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5 Filling Foods That Aren’t Fattening

Katherine Brooking, RD - Blogs
By Katherine Brooking, MS, RDRegistered dietitianSeptember 21, 2015
From the WebMD Archives

Is your weight loss plan getting derailed because you’re feeling hungry all the time? To shed pounds successfully – and keep them off – you need to cut calories without feeling famished. Here are 5 proven high-satiety foods that will keep you feeling full even when you slim down your portions.

1. Broth-Based Soups
To cut total calories (but not satisfaction!) at your next meal, begin with a broth-based soup. Dr. Barbara Rolls, Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State University has been studying the role of “high water volume” foods on fullness and weight loss. One of her key findings: broth-based soups can contribute to a feeling of fullness. Her research revealed that when people ate a first course of soup before a lunch entree, they reduced their total calorie intake at lunch (soup + entree) by 20%, compared to when they did not eat soup.

Be sure to select your starter soup wisely: broth-based soups like miso or chicken noodle are most effective while heavy, cream-based soups such as New England clam chowder defeat the purpose.

2. Eggs
If you want to eat fewer calories and feel less hungry all day long, consider starting your day with eggs. The high-quality protein in eggs helps you to feel full longer and stay energized, which contributes to maintaining a healthy weight. In one study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers found that eating eggs for breakfast helped overweight adults feel fuller and consume an average of 330 fewer calories throughout the day than adults who ate a bagel-based breakfast.

3. Oats
Don’t want eggs for breakfast? No problem! According to researchers, another popular breakfast food –oats – can also help you fill you up. A study from the University of California, Berkeley analyzed six years of nutrition data and found that people who ate breakfast had a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who skipped breakfast, and that those who ate cooked cereal, like oats, had a lower BMI than any other breakfast-eating group. Also, oatmeal was ranked as the most satiating breakfast food on the Satiety Index developed by Australian researchers. Keep your oats healthy by skipping varieties loaded with added sugar. Opt for plain oats instead and boost the flavor by topping with fresh fruit or nuts

4. Apples
A small apple – at just 75 calories – packs a powerful satiety punch with 3.5 grams of filling soluble fiber. And research reported in the journal Appetite showed that women who added three small apples to their diet each day lost a little more than two pounds in 10 weeks—more than dieters who did not include the fruit in their diet. And there’s another potential weight loss bonus with the mighty apple: they contain ursolic acid, a natural compound that is believed to boost fat-burning and may promote lean muscle mass. Researchers from the University of Iowa found that animals given ursolic acid supplements increased their muscle mass and burned more calories.

5. Nuts
Do you think that nuts are off limits when you’re on a diet? The truth is, nuts have been shown in multiple studies to help people shed pounds.

Although they’re calorie-dense and high in fat (mostly healthy fat), their protein and fiber content can keep you feeling full and often stave off a binge later in the day.

Best way to have nuts? Try them with a glass of water. The volume that water adds to the stomach combined with the slow-to-digest nuts make a perfect quick fill-up.

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About the Author
Katherine Brooking, MS, RD

Katherine Brooking is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition education from Columbia University. She is dedicated to helping people have better health and live richer lives through sound nutrition and good lifestyle choices.

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