October 13, 2016 – Ever get that ‘hangry’ feeling where you feel irritable, fatigued, and unable to focus despite having just eaten only an hour or two ago? Believe it or not, what – in addition to how much – you’re eating can have a huge impact on your ability to feel full for long periods of time. This prolonged feeling of fullness is called satiety. Two simple food groups can increase satisfaction and fullness for sustained periods of time: protein and fiber.
Pack on the Protein
Protein is slowly digested in the body allowing us to use its energetic properties for longer periods of time. Not only does this keep you more alert throughout the day, but it may also increase your metabolism, helping combat unwanted fat stores and promote lean muscles. For example, eating Friendly Farms Nonfat Greek Yogurt, instead of regular yogurt, can double your protein and tastes just as great!
Fuel with Fiber
Fiber is a plant-based substance that takes the body time to try to break it down. While the body is working on digesting fiber, it tells your brain that you are full, promoting satiety and preventing hunger. Fiber also helps to maintain your blood sugar levels, keeping you from feeling sluggish and irritable. Try a breakfast that fits the bill like Blueberry Chia Pudding from the ALDI Test Kitchen. High fiber grains like L’oven Fresh 100% Whole Wheat Bread and Fit & Active Whole Grain Spaghetti, Fit & Active Instant Brown Rice and SimplyNature Organic Quinoa can help to increase fiber intake in your diet.
Protein & Fiber: Better Together
Eating meals that incorporate both protein and fiber can increase your satiety and satisfaction for extended periods of time. Some great pairings include banana and SimplyNature Organic Creamy Peanut Butter or a handful of Southern Grove nuts and SimplyNature Frozen Organic Strawberries. Fit & Active Light String Cheese with an apple or carrots can be a great way to get antioxidants, calcium, fiber, and protein in one quick sitting. Try an ALDI Test Kitchen favorite: Lemon Parmesan Popcorn with Pistachios, using Fit & Active 94% Fat Free Butter Microwave Popcorn, Southern Grove nuts and dried fruit to make the perfect snack to grab on the run.
Other ways to promote satiety include eating light and often. Consuming more vegetables and fruits at meals and less fatty and processed foods will also help stimulate energy and productivity. Incorporating lean meats, chicken, and fresh water fish in meals provides the right types of protein that support lean muscle and boosts metabolism. Provide healthy fats and protein to combat hunger by adding Southern Grove almonds, walnuts and chia seeds to meals.
These are just a few of my tips to keep you fuller, longer. How do you keep full to power through the day? Tell us in the comments below!
Tara (Gidus) Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, is a nationally-recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion. She is the author of Pregnancy Cooking & Nutrition for Dummies and co-author of Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies. Learn more about Tara at dietdiva.net.