Granted there are foods that can boost your feelings of fullness, but how, when and where you eat your meals can also have a bearing on your full factor too. Here are 10 ways to keep your dining habits in check to maximise your feelings of satiety and satisfaction.
Keep eating simple
People can eat more when they dine in company or with the television on because they become distracted as to what exactly is going into their mouth. Make sure mealtimes are all about the food; focus on it entirely and you'll feel full sooner. Avoid fast-paced music too, this can increase the speed you eat, resulting in a clean plate before your body is able to recognise it is full.
Smell and chew
When you eat make sure you give your meal a good sniff as concentrating on the smell of your food as well as the taste also switches on satiety signals. Secondly, chew, chew, chew, and chew some more. Some of the hormones needed to send the satiety signals to the brain are released by your chomping.
Go for bulky and moist
The rationale behind the bulky and moist rule is pretty straightforward; simply the more air and water in food the quicker it will fill you up. So, in terms of food swaps, have vegetable soup rather than a pasty, plain air-popped popcorn instead of crisps and grapes in place of raisins.
Wait after fat
If you do have a meal with a high-fat content then make sure you allow time for that feeling of fullness to come. It can take longer for sense of satiety to come from a fatty meal compared to meal high in protein for example, so allow time for the feeling of fullness from the fat to kick in.
Get enough sleep
When your body is deprived of sleep it produces more ghrelin and less leptin. These are the hormones that are involved in the regulation of appetite; ghrelin is produced largely in the stomach and accelerates your appetite, while leptin decreases appetite as it's the hormone that signals satiety.
The daily recommended amount of water to drink is around the eight glasses mark, but many of us don't get anywhere near that amount and as a result when we feel hungry, it is often because we're actually thirsty. Drink a glass or two of water before a meal, and when you do eat, the food will feel more filling.
Get a smaller plate
People tend to fill their plate however big it is, and most of us eat until it is empty. And the aim of getting a 'clean plate' makes us more likely to override the satiety signals that stop us eating. So, swap your normal plate for a slightly smaller one, and you'll find your 'full' switch will flip a little sooner.
Choose fiddly foods
If you eat foods that take a little time and effort to eat, this will allow time for your body to recognise the feeling of fullness. Good examples of fiddly foods are corn on the cob, a crunchy salad or fish with bones, these types of foods force you to eat more slowly and help you to feel full quicker.
Eat an apple before your meal
Apples help to promote a feeling of fullness and research has shown that eating an apple 20 minutes prior to eating a meal reduces the amount of food that was consumed at that meal. So, including an apple for your daily snack will not only contribute to one of your daily recommended fruit or veggie portions but the fiber will fill up your stomach too.
Try to eat food that is as natural as possible as most manufactured foods tend to be very energy-dense which means they contain more calories or kilojoules bite for bite. However, raw fruit and vegetables take a lot of chewing and occupy a lot of room in your stomach so they fill you up much more per bite.