Have you ever eaten a meal and still felt hungry? We all have and sometimes it isn’t because we haven’t eaten enough, but rather that we haven’t eaten right… Life can sometimes get in the way of us sitting down to a healthy meal and eating it slowly really enjoying and savouring it. Often a meal is thrown together, swallowed down and you may not even remember what it was in a few hours. As a result you get hungry sooner and are more likely to go for seconds or snack until the next meal.
Here’s some tips to help you feel more full and satisfied at meals:
- Eat slowly: slow down when you eat your meals allows you to get satisfaction from eating but also allows time for the food to reach your stomach and give you that full feeling.
- Chew your food until it is a liquid in your mouth before swallowing: This not only helps you to break food down and access more of it’s nutrients but helps you slow down too.
- Avoid eating in a distracting environment e.g. in front of the TV: when distracted, you are less likely to pay attention and savour what you are eating so you will often eat more or go back for seconds. Try and eat at the table with family and really savour and enjoy your meal.
- Eat filling foods: Add some sources of protein and fibre to your meals as these are more filling. Protein may be meat, eggs, tofu, legumes e.g. chickpeas, lentils, nuts. Good sources of fibre may be vegetables especially those with skins, legumes, high fibre carbohydrates e.g. very grainy bread, quinoa, wholemeal pasta etc
- Fill up your plate with low kilojoule non-starch vegetables: If you are accustomed to having large portion sizes at meals, replace some of the carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potatoes) or other meal components with low kilojoule vegetables and salads. These can be eaten in larger amounts with less impact on your waistline. Some of these include: lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, mushrooms etc
- Wait 30 minutes after eating a meal before considering going for seconds: If you are still feeling hungry right after a meal, try waiting 30 minutes before getting more as it can take up to 20 minutes before you start feeling full. If you are still hungry after 30 minutes, try filling up on more low kilojoule vegetables or get a very small serve of seconds plus more low kilojoule vegetables. Other low kilojoule options you could try to help fill you up include swapping regular pasta or rice for Slendier versions (www.slendier.com.au) or having diet jelly for dessert. You could try drinking some water or making a nice cup of tea also.
- Avoid skipping meals or dehydrating during the day: People who skip meals during the day may feel very hungry later in the day and overeat as a result. Try and eat small regular meals during your day. Dehydration can also mislead you into thinking you are hungry so drink fluids especially water at regular intervals during the day. Try having a glass of water when you get up and with breakfast, 1-2 glasses between breakfast and lunch, 1-2 glasses with lunch, 1-2 glasses between lunch and dinner and 1-2 glasses with dinner.