How to feel full while cutting calories: Use these 5 easy tips

  • 2 Minutes Read

We want to let you in on a secret-dietitians know how to help you feel full without jeopardizing your weight-loss goals! There's no way around it: weight loss requires eating fewer calories than you burn. Your ideal weight-loss plan will help you accomplish all of the above!

How to feel full

How to feel full on fewer calories with 5 easy tips

1. Eat enough protein

Have you ever found you're unsatisfied after eating a salad or a pasta dish? Boosting up your protein intake may help. Research shows that higher-protein meals can help you feel full, allowing you to eat fewer calories without feeling deprived.

We recommend you aim for at least 20 grams of protein at each meal, which allows you to easily hit our minimum goal of at least 60 grams of protein daily. If you get too hungry at night, try increasing the protein with your dinner or bedtime snack. Go for lean proteins such as poultry, fish, beans, low-fat dairy, or even a protein powder to help stay within your calorie budget.

2. Slow down your eating

How you eat may be as important as what you eat. Slowing down your eating gives your brain time to receive fullness signals. A slow eating pace is also a valuable mindful eating strategy, allowing you to taste and enjoy your food.

When you slow down your eating, chances are you will chew your food more thoroughly. Chewing your food well helps with digestion and may also help reduce your sense of hunger by altering gut hormones involved in hunger and fullness.

3. Eat high-volume fruits and vegetables

Nothing can make you feel more deprived than seeing tiny portions surrounded by blank space on your plate. One way to feel more satisfied while eating fewer calories is to keep the same volume of food on your plate by swapping out veggies for high-calorie grains and starches.

Go big on non-starchy veggies like broccoli, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, and zucchini. This includes virtually all veggies except higher-carb potatoes, peas, and corn. Fill half your plate with these non-starchy veggies to add color, crunch, and satisfaction without sacrificing volume.

Aim for two to three servings of whole fruit such as berries, oranges, and apples, daily for a naturally sweet hydration and fiber source. Watch portions of fruit juices and dried fruit since the calories can add up fast.

Fruits and vegetables are nature's original, minimally processed snack foods. Grab a piece of fruit or cut-up veggies instead of overly processed foods (chips, crackers, and cookies). Such processed foods make it too easy to eat an excessive amount of calories in a short amount of time.

4. Avoid caloric beverages

Sugar-sweetened beverages, including soda, sweetened tea, sugary coffee drinks, and energy drinks, increase the risk of obesity. The extra carbs in liquid form do not seem to increase the sense of fullness as much as solid carbs. To make matters worse, we often don't make up for these liquid calories by eating less later.

Moderate alcohol intake may offer some heart-protection, but face it- alcohol is high in calories and can increase appetite and lower restraint. You may have experienced this effect if a pre-dinner cocktail has led you to order a higher-calorie meal than you would have otherwise in a restaurant.

Water is always your best beverage choice. Drinking a large glass of water before a meal may help you eat less at the meal, as a study of people on a calorie-reduced weight-loss plan discovered.

5. Track with MyNetDiary to learn how to feel full on fewer calories

MyNetDiary helps you develop an eating plan that allows you to lose weight without being overly-restrictive. Tracking with MyNetDiary helps you make informed food choices based on what foods keep you most satisfied while staying within your calorie budget. Everyone is different-perhaps you feel more satisfied on a low-carb diet, while your friend feels more satisfied on a vegetarian plan. Regardless of which approach you take, we have the tools to support you.

Adapted from original content by Kathy Isacks MPS, RDN, CDCES.

Still new to MyNetDiary? Learn more today by downloading the app for FREE.

Meal Planning & Diets->Plate Method Weight Loss->Appetite & Satiety
Dec 30, 2020
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RD, CDE, BC-ADE, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator

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