Sometimes, I swear my stomach is a bottomless pit. It’s like I could eat and eat and eat and never actually be full. I’m not alone in this, am I? I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, and while I’m not a doctor, it is something we talked about in my health coaching class, and it’s also something I’ve had some personal experience with. So here’s how to stay full.
Let’s talk about when you’re legitimately hungry. Like your stomach is grow;ing, you’re about to eat lunch, and you just know that nothing could possibly fill up the giant void in your stomach. If you want to feel full, add in some fiber. Fiber binds with water making you feel full and helping you digest food. But be warned, if you don’t have a lot of fiber in your diet now, start slowly! Too much fiber can cause a stomach ache. Make sure you’re also drinking plenty of water.
Speaking of water… Drink more water. Not coffee, not soda, not juice, just grab a big, tall glass of water. Honestly, I like less-cold water (no ice) because I find it easier to drink. If you’re having trouble drinking a lot of water, try it at room temperature. I know that sounds weird, but for some people, that’s easier to drink. Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just dehydrated!
Let’s not forget about protein, though. If you really want sustained energy and a feeling of fullness, combine protein + fiber + water. Not only can this help regulate your blood sugar (i.e. prevent a sugar crash) but it will also keep your energy up, and keep you satisfied longer. That means, when you’re looking to fill up your stomach, think of recipes with a combination of protein and fiber. That’s how to stay full.
Here’s a few examples to get you started:
This soup has chickpeas (protein) vegetables (fiber) and some avocado (healthy fats) which is a powerhouse combination for filling you up and keeping you satisfied.
Quinoa packs in lots of protein, while the veggies in this rice paper wrap add in some extra fiber. Pair this with a tall glass of water, and you’ve got a meal that will stick with you for hours.
Salads have staying-power if you add in a good source of protein. Tempeh is an awesome vegetarian protein. I add it to a big pile of fresh veggies and top with some balsamic vinegar. Tasty & satisfying.