One piece of advice often given to dieters is to eat until you reach satiety — that is, until you feel full.
The problem is that different foods can have vastly different effects on hunger and satiety.
For example, 200 calories of chicken breast may make you feel full, but it could take 500 calories of cake to have the same effect.
Thus, weight loss isn’t just about eating until you feel full. It’s about choosing the right foods that make you feel full for the least amount of calories.
1. Boiled Potatoes
Due to their higher carb content, many people avoid potatoes when trying to lose weight, but they shouldn’t. Whole potatoes are loaded with vitamins, fiber and other important nutrients. They also contain a certain type of starch called resistant starch. Resistant starch contains half the calories of regular starch (2 instead of 4 calories per gram). In your digestive system, it acts a lot like soluble fiber, helping you feel full.
2. Whole Eggs
Eggs are another food that has been unfairly demonized in the past. The truth is, eggs are incredibly healthy and high in several important nutrients. Most of the nutrients, including about half of an egg’s protein, are found in the yolk.
Oatmeal is a type of porridge or hot cereal, that is often consumed for breakfast. It’s incredibly filling and ranks third on the satiety index. This is mainly due to its high fiber content and ability to soak up water.
4. Broth-Based Soups
Liquids are often considered to be less filling than solid foods. However, research shows soups may be more filling than solid meals with the same ingredients. When the soup was eaten at the start of a meal in one study, subjects consumed 20% fewer calories at that meal.
Fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids may increase satiety in people who are overweight or obese. They’re also loaded with high-quality protein, which is known to be very filling. In fact, fish scores higher than all other protein-rich foods on the satiety index and ranks second of all foods tested.
The basic idea of clean eating is to choose foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. So instead of boxed, bagged, or packaged foods, choose fresh, whole ones. Think whole turkey instead of frozen turkey meatballs or raw grapes instead of gummy snacks made with fruit juice. Bonus: When you avoid highly processed foods, like chips, cookies, and ready-to-eat meals, you skip their loads of calories, sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
2. Eat More Whole Grains
Refined carbs, like white bread, pasta, and rice, lose nutrients during the manufacturing process. Trade them for whole wheat bread and pasta and brown or wild rice. Or opt for other whole grains like oatmeal, popcorn, barley, or bulgur. This change can have a big impact: Studies show that a diet high in whole grains can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer.
3. Load Up on Fruits and Veggies
These natural foods are two staples of clean eating. Some clean eaters say all your produce should be fresh. But others say that frozen and canned options are the next best thing, since they have just as many nutrients. Just read the label to make sure you’re not getting extra sugar or salt. Also choose whole fruits instead of juices, which have less fiber and more sugar. Aim to get at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day, depending on the calories you need and your level of physical activity.
4. Watch Out for Salt and Added Sugar
Clean foods are naturally low in salt and sugar, and adding them goes against the as-natural-as-possible approach. Since processed foods are a major source of them, you can slash your intake when you avoid them. Otherwise, read food labels to look for added sweeteners and salt, even in foods that seem healthy, like yogurt or tomato sauce. Also keep tabs on how much you add to your foods and drinks. Try flavouring with spices and herbs instead.
5 Skip Artificial Ingredients
Artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, and other manmade ingredients don’t have a place in a clean-eating diet. At the grocery store, read food labels and avoid items with the fake stuff.
6. Sip Plenty of Water
Instead of sugar-heavy soft drinks and juices, sip low-calorie beverages, such as water and herbal tea. Water can curb your hunger and help you feel full, but it can also fend off fatigue and give you more energy. Miss flavoured drinks? Try infusing your water with a slice of citrus or sprig of mint.
7. Rethink Alcohol and Caffeine
Some clean eaters cut them out entirely in favor of drinking plenty of water. Others say it’s OK to have them in moderation. Clean eater or not, experts recommend no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine (about three to five 8-ounce cups of coffee) per day, and one serving of alcohol for women and two for men. Also skip the sugary extras: Opt for plain tea or coffee, and avoid sweet mixers for alcohol.
8. Decide If You’ll Go Organic
Organic farmers use natural pesticides and avoid man-made ones, so some people say organic produce is the best way to eat clean. It’s up to you to decide how important it is to your diet. You can also shop at your local farmers market to find out what kinds of pesticides the vendors use. Another tip: Pesticides usually wind up on the outsides of fruits and veggies, so you can choose non-organic foods with skins you don’t eat, like avocados, corn, and onions
9. Be Smart About Meat and Dairy
Meat, dairy, and eggs you buy at the store may come from animals that get growth hormones and antibiotics. Clean eaters avoid them and choose organic or opt for local sources that raise animals humanely. A farmer’s market is a good place to learn more about where your meat and dairy come from. Seafood isn’t labeled as organic, so look for items low in mercury and that use sustainable fishing. The cleanest approach to protein? Get most of it from nuts, beans, and legumes.