How hungry do YOU get when you try to lose weight? Hunger pains kill weight loss efforts. You can help yourself by not letting yourself get hungry in the first place. How do you do that? Eat hunger fighting foods…
Characteristics of Hunger Fighting Foods
- Full of Water – Hunger fighting foods are voluminous with water. A large percentage of their total weight is made up of water. Water fills you up and helps with the common mistake of confusing thirst for hunger. Read more about why drinking water is the secret to weight loss.
- Full of Fiber – Hunger fighting foods are full of fiber. Fiber fills your stomach and expands as it absorbs liquid. Fiber transforms into several times its size when combined with liquid. Whether that liquid is water or stomach fluid, it fills your stomach and makes you feel full. Here are 11 easy ways to get more fiber in your diet.
- Heavy – Hunger fighting foods are heavy. This has a lot to do with the fact they are usually full of water. Calorie for calorie, some foods can weigh several times what others do. This heavy feeling in your stomach makes you feel like you’ve eaten enough. A heavy meal makes you feel full.
- Have Carbohydrates – This one is debatable. What isn’t however, is that the body needs glucose. You can get it from carbohydrates, or you can get it from protein or fat through a process called gluconeogenesis. The latter is very inefficient, so I’m going with eating carbohydrates. If your blood sugar drops too low, you start feeling lethargic and the hunger cravings kick in. The best hunger fighting foods fulfill your body’s need for glucose.
- Low Glycemic – Hunger fighting foods are low glycemic. The glycemic index measures the effects carbohydrates have on blood sugar levels. Eat a high-glycemic meal, and watch your blood sugar go through the roof! Once that happens, your body releases insulin to bring blood glucose back to normal. The problem is that insulin overcompensates and leaves you with low blood sugar. Low blood sugar = hunger and cravings. Here are a few ideas for lowering the glycemic index of your meals.
- Taste Good – I’ve covered the physiological aspects of good hunger fighting foods. But let’s be honest – all of this helps, but if you don’t like the taste of what you’re eating, the psychological hunger will always be present.
The 5 Best Hunger Fighting Foods
Now that you know my criteria for what makes a good hunger fighting food, let’s get on to the list. The list is more about a group of similar foods, so in reality, you have more than 5 hunger fighting foods to choose from. However, they are all related, and share the common hunger fighting characteristics outlined above. Here they are:
Legumes are foods like beans. Once soaked and cooked, beans are very heavy. They also made the list of the 5 best fat burning foods. No other food group has more fiber and protein combined into a single food. Not only that, but legumes are extremely low on the GI (glycemic index) scale. What this means is that you put your body into a prime metabolic environment to metabolize fatty acids. Don’t like the taste of beans? Did you know that chick peas, olive oil, and spices are the makings for a great hummus recipe?
What’s a tuber? Tubers are foods like potatoes and yams. Ever picked up a potato before? They’re heavy! They are packed with water and fiber (especially if you eat the skin). Sweet potatoes are low glycemic. They taste great too, especially if you make this baked sweet potato fries with mango dipping sauce recipe. Meat and potatoes have been the staple for many bodybuilders over the years. The same principles apply to the the common man.
Who doesn’t like fruit? It tastes good, and is a natural way to cure that sweet tooth. Hunger fighting foods need to taste good and satisfy those sweet cravings, and fruit does the trick. Now, don’t expect to eat a few grapes and feel full. Make fruit part of a well-balanced meal. It provides a synergistic effect that gives you a satiable feeling. Try making a protein smoothie made with frozen fruit.
What’s a gourd? Gourds are foods like cucumbers, zucchini, and squash. They are another great source for water packed, low glycemic, heavy, and fibrous hunger fighting foods. They even have a semi-sweet taste to them, which helps satisfy that sweets craving. Cucumber salads are great, and spaghetti squash is a great sub for the typical grain spaghetti.
Now, these veggies don’t have to necessarily be green. Other foods like cauliflower will also fit the bill. Green veggies are low calorie, but water and fiber dense. That means they will fill you up without increasing your calorie intake. It does this while providing your body with fat-burning nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants. Make sure your diet has plenty of broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, asparagus, celery, cabbage, collard greens, artichokes, kale, and other similar foods.