12 Foods That Help Reduce Hunger When Dieting
If you understand the basic principles of fat and weight loss, you know you need to be in some kind of caloric deficit to successfully lose fat or lose weight. Unfortunately, being in a caloric deficit usually means being hungry at some point, and no one really wants to feel hungry. After all, it’s one of our basic instincts to eat when we are hungry, right? One of the main reasons diets fail is because hunger is uncomfortable, and eventually we cave and eat beyond our required calorie allowance. Are there foods that help reduce hunger?
What if there was a way that you could eat in a caloric deficit and be less hungry? Volume eating may just be the answer for which you were looking. Let’s take a closer look at what is volume eating and how it can help you stay satisfied even when eating fewer calories.
What is Volumetrics (aka Volume Eating)?
Volumetrics (or volume eating) involves eating higher volume foods to help shed fat and lose weight. If you are eating foods that are higher in volume, but lower in calories, then you will lose weight. And, when coupled with flexible dieting, eating high volume foods can become even more effective because you are still hitting your protein, fat and carbohydrate goals (your macros) for the day, just with higher volume foods. Pairing volumetrics with flexible dieting also allows you to divide the way we eat, so we can start incorporating higher volume foods (and excluding lower volume foods) into your diet.
For example, at the beginning of a diet, perhaps your breakfast has 60 grams of carbohydrates. You could easily have a bagel and be quite satisfied. However in a few months, your calorie needs may change and need to be lowered. Perhaps your breakfast now should be 30 grams of carbohydrates, and you could eat half of that same bagel, or you could eat about 2 cups of puffed kamut cereal with a half-cup of strawberries. Which do you think will be more satisfying overall?
How to Identify High-Volume Foods
How can you tell if a food is high volume? The best thing to do is look at how many calories are in 100 grams of that food. The lower the calories per 100 grams of food, the higher the volume of that food you can consume.
100g peanut butter = 588 calories
100g strawberries = 33 calories
Peanut butter is a very low volume food per calorie, and strawberries are a very high volume food per calorie.
Knowing the calorie density of certain foods arms you with an arsenal of ways to approach your daily calorie allowance as you progress. For example, you can start a diet using sweet potatoes (90 cal/100g) as a carb source. As you progress, you can eventually switch over to white potatoes (78 cal/100g), then butternut squash (45 cal/100g) and finally, if need be, spaghetti squash (31 cal/100g). This way your plate is always full and you keep making fat loss progress!
Some of my favorite high volume foods that help reduce hunger, in no particular order, are:
- Unsweetened Puffed Cereals
Puffed kamut, puffed corn, and puffed millet cereals give you quite a large volume of food for very few calories and carbs, and they’re quite versatile (eat them dry, pour some milk on top and enjoy, top them on yogurt or fruit, etc.).
- Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Unsweetened vanilla almond milk contains 30 calories per cup and is absolutely delicious. This is clearly a high-volume food and no more explanation is necessary!
Strawberries have about 7.7g of carbs per 100 grams. This means you can eat an entire pounds of strawberries for roughly 33g of carbs, plus it contains a ton of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Combine high-volume strawberries with the above mentioned puffed cereal and almond milk, and you have a winning combination that makes you feel like you’re not dieting at all! Not far behind this are other berries, apples, watermelon, grapefruit, and nectarines/peaches. However, tropical fruits, such as bananas, mangoes, pineapples, and also ALL dried fruit or fruit juices are very carb dense and much harder to work in when volumetric eating.
Vegetables, particularly non-starchy ones, are naturally THE lowest calorie and highest volume foods per gram… ever. Vegetables also happen to be incredibly micronutrient dense. Load up on veggies and you will feel fuller AND better. You can get so creative using vegetables in many ways, such as zucchini as noodles in pasta dishes, cauliflower as rice, and lettuce as buns for veggie burgers.
- Vegetable Broth/Veggie Soup
Combine a veggie broth with high-volume vegetables and you have a really filling side dish to keep you full for hours.
Air popped popcorn, of course, is high volume and a great snack when topped with some salt and nutritional yeast. Yum!
- White Potatoes
Most people are surprised to find out that white potatoes are actually lower in calories than sweet potatoes. If you normally have sweet potatoes, but are starting to get hungry, try switching over to white potatoes. They will not make you gain weight! In fact, quite the opposite! Due to white potatoes high volume, they may aid you in feeling fuller and losing fat. As a side note, scientifically speaking, boiled white potatoes are the most satiating food in existence!
Pickles contain tons of flavor and crunch, and they contain very few calories by volume. Don’t just limit yourself to cucumber pickles! Pickled green beans, asparagus and even sauerkraut all fit the bill as high volume and low calorie foods. Try them and you’ll understand the hype.
- Silken Tofu
Silken tofu is a high volume food. It’s also a GREAT base for creamy dressings, sauces, and even desserts when combined with some cocoa powder and stevia (or your sweetener of choice).
- Butternut Squash & Spaghetti Squash
Squashes are so versatile, and you can do so much with them. Spaghetti squash can take the place of noodles in any pasta dish. Butternut squash can be made sweet or savory, depending on your mood. Play around with these two high volume squashes to tantalize your taste buds and create a satisfying plant-based meal.
- Powdered Peanut Butter
As your daily fat needs get lower, powdered peanut butter can be a great food to utilize. You can put powdered peanut butter in oatmeal, smoothies, or you can bulk up smaller amounts of actual peanut butter with this peanutty goodness
Although this isn’t a high volume food or even a category of food, having protein with your meals will absolutely help you feel fuller. And while protein shakes are great, liquid protein will not keep you as full as food you actually have to chew on. So why not mix it up a little? Try turning your protein powder into a tasty recipe, such as pudding, ice cream, or a mug cake so that you have filling protein you can actually bite into! Check out more yummy protein-packed recipes here that utilize Clean Lean Protein.
If you are looking to lose fat and “diet” but don’t want to feel as if you are depriving your body, a volumetric diet might be just the answer for which you were looking. When you choose high-volume foods that help reduce hunger throughout the day instead of low-volume foods, you will feel more satisfied after eating and might even lose weight.