How To Create A FulFILLING Diet

Do you ever finish a meal and feel full yet unsatisfied? Maybe it’s because you are simply trying to eat healthier or maybe you have specific weight loss goals. Either way, when starting a diet, the correct approach is not to cut out entire food groups. This will just leave you craving the foods that you love (especially the fatty ones), and is likely to derail your plan altogether. Here are a few common culprits as to why you might be feeling unfulfilled in your plan:

 

Lack of Fiber: If you aren’t getting enough dietary fiber in your diet (found in vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, beans, etc), it is likely that you never feel full or satisfied. Dietary fiber is important for your bowel health, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and for reaching a healthy weight. High-fiber foods promote a sense of fullness so you can eat less and stay full longer. Try eating a salad at lunch and/or dinner before anything else--your premature fullness will prove how the high fiber and water content in vegetables heighten satisfaction.

You Are Eliminating Fats: Yes, fats are more energy-dense per gram than carbohydrates or proteins, but that does not mean you can quit eating them altogether in an effort to lose weight. Unsaturated (good) fats are essential for immune system functioning, brain health, heart health, and much more. Most importantly, because fats are more energy dense, they keep the body satisfied for longer periods of time. You can find natural peanut butter, sunflower seeds, and sometimes pumpkin seeds in Stav Hall, all great sources of fat (maybe one day we will even get avocados)!

 

Drink More Water: The body often mistakes thirst for hunger. Because water is essential for optimal cell functioning, the body will do anything it can in order to get you to drink more water, including sending hunger signals to the brain. Try drinking a large glass of water 20-30 minutes before a meal and notice how much less tempted you are to keep eating. Make it a habit to grab two glasses of water in the caf, one to drink right when you sit down and one to sip throughout your meal.

 

You Need More Calories: Please just do not try a diet where you consistently eat less than 1200 calories per day. This may be sustainable for a few weeks, but your body will eventually start to have intense cravings for more energy and can lead to an all-out gorge fest, derailing all of your efforts in the long run. If you are not eating enough calories your body will have a difficult time performing vital functions. As a college student you will have a hard time concentrating in classes, your sleep will be disrupted, and you will end up feeling lethargic. Search online sources (such as Precisionnutrition.com) to estimate how many calories you should aim for based on your height, weight, and activity level, then experiment with a calorie tracker such as My Fitness Pal or Livestrong for a few days in order to get a basic idea for portion sizes and how much you should be eating.

 

The moral of this story is: take the long route on your health journey because it is by far the most sustainable. Getting the right nutrients in the correct quantities will make you love the lifestyle--you won’t want to quit!

 

Sources:

 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983

 

https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/skinny-fat-good-fats-bad-fats#1

 

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