Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Not Full Yet? Here's why

I'm going to go out on a limb and bet that once or twice your diet plans have been hampered by accidental overeating.  And while my most recent article explains why you shouldn't EVER feel bad about this, let's examine why it happens.

A big reason why people tend to overeat is because they don't feel full at the end of their meal.  They've just crammed down an entire can of Pringles, and within twenty minutes they're hungry again.  They're a little confused, but can't really fight their stomachs and end up eating more.  Probably another can, because the first one was so tasty.

But those were a lot of chips.  Why didn't they fill you up?  Or that entire soda, you could feel it in your stomach, but for some reason it did nothing to quell that ravenous hunger.  It's curious, isn't it, and I bet you'd like to get some foods in your diet that would really fill you up quick without actually consuming that much of it. But could such a food exist?

Of course they exist, and I bet you've eaten them and felt their effects without even realizing it.  Vegetables!  Seriously, vegetables will fill you up quickly with relatively few calories.  Try it some time.  Sit down to dinner sometime and pile a large heaping mound of veggies onto your plate.  Don't be shy about it, one cup of broccoli is something like 30 calories, and a cup of corn on carrots or peas is around a hundred.  Go ahead and eat three hundred calories worth of vegetables, and I can almost guarantee you'll be full for hours.  In fact, don't go overboard, because sometimes they fill you up faster than you'd think.  I've gotten stomach aches from eating too many vegetables before, not fun!

Why though, do these little super foods fill you up so nicely?  It's because they're high in FIBER!  Fiber is a remarkably brilliant little nutrient that does a lot of good things for you.  I plan to devout an entire article to it at some point, but for now we'll just say it helps keep your digestive tract in tip top shape.  Fiber is also indigestible by itself, so it makes your body work hard to move it through your system.  But in general, fibrous foods get you full faster, and keep you full longer.

Want more fibrous foods?  Grab an apple, a pear, a peach, or basically any other kind of fruit.  An apple is a great snack to fill you up quick if you get those afternoon munchies.  Fruit also has another added bonus, it's full of water, the greatest stomach space-filler known to exist!  Water will help keep you full by taking up room in that seemingly endless stomach of yours, and I guarantee you'll feel it.

Another great tip, if you're still hungry, before you go back for more food, drink a glass of water.  An entire glass.  Not only should you feel pretty full afterwards, but sometimes your body can get it's "hungry" and "thirsty" cries mixed up, and after some fresh water you may feel more satisfied than you thought.

So now it isn't a mystery anymore why those potato chips and that soda don't fill you up.  Potato chips are very low in fiber, and have high calories for the amount of food material that you consume.  That's a recipe for over eating.  And soda?  It's filled with High Fructose Corn Syrup and other cheap artificial sweeteners, which are designed not to spike your insulin levels as drastically, which, while that can be a good thing, also tells your brain that your body hasn't gotten enough nutrients, and that you're still hungry.

Try some fruits, veggies, and a glass of water.  Who knows, you might be full for hours.  Eat well, keep healthy, stay full.

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