While it’s tempting to wolf down your entire lunch in five seconds because you’re busy and that hungry, eating at a relaxed pace can actually help you eat less and feel full quicker. It takes the brain 20 minutes of eating to send signals to the body that it’s full. Now, imagine if you ate at a fast pace, you could’ve avoided taking in more calories if you slow down and enjoy every bite.
Eating slowly not only aids in weight loss, it also makes dining more enjoyable. It takes some practice to eat slowly, especially when you’re always eating in a hurry. But if you make a conscious effort to chew slowly before taking another bite, it will take you longer to finish eating. This gives your brain enough time to send signals when it had enough food.
Boost Your Diet With Fiber
The quicker the body digests food, the more quickly you’d get hungry. So eating a light meal to lose weight might backfire for others. In such cases, why not boost your diet with fiber-rich food instead? Fiber adds bulk to food but without the calories. The extra volume will help fill your stomach and satisfy the proprioceptors longer, leading to delayed hunger pangs. Fiber also absorbs water and will bulk up even further, helping the stomach digest food slower. As the digested food travels from the stomach to the intestines, fiber stimulates the release of a hormone called cholecystokinin. This hormone sends a signal to the brain to stop eating.
So what types of food should you eat to boost fiber in your diet? Try whole grains, dried beans, high-fiber cereal, bran, peas, etc.
Choose High-Protein Food
One major factor that triggers the brain to eat more is the level of blood sugar in the body. As blood sugar dips midday, you feel hungry. So the key to feeling fuller without eating more than you should is to stabilize the blood sugar level in the body.
A high-protein diet is one way to eat less and feel full quicker. Unlike carbohydrates that get readily absorbed by the body as fuel, protein takes a while to be digested. They also contain fewer calories than carbs. So if you eat the recommended servings of protein each day, you will feel fuller longer and you will snack less between meals.
Choose Food With High Water Content
Because water has no calories, eating fruits and vegetables with high water content helps ease hunger pangs without the added calories. In a study, researchers concluded that people who drank at least two glasses of water before every meal consumes less calories throughout the day. This leads to effective weight loss!
The body’s proprioceptors—receptors that create a feeling of fullness—will be satiated by consuming food with high water content like cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon, tomatoes, grapes, etc. You can also choose broth-based soups as appetizers to give your body a sense of fullness way before the actual meal. If you’re prone to snacking, try to eat more fresh fruits rather than junk foods or even dried fruits. Water content in fresh fruits will help you feel fuller longer.