Do you ever feel hungry shortly after a meal? Or just not really satisfied at all quickly after eating?
There could be a reason for that! On one hand, you may not be eating enough. On the other, you may not be balancing out your meals.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry I can’t focus on anything else but that hunger.
Have no fear! Today I am going to share with you 5 ways you can build filling meals so you are happily fueled the rest of the day to prevent brain fog and the hangry monster.
- Bulk up the fiber
And I’m not talking fiber supplements! I mean load up on the PLANTS! Vegetables, fruits, 100% whole grains–add them to your meals! Fiber is a nondigestible carb that helps keep us full for a long period of time. Plus, it can help with prevention and management of chronic diseases, aiding in digestion and weight management.
Easy ways to add fiber to your meals:
- Incorporate a heart healthy fat
Fat plays an instrumental role for our body (especially us gals) because it is important for hormone production. Back in the 1990s, fat was deemed “bad” by society and diet culture. While fat does have more calories per gram than carbs or protein, it is still a vital nutrient our bodies need. Lots of people avoid fat-and that could be why you’re hungry soon after a meal! Incorporating heart healthy fats into your meals can be a great way to keep your body satisfied until your next meal.
Ways to add fats to meals:
Add avocado to you salads/sandwiches
Mix nuts into yogurt parfaits
Drizzle salad with Olive Oil based dressings
Sprinkle chia seeds on your smoothie bowls
Incorporate fish (like salmon, tuna, mahi mahi) to your meals twice a week
- Ensure there is enough protein
To be honest, the protein element in meals is the hardest one for me to plan! I’m not a big meat eater, so I get a lot of my protein from vegetarian sources (like beans, legumes, corn, grains, soy, etc) or dairy…but I can defintely tell a difference in my hunger levels when I am not getting enough protein at meals. Pro tip: plan and prep ahead of time!
Some of my fave + EASY ideas:
Boil eggs for the week
Make dried beans in the crockpot (easy + low maintenance)
Canned fish – salmon & tuna (easy for on the go protein)
Frozen pre cooked grilled chicken (easy for busy nights)
Boil chicken for the week (quick + easily accessible for quick lunches/dinners)
Greek yogurt (great for breakfast or snacks)
Make your own veggie burger (then freeze for easy protein source)
Add nut butters/nuts to meals/snacks
- Include a complex carbohydate
Okay, okay…I know the whole craze is to go carb free, but honey…our bodies run off of carbs. We need carbs for energy. Choosing to go “no carb” or even strictly “low carb” is not a sustainable lifestyle choice…so, eat the carbs! Complex carbs (like 100% whole grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, fruits etc) contain fiber in them making them more satisfying than refined, simple carbs (such as sugar, refined white flour/grains, baked goods, soda, etc). The more active you are, the more carbs your body is going to want–so be mindful while you are planning your meals.
Some ideas on how to add carbs to your diet:Add fresh/frozen berries to oatmeal
Snack on a banana with peanut butter
Eat raw veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, etc) with hummus for snack
Mix in brown rice with your cauliflower rice
Try bean pasta (chickpea, lentil, edamame)
- Choose satisfying foods
How many of you are guilty of eating salads for lunch but actually hate them?? I’ve been there! I used to force drink kale smoothies in college–plot twist: I HATE raw kale. I hate kale in smoothies. BUT I was trying to be “healthy”. And you know where it got me?? 20 minutes later, in my dorm room, eating all the snacks because I was not satisfied with my food choice. Smoothies are great, but when they contain things you don’t like and there is an imbalance of nutrients, then you’re gonna be munchin’ on whatever you can find shortly after. What are foods that satisfy you? Let me know in the comments section 🙂
I hope these tips were helpful for you! Comment down below (or on social media) how YOU stay full and fueled at your meals. I challenge you to keep these things in mind while you’re meal planning and prepping so you can build balanced meals that keep you FULL and satisfied.
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Until Next Time,
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
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