You want to lose weight, but it’s just so hard to stop eating! Before you go on a guilt trip though, it’s important to understand that it’s not your fault – it’s your hormones that are causing those cravings. Yep, you can blame it all on the hormones! When your stomach is empty, it secretes a hormone called ghrelin that makes you feel hungry, and causes you to stuff your face with all that junk food.
So, the trick to losing weight is to prevent your stomach from hitting empty. By keeping your stomach full and satisfied, you can prevent those deadly cravings. How to do that? Easy! A combination of fibre, protein and healthy fats is the way to go, since these foods take longer to pass through your digestive system, thereby keeping your stomach full for longer.
Here are 17 foods that can help.
1. Cottage cheese (paneer)
Did you know that paneer is a favourite among bodybuilders? Apart from being a good source of calcium, it has plenty of protein, especially casein, a type of protein that suppresses appetite. Paneer is a much healthier option than other cheeses.
You’ve probably noticed that your porridge has a thick, gluey texture. Well, this happens to be because oatmeal contains a type of soluble fibre called beta-glucans. This fibre travels very slowly through your digestive tract, keeping you full till lunchtime. It also lowers your cholesterol levels by binding to the bile in your system, which forces your liver to use the cholesterol in your blood to produce more bile.
Studies show that potatoes contain a special type of starch that resists digestive enzymes, which makes them harder to digest and keeps them in your stomach for longer.
Studies have found that spicy food boosts metabolism and keeps you full for longer. One study for example, showed that people who added cayenne pepper to their soup ate 60 fewer calories and burned 10 extra calories than those who had plain soup.
Legumes include beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas. Each of these tiny pods contains enough nutrition for a new plant, so they are loaded with proteins, healthy sugars, soluble fibres, and complex carbs. These carbs are known as resistant starch, and like fibre, they cannot be digested by the body, so they slow down your digestion and keep you full for longer.
Many of us tend to mistake thirst for hunger. So, the next time you feel hungry, drink some water first and wait for about 10 minutes – your hunger pangs may just have disappeared! Drinking water throughout the day also keeps your stomach from becoming empty, preventing you from getting hungry!
Non-vegetarians rejoice! Here’s another excuse to eat meat; it is high in both protein and fat, which take longer to digest. Meat also takes longer to chew, making you feel fuller.
Studies show that fish, chicken and beef are all the same when it comes to satiety, but fish and lean cuts of poultry have more nutritional value.