Within an hour of having breakfast are you already checking the clock, counting down the hours until lunch? To help deter your stomach from growling it’s important that you’re eating the right foods.
To resist your hand raiding the biscuit tin and finishing that extra large bag of crisps, we have asked our experts for extra-satisfying foods to aid you in keeping your appetite in check…
1. Beat cravings with Edamame Beans
These are great to snack on or to add to soups, salads and casseroles. They are high in fibre to help make you feel full and help prevent overeating and snacking.
“Edamame Beans are a great way of keeping your appetite under control and have the added benefit of being high in protein, which will also help keep you fuller for longer,” explains Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at Superfood.uk the online shopping destination for all things health and wellbeing.
2. Have soup as a starter
If you have soup before a meal you will end up eating fewer calories during the meal because soup stops the cells in the stomach producing your hunger hormone ghrelin and turns off your appetite.
“Studies show the body registers greater satisfaction when food is liquidised and soup moves out of the stomach more gradually than a solid meal would, leaving you feeling more satisfied for longer,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar (www.marilynglenville.com).
3. ‘Egg-cellent’ for your hunger
“Eggs make a great snack as the combination of protein and good fats help you feel fuller for longer. Try boiling them in advance, and keeping them in the fridge as an easy snack to enjoy on the go. They will last up to a week,” says Shona.
4. Halt the hunger with Quinoa
This gluten-free carbohydrate is packed full of protein. “When protein is combined with a carbohydrate, it slows the rate at which sugar from that carbohydrate enters the blood stream. This is great for balancing blood sugar, reducing cravings for sugary ‘quick fixes’, and keeping us satiated,” explains Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.
Try quinoa mixed with sweet potatoes and peas!
5. Boost your satisfaction with broccoli
We all know that broccoli is a great choice to help with weight loss mainly because it is so low in calories. “Broccoli is high in fibre and water – this helps create bulk without calories. The fibre helps make you feel full and also slows down digestion, which is a great way to help you to stop snacking,” explains Shona.
6. Opt for oats
Loving porridge oats? “Oats are packed with a form of soluble dietary fibre; ‘beta glucans’ which support healthy digestion and regular bowel movements with the excretion of dietary waste and toxins. These help prevent the bloat. Beta -glucans supports a reduction in the rise in blood glucose levels that occurs after meals. By keeping blood glucose levels stable, we feel fuller for longer and experience fewer of those nagging sweet cravings. Jazz up your oats with goji berries, cinnamon, almond milk, and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds,” suggests Marilyn.
Porridge is a great breakfast for fitness fanatics or gym-goers – either before or after training. “The slow-releasing carbohydrates in oats are fantastic for powering a workout or for restoring muscles after training, and magnesium is vital for muscle function too. Try Nairn’s Scottish Porridge Oats (£2.59, Tesco’s)” adds Cassandra.
7. Drizzle Vinegar on your salad
“Drizzling vinegar on your salad improves digestion by keeping food in the stomach longer, reducing the hunger hormone ghrelin. Vinegar also helps prevent blood sugar spikes after a meal, helping cravings for up to 3 hours after,” explains Shona.
8. Get yourself some Greek yogurt
“Greek yogurt is a great source of protein which helps you to stay fuller for longer and is low in sugar, yet rich in calcium,” explains Cassandra.
9. Aid your appetite with avocados
Once avoided because people thought they were fattening – we now know differently! “Avocados are a great source of fat and benefit weight loss by helping you to feel satisfied and reduce your desire to eat.” Says Shona.
10. Wholegrain spelt pasta
“Spelt can be easier to digest than wheat, and is less likely to cause bloating. The wholegrain versions also contain more nutrients than your standard white pasta, and will be slower to digest and absorb, keeping you full for longer,” explains Cassandra.
Still salivating for a sweet treat?
We often want to snack when our sugar levels drop, or at ‘low energy’ times of day. Most of us are surrounded now by chocolate bars at checkouts, muffins and pizza on every street corner, and few of us can avoid the temptation.
Psychologist Corrine Sweet explains how you can satisfy your sweet tasting cravings with new Slissie (from £39.99, www.slissie.co.uk), a lipstick sized anti-snacking device:
“Slissie works in a similar way. The smell (olfactory senses) and taste (tastebuds) combine to trick the brain into thinking that the appetite has been satisfied. In fact, ‘sensory boredom’ can mean you have satisfied the craving for a particular taste and no longer need to pursue it once it is satiated.”