December 3rd, 2021

From Our Table: Set a goal to lose weight? Four factors to feeling full without overeating

By Joanne Smith on January 14, 2020.

The most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. This goal often comes along with that nasty word associated with dieting – deprivation. Losing weight should be about wanting to be permanently healthier. It means finding positive lifestyle changes you can live with forever. It should not be temporary. It should not eliminate entire food groups. It should not be so low in calories you can’t fit in physical activity. It should not be about deprivation. It should be about enjoyment and fitting nutritious foods that you love into a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity that you enjoy doing. And within these lifestyle changes you should not be chronically hungry.

Here are Four Factors for Fullness I encourage you to fit into 2020.

Fit in Fibre: A lot of people associate fibre as being important in your diet for good bowel health ie keeping you “regular.” It is important for that but also for energy (carbohydrates are our body’s first choice for fuel/energy), digestive health and especially for helping you feel full. It takes longer to digest high fibre food or complex carbohydrates which is good for your body to have to work hard to digest food. This helps with weight control since it burns more calories and also helps you to eat less because you feel much fuller faster and longer. If you ate a simple carb that’s very easy to digest such as a pastry for breakfast you would be hungry much sooner then if you ate a whole grain bun with peanut butter. The complex carb combined with protein would make you feel fuller and would keep that feeling of fullness much longer. Fibre is found in whole grain foods, quinoa, nuts, legumes, veggies and fruit. You should try to eat at least 30 grams of fibre each day. This will help keep you healthy and feeling full longer.

Pack the Protein: Including protein in your meal such as beef, pork, chicken, seafood, legumes, eggs, dairy, nuts and nut butters will give you energy and help you feel full longer. A meal should keep you feeling full and satisfied for about 3-5 hours and protein will definitely help with this. The best balanced meals include both protein and complex carbohydrates to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Carbs for “brain food” and protein for feeling full.

So Satisfied: Food is much more complicated than just about nourishing our bodies. Food contributes to emotional satisfaction, to joy, social factors and to contentment. It’s about flavours, smells, taste and especially about enjoyment.

As I mentioned earlier healthy eating is not about deprivation. You should feel satisfied after your meal, both physically and emotionally. This might be as simple as seconds in moderation or having a small sweet treat at the end of the meal. You need to allow yourself to feel satisfied guilt free not feel deprived which will often lead to defiant or emotional overeating later. When you feel satisfied you’re much more likely to feel fuller and eat less in the big picture. Physical hunger, cravings, feeling food deprived and emotional hunger can build up when you don’t feel satisfied and this can lead to obsessing, overthinking and worrying about food which can in turn trigger overeating.

A good rule of thumb when you eat your meal is to eat slowly and chew your food well enjoying the flavours in each bite – conscious eating. When you’re finished just sit for a moment and let your body and mind digest the food and assess if you feel full and satisfied before you automatically just reach for seconds or decide on dessert.

Temperature Tip: So this last point isn’t really scientifically proven but this time of year you must admit there is something so much more appealing and actually even comforting about having hot food versus cold. A steaming succulent serving of soup or stir fry is so satisfying. Not that a salad with chicken or tuna isn’t also very tasty but for some reason hot food is just a bit more satisfying and seems to help you feel full more then cold food.

So on that note let me leave you with a deliciously warm and satisfying soup recipe from my friend Renae. It’s a family favourite especially for her dad Heidi. Thanks for sharing It!

Joanne Smith is a registered dietitian.

Toscana soup

From Zuppa Toscano Cookbook

5 slices bacon cooked and crumbled

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground Italian sausage (no casing) can use regular or spicy. Renae uses spicy plus a tsp of red pepper flakes – they like their food spicy!

6 cups chicken broth

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 cups chopped kale

1 1/2 cups of Half and Half cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for garnish

Put olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat and add onion. Saute until tender then add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add Italian sausage and cook until no longer pink. Drain fat. Return cooked sausage to pan

Add half of the bacon, chicken broth and cubed potatoes.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Add kale and half and half and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cook about 10 minutes and serve hot garnished with a sprinkle of bacon and grated cheese.

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