How to Eat Healthy and Be Completely Satisfied
*To pin this post for later: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/716987203146291909/
I have so many people that come to me and say "I can't eat healthy (or reach my nutrition goals), because I'm just SO hungry all of the time." This is when I tell them it's not because they're eating healthy, but they may not be eating the right type/mix of foods to help them feel full and satisfied all day long.
Many people think that eating healthy means eating restrictively and possibly being hungry all of the time, but this is just not the case. You can feel full and satisfied eating a healthy diet, and two of the best ways to do this is to incorporate good sources of protein and fibre into every meal and snack. So I have put together a list of good sources of protein and fibre for you! (See below). This of course isn't every single source of protein and fibre, but it is an excellent start to give you some ideas on how to keep yourself full and satisfied from meal to meal (and snacks if you have them).
Many of these you can add to your current meals and snacks for a protein and fibre boost. For example, adding beans, peas and lentils to your side dishes and stir frys, and adding nuts and/or seeds to your yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and salads.
A bit more on fibre (because I'm a huge fibre advocate...and we tend to not get enough!).
Us humans can’t absorb fibre (this is why should we minus it from the total carbohydrates on food labels to get the net carbohydrates...many people don't realize this though), but it helps us absorb other things & keeps our system running smoothly. There are two types of fibre:
1) Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as whole wheat/whole grain foods, bran, nuts, and seeds. It helps by simply being there. It forms the mass that moves through your bowels; key to preventing conditions like diarrhea and constipation (yes, bathroom talk because everybody poops, and it's part of my job to help people figure out their digestion).
2) Soluble fiber is found in fruits, vegetable and flax seed, and it becomes gel-like in water. It helps hydrate stool, allowing it to slip though the intestines smoothly, a key in preventing digestive disorders. It also helps slow down the digestion of food and keeps us full for longer.
Also, despite its popular association with trips to the restroom, fibre is no joke. The benefits of keeping you full, and an efficient bowel aside, a high-fibre diet can also reduce the risk of stroke, hypertension, heart disease, some cancers, and are associated with weight loss.
Now back to our regularly scheduled, non-bathroom talk programming... Healthy fats are also important for many things, including keeping you full and satisfied for longer, hormone balance and helping us absorb other nutrients. The list below includes good sources or fiber and protein, but there are also many sources of healthy fats in both columns (e.g. nuts, seeds, salmon, avocado, and another great source would be olive oil).
Overall, your body needs a certain amount of nutrients each day to live, breath, and function. The more balance/variety of foods and nutrients you can add to your meals and snacks, such as the ones below, the more filling and satisfying your meals will be, the better you will feel overall, and your body will be getting nourished with the nutrients it needs. Being full, satisfied and energized from your food will also make it much less likely that you'll be "hungry all of the time" (something I hear, all of the time), and reaching for unnecessary calories (80% of the time, at least, because we are...only human).
Here is the list! If I'm missing anything or if you have any questions, post in the comments below (or email me!).
Example of a well-balanced, filling meal and snack:
- 3 oz (deck of cards) salmon or chicken
- 1/2 cup quinoa with 1/2 cup beans
- 1 cup cooked asparagus (or any veggie)
1) - 1 slice sprouted grain bread with
- 1/2 half an avocado (sliced or mashed)
2) - 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (preferably plain for less added sugar)
- 1/2 cup berries
- 1 tbsp seeds and/or nuts (e.g. hemp hearts, milled chia or flax seeds, pumpkin seeds,
Again if you have any questions, post in the comments below (or email me!). I'm always here for support.
Felicia Newell is a Nutritionist, Dietitian, Food and Nutrition Expert, Health Coach, and a mom of 4 boys under 6! She is also the owner of Sustain Nutrition. Felicia wears many hats, and knows what it is like to try and live healthy in a busy world, where our environments aren't always supportive of making healthy choices.
Life is busy, confusing at times, and full of contradictions, especially in the world of health and wellness. Felicia is passionate in helping others fight through the misinformation out there, and to navigate life and health, but most importantly, to enjoy the crap out of it while doing it.
She has over 11 years of education and experience in Nutritional Sciences. Between completing her Bachelor and Masters in Nutritional Sciences, working at a research centre, teaching university courses, years of nutrition counselling helping people crush their goals, and being a busy mom of 4 young boys, she has the passion, skills, education, and experience to help others reach health and wellness in a way that works for them.