Top 6 filling foods
Foods to fill you up and keep you going for longer
How full did you feel after your last meal? Did you get a sense of sustained satisfaction or did you find that hunger pangs got you reaching for a snack just a little while later? The good news is there are certain foods that have qualities that rate high on the immediate satisfaction scale (or satiety index) so they make you feel fuller quicker, and keep you feeling full for longer too.
Porridge oats have a very low G.I., meaning that the carbohydrate is released into your bloodstream slowly and therefore will sustain your energy levels and help prevent those 11am food cravings.
Porridge is also a great food to fill you up due to its consistency; it's been found that wetter and creamier foods switch on satisfaction signals and so improve satiety. What's more, studies show that a bowl of porridge can lower cholesterol. So all up, porridge makes the perfect breakfast that will see you satisfied until lunch.
Popcorn has the benefit of being a wholegrain food which means it contains more fiber than many other snack alternatives, making it a great filling snack. Secondly it fills you up due to its volume — a 25g (0.9oz) serving of popcorn will fill a much bigger bowl compared the same weight in chips — plus there's less fat too. Make sure you don't go for the butter, oil, toffee or salt varieties though; plain, air-popped popcorn seasoned with a smidge of cayenne pepper can give you a great fill-up snack fix.
Apples are a great food to keep hunger at bay due to the fact that they are full of fiber. Studies have also suggested that they can make a good pre-meal snack; research has shown that eating an apple 20 minutes prior to a eating a meal reduces the amount you eat during that meal. So, enjoying an apple for your daily snack will not only contribute to one of your daily recommended fruit or veg portions (you should be aiming for at least five a day) but the fiber will fill up your stomach and should keep those hunger pangs at bay.
Oranges are another super-fruit when it comes to the satiety index and are almost twice as filling as bananas for the same amount of calories. This is thought to be down to their water content, which plays a big part when it comes to helping you feel full. Oranges are 86 per cent water and research shows that foods with high water content can help to improve our satiety because it increases the portion size without adding calories. Choose a whole orange rather than orange juice; it contains more fiber which also helps achieve that 'I'm full' feeling.
Eggs aren't as low in calories compared to the other food we've mentioned so far, but due to the fact that they are a great source of protein they definitely deserve a mention. You see, foods high in protein will keep you full for longer. Plus, eggs have other benefits too; they contain all the essential amino acids in the exact proportions required by the body for optimum growth and maintenance of lean, metabolically active muscle tissue.
Starting a meal with a hearty soup is a great fill-up strategy and there's plenty of good research that suggests eating soup before a meal improves satiety, so you eat less and take in fewer calories as a result. You need to be careful on your soup selection though; your best option is a homemade soup so you have control over the ingredients and you can even include other filling foods (for example potatoes, lentils or beans). If you do choose a pre-made soup, make sure you check out the nutritional information — particularly quantities of salt and fat.