Some people believe that you have to undereat to lose weight, but this isn't true. You can enjoy plenty of snacks without gaining weight, as long as you know what to eat and how to plan your meals. You'll even feel satisfied throughout the day!
You may be surprised to learn that you can eat dark chocolate and popcorn while maintaining your weight. You can also enjoy an egg breakfast guilt-free. Learn how to eat fewer calories, feel full, and cut cravings. Experts have put together the best food and hacks to keep you full without gaining weight.
The majority of people need to have a diet rich in fiber. Not only does fiber give us energy, but it's a food that takes a long time to digest. This causes you to feel full longer on fewer calories. Some examples of foods that are filled with fiber are whole grains, vegetables, and fruit.
Popcorn is a high-fiber, low-calorie snack packed with whole grains, but it's important to get the kind that's air-popped with low sodium. About one cup of this type of popcorn only has around 30 calories.
Unlike other soy products, edamame is not sweetened and makes a healthy, natural snack. In 2009, research in the Journal of Nutrition found that edamame increases satiety. It supplies protein and fiber, which keeps people fuller for longer. Plus, a bit of salt is all you need for flavor.
"I can't think of many foods that low in calories and also that high in protein and fiber," says registered dietitian Torey Armul. Edamame has all nine amino acids along with healthy omega-3s. For a quick and easy snack, buy microwavable edamame with few preservatives.
Although liquids don't curb peoples' appetite, liquids and solids can help you feel full. Soups are the perfect example. A study in the journal Appetite concluded that soups are more filling than all-solid meals. Participants who ate soup consumed 20% fewer calories by the end of their dinner.
Why does soup fill you up so well? According to the BBC, broth-based soups stretch your stomach more than the average meal. This suppresses the hormone ghrelin, which tells your body to eat less. As a result, you feel fuller for longer.
Apples and Bananas
Snacks are a great way to boost energy during an afternoon slump, but it's vital to know which ones are the best to eat. Foods such as apples or bananas are filled with tons of nutritional elements such as fiber and potassium. Having these close by will also make them a convenient choice.
A medical journal called Appetite found that when people are craving something unhealthy, they will usually go for whatever is most accessible. Getting rid of unhealthy options and surrounding yourself with nutritious ones will help you fill up without the guilt and extra calories.
Kale chips are kale that has been dried in an oven to become crunchy. Not only do they satisfy cravings for crunchy, salty foods, but they also offer more nutrients than potato chips. Kale contains a lot of water and few calories, which can speed up weight loss, according to the journal Obesity Research.
Registered dietitian Jaclyn London says that eating kale alone cannot make people drop weight. However, kale can boost metabolism, and the chips are far healthier than the alternatives. Drizzle kale with salt and olive oil, and bake it in the oven.
If you follow health gurus and influencers, you may notice that a lot of them enjoy eating oatmeal. Oats are ideal for weight loss because they have whole grains and high fiber. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that oatmeal keeps people fuller for longer than your average breakfast cereal.
Another study by the University of Central Florida stated that oatmeal aids dieters. Participants who did not successfully diet before the study benefitted from an oatmeal breakfast with protein. They ate 100 fewer calories throughout the day and lost one pound per week!
Trail mix combines nuts, dried fruit, and a sweet like chocolate. If you find the right trail mix, you'll have a great weight-loss snack that also curbs sugar and salt cravings. Registered dietitian Jonathan Valdez says that trail mix is the perfect snack for people with chocolate cravings.
Amy Keating, a Consumer Reports registered dietitian, recommends choosing a trail mix that’s mostly fruit and nuts. Avoid ones with M&Ms and yogurt-covered raisins, which can contribute to weight gain. Instead, pinpoint one with dark chocolate.
Spicy foods, specifically peppers, can help people with weight management. According to researchers, capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers spicy, may boost metabolism. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that capsaicin helps people feel less hungry and eat fewer calories.
That said, spicy peppers may aid weight management more than weight loss. Physician Spencer Nadolsky does not advise taking capsaicin as a supplement because too much can have side effects. But if you are a fan of spicy foods, eating more could benefit you.
Some health articles have demonized eggs for their high cholesterol count. But eggs can fit into a healthy diet, and studies suggest that they can help you lose weight. You can thank egg's amino acids and protein, mainly found in the yolk.
In 2008, research in the International Journal of Obesity compared eggs and bagels for breakfast. Participants who ate eggs felt more full throughout the day, and they ate fewer calories overall. Egg-eaters also had a lower BMI than the bagel-eating group. Despite what some people say, there's no need to fear eggs.
Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds are high in fiber with an impressive amount of nutrients. Two teaspoons of chia seeds offer 40% of your recommended daily fiber, and more fiber aids weight loss. In 2009, a study in Nutrition Research determined that chia seeds can shrink fat and blood pressure in overweight adults.
So how can you eat chia seeds as a snack? Create chia pudding. Since chia seeds rapidly absorb water, you only need to add a liquid and let them soak. Combine the seeds with milk, yogurt, water, or juice, and add healthy toppings such as fruit and nuts.
Cauliflower is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an ideal weight-loss snack. It also has some quality fiber that makes it digest slowly. According to the scientific journal Nutrients, cauliflower's slow digestion helps people feel fuller for longer.
Cauliflower is also 92% water, which also supports weight loss. In 2016, another Nutrients study determined that water-dense food can shed pounds. These foods are low-calorie and burn more than they add. Bake some cauliflower with curry powder for a tasty, crunchy snack.
Avocado provides plenty of monounsaturated fats and fiber that can shrink your appetite. In 2013, a study in Nutrition Journal found that eating avocado before a meal can reduce appetite. Participants who ate avocado during lunch had a 40% lower desire to eat afterward.
Scientists have also discovered that avocado can help people eat healthier overall. In 2013, a survey discovered that avocado-eaters tend to have a better daily diet. Their risk of metabolic syndrome decreased by up to 50%. A piece of avocado toast can make a great weight-loss snack.
One of the healthiest foods is ginger. It can reduce nausea, ease muscle pain, and regulate inflammation and blood sugar. PubMed Central found that ginger has been linked to hunger-reduction. A study had people consume ginger powder diluted in water every morning and those who ingested the powder were less hungry throughout the day.
Ginger contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols that stimulate parts of the body to reduce the oxidative stress and aid in weight loss. These compounds stabilize blood sugar levels, which is key to losing weight and staying full longer.
Protein is a muscle-growing fuel that should be incorporated into practically everyone's diets. It raises the levels of peptides and synthesized amino acids in the stomach to send signals to your brain to tell you that you're full. Foods with protein should make up about 20 to 30 percent of your total calorie intake for the day.
Humans use protein to build and repair tissues, enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It also helps with the growth process of bones, cartilage, skin, and blood. Protein is a macronutrient, which means the body needs a lot of it because there's nowhere to store it.
High-fiber meals will keep you full throughout the day, and you can easily receive fiber from beans, such as chickpeas, black beans, and even lentils. For instance, one cup of black beans contains seven grams of fiber, around 28% of your daily recommended dose. Registered dietitian Kelly Kennedy explains that fiber fills you up without adding calories to your diet.
In 2014, a study in the journal Obesity compared pasta to bean-based dinners. Meals with beans, chickpeas, and lentils were 31% more filling than pasta dishes. Plus, beans are low-calorie and can easily be added to soups, rice dishes, and tacos.
Cottage cheese can make a great low-calorie snack, especially before bed. Research in the British Journal of Nutrition analyzed people who ate cottage cheese at night. When participants ate cottage cheese half an hour before bed, they had a lower weight and improved metabolism.
According to researchers, cottage cheese contains a protein called casein, which releases slowly into the body. Overnight, the body breaks it down and improves its metabolic response. Although cottage cheese does not have any fiber, it supplies plenty of protein that can work for a weight loss diet.
Hummus has more protein and nutrients than other dips. Because of its fiber and healthy fats, hummus can help people lose weight. In 2014, a national survey found that people who eat hummus are 53% less likely to become obese.
Most hummus is made from chickpeas, although some are created from black beans, soybeans, or lentils. Registered dietitian Kelly Kennedy recommends choosing a hummus with few preservatives or added sugars. Also, get one with healthy oil, such as olive oil. All of these might help you slim down.
There are a few good reasons to add oranges to your grocery list right now! These bright fruits are full of vitamin C, which can encourage weight loss, lower blood pressure, and boost the immune system.
Low in calories, it's safe to snack on oranges at any time of day without having to worry.
Pickles are a great go-to snack for people who are watching their weight as they're very low in calories. A cup of dill pickles has just 17 calories!
It's best to look for pickles that are not sweetened.
Peanut butter can suppress blood sugar and reduce a person's appetite. That, combined with its high protein, makes it a perfect weight-loss snack. According to a scientific review in The Journal of Nutrition, eating peanuts before a meal can increase feelings of fullness. If you need a quick snack before dinner, choose peanut butter.
Another study from Harvard said that you don’t need to eat peanut butter every day. When participants ate peanut butter twice a week, they lost more weight over eight years than those who didn’t.
Some people may think that vegetables are not filling since many of them have low protein. But veggies don't need protein to be filling. They have high nutrients, water, and fiber, which will keep people satisfied. A study from the American Dietetic Association found that eating pasta with vegetables make participants feel fuller while reducing the overall calorie intake.
Even a few added vegetables could make you feel fuller. According to research in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, adding spinach to a meal helps people eat fewer calories. Plus, you'll receive more vitamins and minerals.
If you need an edible spoon for peanut butter or hummus, choose celery. This "zero-calorie" food is so low in calories that it's basically water. Plus, studies have found that celery burns more calories than it contains.
In 2016, scientists studied how celery operates in the body. According to them, celery boosts the rate at which the body burns calories. Not only is it tasty, but celery is also far healthier than choosing chips. You can also add celery to soups, salads, and smoothies.
Since the 1930s, the "Grapefruit Diet" has encouraged people to eat half a grapefruit before meals. This has some scientific backing. Research from the Scripps Clinic confirmed that grapefruit can help people lose weight. Specifically, patients with metabolic syndrome had better insulin levels after eating grapefruit.
Grapefruit has high water and fiber, which can keep you full. A study in Nutrition & Metabolism noted that eating grapefruit helped participants with calorie reduction. They ate smaller meals and had a smaller waist circumference over time.
Researchers have discovered that eating pears can help people lose weight. According to a study from Louisiana State University, people who eat pears are 35% less likely to become obese. Head researcher Carol O'Neil believes that a pear’s high fiber helps to shed pounds.
In 2003, a Brazilian study analyzed people who ate a pear before meals. After having the snack, participants consumed fewer calories overall. According to scientists, the pear increased peoples’ metabolism and helped them feel fuller. Although pears don’t have much protein, they can still make a filling snack.
Coconut oil contains fatty acids that can keep you full. The oil is 90% saturated fat with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). According to research in Obesity, MCTs convert to kerotene bodies in the digestive tract. Kerotene bodies can reduce your appetite throughout the day.
However, take these results with a grain of salt. MCTs may make you feel fuller, but coconut oil is not all MCTs. In 2017, researchers discovered that coconut oil does not satisfy people as much as MCT oil. But coconut oil tastes better and can easily be added to several meals.
Water, Water, Water!
A study by Physiology & Behavior found that over 60 percent of people will eat when their body actually needs to be hydrated. This is because the hypothalamus in your brain that's in charge of hunger and thirst can mix up the signals.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is not only healthy, but it will fill you up to prevent you from unnecessary eating. Water can help boost energy levels and metabolism. The American Chemical Society suggests drinking about two cups of water or herbal tea before a meal because it reduces your calorie intake.
Eat More Breakfast
There's a reason why breakfast is called the most important meal of the day. Starting the day off with a healthy meal gives the body fuel that it can use for energy. Massage Magazine found that people who regularly eat breakfast won't snack as often throughout the day.
This doesn't mean to eat sugary cereal and pastries loaded with unhealthy fats. People need to eat the right kinds of breakfast foods, whether that be high-fiber cereal, egg whites, fruit salad, or yogurt with granola. Eating breakfast can also help with increased concentration and retaining and recalling information.
Chewing Gum Can Suppress Appetite
A recent study on hunger found that people who chew gum for at least 45 minutes can reduce their appetite and increase their fullness. It's important to note that chewing gum doesn't burn calories, but can act as an appetite suppressant if you want to prevent yourself from overeating.
CNN reported that for some, putting a sugary or sweet thing in their mouth after a meal can help them signal that a meal is over. They found that chewing gum also decreases the desire for sweets and snacks, leading people to eat about 40 fewer calories per day.
You Should Consider Keeping A Food Journal
A study done by Kaiser Permanente found that people who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight in six months versus those who didn't log their food intake. The researchers found that writing down your food choices makes you more accountable for what you're eating.
This means that if you're aware that you're constantly making poor choices when it comes to eating, you're more likely to switch to more nutritious options. Taking the time to reflect on a day's worth of food can really make you more cognizant of how you're treating your body.
Just Keep Chewing
It's easy to eat your food too quickly in order to prevent it from getting cold or just out of pure excitement. Eating fast is more likely to keep you feeling hungry, but there are tactics to slow the process down. Health experts recommend taking the time to chew your food.
When you eat at a medium to slow pace your stomach thinks it's getting more food, which can allow you to feel full faster. Taking the time to count how many times you're chewing your food with a minimum of five up-and-down motions should get you at a slower pace.
Recognize The Signs Of Hunger
A simple motto people should follow throughout their day is to only eat when they are hungry. If you're not hungry, then don't eat. That means even if you're bored, sad, stressed, or in a social situation, it doesn't mean you automatically need to grab something to eat.
It's important to listen to the hunger signs your body tells you. The signs can include having your stomach grumble, a feeling of emptiness in your stomach, inability to focus, headaches, stomach pain, and shakiness. Experiencing any of these hunger side effects is telling your body that your blood sugar levels are decreasing.
An Apple A Day Improves Your Weight
Believe it or not, apples have one of the highest satiety indexes of all fruits. You can thank their soluble fiber, called pectin, says the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Pectin naturally slows digestion, which helps people feel fuller. However, whole apples fill you up much more than juice or applesauce.
Researchers at UCLA praised pectin more than other forms of fiber. When the scientists swapped other types of fiber for pectin, digestion time doubled. If you want that effect, eat an apple as a weight-healthy snack.
A medical site called Nature found that the bitterness in dark chocolate can help decrease appetite and the craving for sweets. Dark chocolate also has stearic acid, which aids in slowing digestion to make people feel full. Even smelling this food has the possibility of producing the same effect.
It's made from the seed of the cocoa tree and is one of the best antioxidant sources in the world. Various studies have found that dark chocolate has the capability of improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure, and preventing heart disease.
Stick To Solid Foods
While some prefer to have smoothies and juices as a snack, there are many people who use them as full meals. Although they are usually full of nutrients, they can prevent people from feeling full. Humans don't register liquid calories the same way they do for solid food.
A medical journal called Appetite found that energy contained from fluids has been shown to be less satisfying than those from solid food. The physical act of chewing increases responses in the brain to feeling full, especially when people are able to hear their crunches.
Watching Yourself Eat May Be Drastic, But It's Worth A Try
It can be very difficult trying to control yourself from overeating and it may take drastic measures to curb bad habits. Researchers at Cornell University found that eating unhealthy food in front of a mirror can make it not taste as good.
When they looked deeper into their study they found that people who watch themselves eat junk food will feel more uncomfortable because they suddenly become aware that they're making an unhealthy decision. Placing a mirror in your kitchen or dining room will allow you to actively observe what you eat every day.
Remember To Pace Yourself
Food is meant to be enjoyed and eating it too fast can cause you to still feel hungry, even if you ate enough. This is why it's very important to pace yourself as you eat and take your time while doing so. Medical News Today found that eating too fast can lead to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
A cardiologist at Japan's Hiroshima University found that gobbling your food too quickly destroys your metabolism. He added, "Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome."
Take A Look At The Size Of Your Silverware
According to Healthline, the size of eating utensils have the potential of affecting how much food people will eat to feel full. There was a study that found people who used larger forks ate about 10 percent less than those who ate the same meals with smaller forks.
The researchers who did the study concluded that the people who were eating with small forks most likely felt that they weren't eating as much, so they couldn't satisfy their appetite. Contrary to this, they found the opposite for people who used bigger versus smaller spoons.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
In order for people to feel like they're satisfied with not overeating, they need to take great care of their body. One way to do this is to get plenty of sleep. When people lack sleep their body can have trouble regulating the hunger hormones called ghrelin and leptin.
Researchers at the University of Chicago found that sleep deprivation increases the body's levels of endocannabinoids, which triggers cravings for foods that are sweet, salty, and fatty. This can even happen when your body isn't physically hungry. Experts recommend that adults should get about six to eight hours of sleep a night.
Do Your Best To Reduce Stress
Most people regularly experience feeling stressed, but not everyone copes in a healthy way. Dietician Julieanna Hever discovered that "stress kicks up your cortisol levels into high gear, which promotes hunger and overeating." This means that even if you eat healthy, constant stress will prevent you from feeling full.
There are numerous solutions for stress management, which can be anything from meditation, exercise, hanging out with friends, or talking to a therapist. Finding a way to prevent your stress levels from increasing is essential to living a longer life. Too much stress can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and more.
Avoid Distractions While Eating
One of the worst things to do while eating is having some sort of distraction. A nutrition site called Active found that people are more likely to consume more food and eat for longer periods of time if they're watching television, listening to music, or working at a computer. The most common form of this is eating while watching television.
Eating while being distracted interrupts the signals your brain sends to your stomach to tell you that you're full. This solution for this is to simply focus on the meal when you're eating in order to not overeat.
Leave The White Carbs Behind
Eating white carbohydrates such as white rice, pasta, and bread isn't the best thing for your overall health. These foods can lead to big energy spikes and dips and don't really provide any nutritional value. If you feel like you can't live without them, try some alternatives.
You can switch to brown rice, whole-grain pasta, and whole-grain bread, which are high in fiber and will absorb slowly in your digestive system. This causes you to feel full faster and longer. Even though these alternatives take a bit longer to cook, it will be worth it.