Burning more calories than you consume works as one of the basic principles of weight loss. The problem with cutting calories is you often still feel hungry, making it hard to stick with your diet regimen. The key to success, according to Dr. Barbara Rolls, author of "Volumetrics: Feel Full on Fewer Calories," is to eat foods that fill you up and satiate your appetite without giving you a dose of fattening calories. You can fill up on such low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods without too much guilt.
Cheese and Fruit or Vegetables
Pair a low fat cheese with freshly cut fruit like an apple, recommends the University of Illinois. The cheese contains protein while the fruit or vegetables contain slow-digesting fiber that keeps you full. In contrast, the university says eating just vegetables or fruit sans the protein will often leave you still feeling hungry.
The Mayo Clinic recommends pairing a lean meat, such as poultry, with whole grain bread as a nutrient-dense yet low-calorie lunch. This will help you "feel full longer," reports the clinic. Boost its health factor by adding extra fiber like dark green, leafy vegetables and a side of fresh fruit for dessert.
Whole Wheat Pasta
Pasta has a bad reputation as a source of lots of empty calories, but that mainly refers to white flour pasta. "Health" magazine suggests whole grain pastas because they contain up to 300 percent more stomach-filling fiber, often with 200 calories or less in every 1/2 cup serving.
Fish are the top meat if you want lots of filling protein but fewer calories than what's found in red meats, states the Mayo Clinic. Even fatty fish can be healthy since their fat comes in the form of beneficial omega-3 fats.
LIVESTRONG.com: Italian Style Fish Filets Recipe
Beans aren't just a top choice for lean, vegetarian protein. Dr. Ida Laquatra, reporting to "Women's Health" magazine, says beans' high fiber content gets digested more slowly in your stomach, so you have a feeling of fullness that lasts well beyond your meal. The Mayo Clinic specifically recommends lentils.
- University of Illinois: Essentials for Eaters & Dieters
- "Volumetrics: Feel Full on Fewer Calories"; Barbara Rolls and Robert Barnett; 2000
- MayoClinic.com: Energy Density and Fewer Calories
- Health Magazine: Yes, You Can Eat Pasta Again
- Women's Health Magazine: Eat These Healthy Foods For Maximum Satiety
About this Author
Joshua Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist who has been writing since 2000. His work has appeared in various national and international magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine." Duvauchelle graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and he earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.