat.
Because liquid takes up so much space in your stomach, eating soup before meals can help you feel full as well as prevent overeating. Bonus: you can fill your soup up with fiber-filled vegetables, whole grain, and protein, to feel even more satisfied until your next meal.