We’ve all been there, stomach growling after what we think is a healthy breakfast and counting the minutes until lunch. Especially when trying to lose weight, choosing the right foods is essential to feeling full, and having the energy to exercise and live life. Help curb your hunger with these snack and meal ideas from 12WBT dietitian Erica Grandjean.
The essential components to staying fuller for longer
Foods that contain protein, fat and/or fibre are harder to for our bodies to breakdown. They pass through the stomach at a slower rate, take longer to digest and as a result, provide a slower release of energy and keep us feeling fuller for longer. As an example, eat an apple and you probably don’t feel full for long. But, eat an apple with some cottage cheese, peanut butter or a few unsalted nuts and that humble apple will last a lot longer!
Also read: Best Snacks for Weight Loss
A healthy snack formula
I encourage our 12WBT Members to choose snacks that contain at least two of these nutrients: protein, fat and fibre. Here’s why:
- Protein takes longer to digest, as it’s an energy intensive process.
- Fat slows gastric emptying (i.e. the speed at which food passes though the stomach).
- Fibre takes longer to digest, and slows the release of energy into the blood stream.
Some yummy snack ideas to keep us full
- An apple with peanut/almond butter.
- Yoghurt with berries or a sprinkle of pumpkin/chia/sunflower seeds.
- A boiled egg with a small handful of raw almonds.
- Carrot/capsicum/cucumber sticks with hummus or cottage cheese.
Main meal ideas to keep you full
For main meals, this is my healthy plate formula:
- 1/2 of the plate is non-starchy vegetables.
- ¼ of the plate is quality protein (e.g. meat, fish, chicken, eggs, tofu, legumes).
- ¼ of the plate is low GI carbohydrates (e.g. sweet potato, basmati rice, pasta, quinoa, etc.) and a little healthy fat (i.e. olive oil when cooking, olive oil drizzled on a salad, avocado on the side, etc.).
This is a great formula for keeping you feeling full – you can eat quite a volume of food, without having to take on loads of energy/calories. Plus, you’ll be getting the nutrients you need to thrive each day, so give some of these combos a try.