Top 10 foods to fill you up and fight hunger
It's normal to feel
hungry when you start a new
exercise regime or you increase your exercise frequency or
intensity. You're burning more
calories, so your body needs to take more in. Here are some
foods you can eat and
avoid feeling hungry, with overindulging, and hopefully
lose weight in the
Porridge is a great breakfast
option to keep you full until lunchtime.
Oats are a wholegrain, which means they contain all three parts of the grain Ė
the nutrient-rich inner germ, the starchy endosperm and the fibre-rich outer
A wealth of research shows that wholegrains can help you feel fuller for longer,
mainly because they are high in fibre and starchy
carbohydrates. Oats are a good
source of a soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which helps to slow down the
digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. They also have a low glycemic index
so can help to keep blood sugar levels steady, preventing those dips that leave
us tired, hungry and reaching for the biscuits.
Top tip: to keep calories down make porridge with water or semi-skimmed milk and
sweeten with an artificial sweetener rather than syrup or honey. Adding fresh
fruit such as berries or a banana will add even more fibre to keep you going for
Research reveals that
potatoes actually help to fill you up thanks to them being packed with starchy
When looking at the Satiety Index and which 38 foods kept us the most full for
two hours after eating them, boiled potatoes came in at the top spot, beating
wholegrain bread, brown rice and bananas.
shown that boiled potatoes are more satiating than chips, even though they have
a higher glycaemic index. Researchers believe this is because we can eat more of
them for fewer calories Ė and itís also the quantity of food, not just the
effect it has on our blood sugar levels, that helps to fill us up.
Top tip: as an alternative to chips, make wedges. Simply cut a medium potato
into eight wedges, spray with a spray oil and bake until the inside is soft and
the outside is crunchy.
Thereís heaps of good research to suggest that eating soup before a meal
improves satiety so you eat less and take in fewer calories as a result.
Itís thought that when water is consumed separately from food
it satisfies thirst not hunger. But when itís mixed with chunky ingredients, the
body handles it like food.
A bowl of soup looks substantial, helping to give the impression that it will
fill you up. And it takes up a lot of space in your stomach Ė and as your
stomach fills up it stimulates stretch receptors that send signals to your brain
to let you know that you are full.
Tip tip: opt for low-fat varieties, rather than filling up on rich, creamy
soups. Good soup choices include vegetable, bean, lentil, mushroom, chicken,
carrot and potato soup.
Research shows that eating eggs for breakfast can help to stop hunger kicking in
so that you eat less for the rest of the day, and lose weight as a result.
In one study, overweight or obese women who ate eggs rather than bagels for
breakfast reported greater feelings of satiety during the morning and consumed
significantly less calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat at lunchtime. Plus
their calorie intake remained lower for the rest of the day as well as for the
next 36 hours. Unsurprisingly then, in a second study where overweight or obese
women followed a low-calorie diet that included either eggs or bagels for
breakfast, those eating eggs lost 65 percent more weight and reduced their waist
measurement by 83 per cent more than those eating bagels.
Itís thought that the protein contained in eggs helps to improve satiety so that
slimmers find it easier to stick to a reduced-calorie diet.
Top tip: avoid fried eggs and instead go for boiled, scrambled, poached or make
an omelette using a spray oil.
Like oats, whole-wheat pasta is a wholegrain food and is packed with fibre and
starchy carbohydrates. A 100g portion of cooked whole-wheat pasta contains almost
three times as much fibre as the same serving size of cooked white pasta Ė 3.6g
compared with 1.2g, respectively.
Pasta also has a low glycaemic index and so helps to stabilize blood sugar
levels so youíre less likely to get dips that leave you starving.
Top tip: As a guideline opt for a
portion thatís about the same size as a tennis ball Ė and remember to serve it
with a low-fat sauce.
When it comes to foods to fill you up, most of you might think bananas would be
the number one fruit choice. But according to the satiety index, oranges are
almost twice as filling as bananas for the same amount of calories.
Oranges may also be more filling because they have a higher fluid content Ė
oranges are 86 percent water compared to bananas which are just 75 percent water
Ė and research shows that foods with a high water content can help to improve
our satiety because it increases the
portion size without adding calories. Plus,
oranges have a lower glycaemic index than bananas.
Top tip: choose a whole orange rather than orange juice. It contains more fibre,
and research shows that drinks donít fill us up as much as food.
When it comes to snacking, popcorn will fill you up far more than crisps, ice
cream, chocolate, cake or doughnuts, simply because itís so bulky. If youíre not
convinced, weigh out 25g of crisps, 25g chocolate and 25g of popcorn. Youíll
find the popcorn fills a much bigger space in a bowl Ė and therefore a much
bigger space in your stomach. That means youíll feel fuller for longer.
Popcorn also has the benefit of being a wholegrain food and so contains more
fibre than many other popular snack foods.
Top tip: skip popcorn thatís coated in butter, oil, toffee or salt and instead
enjoy plain, air-popped popcorn.
Beans are well known for being a good source of fibre, but theyíre also packed
with protein and itís this perfect combination of fibre and protein that fills
you up so youíre less likely to want to eat between
Fibre works its magic in several ways. As well as helping to add bulk to our
diet, insoluble fibre increases the viscosity or stickiness of food in our
stomach so that it empties more slowly.
Soluble fibre helps to control blood sugar levels and may also increase levels
of a satiety hormone so that you feel fuller for longer.
As for protein, research shows this nutrient is more satiating than
carbohydrates or fats as the body has to work harder to digest and absorb it.
Top tip: choose beans that contain no added sugar and or salt and combine them
with other high-fibre foods such as wholegrain toast or a jacket potato for a
double whammy for full tummies.
As well as having a low glycaemic index, research indicates that peanuts can
help to keep you fuller for longer.
In one American study, participants naturally decreased what they ate at other
times of the day after consuming peanuts. Plus, they remarked that they felt
full when they included peanuts or peanut butter in their diet.
Like beans, peanuts are a rich source of fibre and protein, both of which can
help to improve satiety. But peanuts also have the added benefit of also being
crunchy. This is important as crunchy foods take longer to chew and the simple
act of chewing may improve satiety.
Top tip: watch your portion sizes. Nuts are packed with nutrients but theyíre
also high in calories. Go for fresh nuts, too, rather than salted ones.
Itís a slimming staple, but research shows that salad really does help to fill
you up, especially when you have it before a meal. American researchers looked
at the amount of calories women consumed at lunchtime from a main course of
pasta, after eating a
salad starter. They discovered that when the women ate a
small low-calorie salad to start with, the whole meal provided seven percent
fewer calories. The effect was even greater with a large low-calorie salad
starter, with the whole meal containing 12 percent fewer calories. The satiating
effects are likely to be due to a combination of both fibre and a large amount
Top tip: donít top your salad with oily
dressings or mayonnaise. Instead, keep
calories down by using fat-free dressings or a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar.
Hunger can be attributed to a lot of things, although I believe generally
people feel physical hunger due to low blood sugar. But a lot of what hunger
and satiety feels like is psychological. If a person keeps their blood sugar
levels controlled throughout the day they're a lot less likely to feel hunger.
Dated 10 November 2012