Volume, volume, volume
“Cleaning up your diet” doesn’t have to leave you feeling hungry 30 minutes after a meal. We've talked about these types of diets before…they’re a trap! Try to focus on getting the most in of two things and the rest will fall into place- water and fiber! You’ve heard us stress the importance of protein and fiber, but today we bring WATER and volume into that equation — eating foods high in either of these two will lead you down a path of healthy eating, without even feeling like you’re really trying too hard.
What even is fiber? It’s a carbohydrate found in most, if not all, plant-based foods (think vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, etc.) that cannot be broken down by our digestive enzymes and used as energy in our bodies. Instead, it helps to both slow the digestion of food through our stomachs, leaving us feeling fuller for longer. Fiber has many other benefits besides just satiety reasons: it helps to keep things “regular”, control our blood sugar levels, and can even help to lower our cholesterol levels.
While water does just what you think it does- it fills up the stomach. Adding water with food will then leave you feeling fuller, on less! Ironically, all plant-based foods are high in fiber, and a lot of the times, high in water as well- aka fruits and vegetables! With the combo of slow digestion from all the fiber and a full stomach from water, you can feel fuller on less while still getting all the vitamins and minerals your body craves.
If you know you’re about to eat a meal where you can’t exactly get in mounds of fruits and vegetables, try drinking a glass of water before. This will leave you feeling full a few bites before you normally would. A theory and book by Barbara Rolls, Volumetrics, explains this in more detail and gives examples for how to implement this on a day-to-day basis.
In general, next time you’re choosing between two different food items off the shelf, try glancing at the fiber content. Anything over 3 grams for a serving is a good number to aim for. Ultimately, the best route to go is with fruits and vegetables most often because they are high in volume, meaning they take up a lot of space. And just about all fruits and vegetables contain fiber-some more than others.
A good place to start is trying out some broth-based vegetable soups. They high in water from both the broth and veggies but also high in fiber from all the veggies too. Try adding some beans in order to pump up the fiber and protein content even more.
How do you increase volume? Let us know in the comments below!
Blog by: Emily Dorko