By Taylor Robbins, C.S.C.S
Look, there is no secret here, eating less will lead to weight loss. That is a fact. However, eating too little will lead to NO weight loss as this causes metabolic damage. That is however a topic for another article.
This article is going to talk about how to implement some easy and simple tricks to feeling more full after you eat so you can eat less and lose more weight and have the body of your dreams.
What the heck makes us feel full?…I mean physiologically?
We have these cute little buggers called mu-opioid receptors (MORs) which communicate from our portal vein (empties blood from the gut) to the brain to communicate hormones which tell us we are hungry.
So, how can we manipulate hormones to get the desired effect of feeling more full by eating less food? Ready for it…
1. Put the fork down and chew
We so easily keep the fork in our hands or the food in our hands when we eat. I know I do this naturally. We are conditioned this way. Just put the fork down between bites, and you’ll chew longer. This is important because saliva starts the breakdown of food and digestion, and even makes carbs breakdown “better”. Our saliva releases amylase which is a hormone that triggers the breakdown of carbs into sugars. Having more amylase is good because we get a better insulin response so that those sugars are converted to be used as opposed to being stored for fat.
2. Eat on a smaller plate
Again, we are conditioned to always finish the food on our plates. We don’t think we are finished eating until that plate is licked clean.
Eating on a smaller plate will help decrease the portion of food. Cut your normal portion by 20% and place it on smaller plates. Clinical studies showed that people were just as full eating less food simply because they thought they “finished” all the food on their plate.
3. Drink 8oz of water before your meal
Many people mistake hunger for thirst. You definitely are not drinking enough water. “But, I have tons of soda and coffee and energy drinks which consist of water…” You’re full of crap if you say that. The water is diluted with toxins and diretic agents which dehydrate you even more.
Try drinking 8-10 fluid ounces of water 5-10 minutes before your meal. You may find that you are fuller after eating less food because you were hydrated. Otherwise, your body desires water from the food you eat.
4. Take 20 minutes to eat
Like I mentioned above, taking more time to eat may help you be more full. I know you like to scarf your food in under 10 seconds because your lunch break is only eight and a half minutes long, but you need to prioritize this time. Why you may ask is it so important…?
We have hormones that tell our brain we are full. These hormones only get released after 20 minutes of eating. The two main hormones are leptin and PYY (peptide-YY). These communicate to the brain to say we are full. So, make those meals last longer.
5. Turn the TV off
You eat a lot more because it’s mindless eating. You put a show on at dinner time and all the sudden the two handfuls of nuts you were going to eat turned into the whole bag. Again, you just continue to grab and feed, grab and feed.
Turn the TV off and eat around a table and you’ll find that mindful eating leads to eating less. Listen to your body and sense when you’re full. Hey, you may even get to hang with your family for a bit instead of the celebrities of Dancing with the Stars.
6. Increase portion of protein
Did you know you burn more calories eating protein and it takes more time to break down meat? So, that meat sits in your stomach longer, waiting to be broken down, while you feel a full feeling down there. This is good.
Also, the bi-products of protein are called peptides. These help block MORs to the brain thus causing a glucose release from the gut so that we feel more full and stop eating.
7. Increase portion of veggies
Veggies carry almost no calories, but they do carry lots of fiber and micronutrients.
Fiber won’t metabolize because they are insoluable, which means no calories. But they will cause a feeling of eating lots of food.
Micronutrients are necessary for the body, so when we get those, the gut craves less food. One cup of kale has the same nutrient density as 100 cups of fries. So, eating more nutrient dense foods will lead to eating less food overall.