10 Belly-Filling Tactics To Help You Eat Less
When you’re famished, you want to eat – and you want to eat a lot. Here’s the good news, If you choose the right foods, you can eat large amount of food at every meal and still lose weight, as long as you choose low-calorie fare that’s full of water and fiber, or “high-volume foods.” It’s a proven strategy: A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dieters who cut back on fat and folded in more weight than those who only trimmed the fat. The best part is that the folks who added high-volume foods to their diet consumed 25 percent more food (by weight) than those who didn’t. And they still shed an extra 5 pounds. “Water-rich foods allow you to eat satisfying portions while still providing few calories,” explains study author Julia Ello-Martin, PhD.
Sidle Up To The Salad Bar
Lettuce and other leafy greens contain virtually no calories and are loaded with nutrients and water. Iceberg lettuce, for example, is 96 percent water, while raw spinach is 91 percent water! That means you can eat a lot, feel full, and shed flab at the same time. The key: Avoid weighing your greens down with salad bar nono’s like shredded Cheddar cheese and croutons. Stick to fresh veggies, fruit, less-dense cheeses (like mozzarella), and a small sprinkling of nuts.
Stock Up On Fruit
What makes fruit so juicy? Water! Fruit is about 80 to 95 percent water, with papayas, watermelon, and tomatoes (yes, they’re fruit) leading the water-rich pack, according to USDA data. Try keeping a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter, or even at your desk, so you grab a piece in a pinch, rather than less-filling convenience snacks like a dried fruit. For around the same amount of calories, you can down an entire cup of grapes or a measly 3 tablespoons of raisins.
Fill Your Cart With Vegetables
Like fruit, vegetables consist primarily of water and a substantial load of essential vitamins and minerals. Any produce you add to your plate is a positive, but if it’s water-rich picks you’re after, look no further than cucumbers, cooked butternut squash, and spinach. Boost the volume of a rice or pasta dish by replacing half of it with water-rich vegetables.
Switch To Puffed Cereals
Cornflakes and bran flakes are flat and dense. Not exactly filling. But puffed cereal is pumped full of air, and that air fills up your belly without making you feel bloated. Plus, when a food is puffed, it looks bigger, so you’ll likely pour and feel satisfied eating – a smaller portion. Trade you cornflakes or Raisin Bran for puffed, whole grain cereals, such as Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs cereal.
Nuke A Bowl Of Oatmeal
Think about it: What do you mix oatmeal with? Water and milk. This combination of moisture and fiber makes oatmeal the perfect high-volume food to add to your breakfast.
Dress Up Your Popcorn
Cheese and crackers aren’t necessarily a bad snack. However, before you start slicing, consider this: Six Cheddar-cracker stacks could easily cost you 330 calories – and snacks should contain 200 calories, max. If you’re craving the cheesy/salty combo, switch to popcorn sprinkled lightly with Parmesan cheese. Popcorn is high in volume and low in calories and is loaded with belly-filling fiber. You’ll be able to eat more without noticing the effects on your belly.
Slurp Broth-based Soups
Soup appears time and again on the USDA’s list of the most water-rich foods. Not only is the appetizer built around water, but it’s also the perfect vessel for veggies, another high-volume food. To fill up for relatively few calories, look fro low-sodium, broth-based soup, such as tomato or vegetable soup. In a study of 150 overweight people, those who ate soup every day fro a year dropped 50 percent more weight than those who didn’t.
Add Ice To Your Drink
This one’s a no-brainer. Ice, of course, has zero calories, and it adds serious volume to your drink. Translation: You can enjoy your occasional flavored beverage longer. Plus, research shows that ice-cold drinks may elevate your metabolism, since your body burns calories bringing the chilly beverages up to body temperature.
Make The Perfect Shake
Protein shakes are, of course, based around liquid, so they have enhance the satiety of your shake – with-out adding any extra calories. Let your blender work a little longer, allowing your smoothie to be whipped into a froth. When Penn State researchers had people drink blended shakes of various volumes, they found that those who drank the more-aerated shakes ate 12 percent less food at their next meal. The frothy appearance of the shakes may have tricked them into thinking they were drinking more, so they felt fuller, the scientists said.
Stick A Spoon In Yogurt
Studies suggest that the calcium in low-fat dairy can blast belly fat. To ensure you get the most bangs for your calorie buck, choose yogurt over cheese. Yogurt contains more water than cheese, especially the hard, aged varieties. That means yogurt more quickly activates stretch receptors in your stomach, which then fire “full” signals to your brain.