(The sixth of 10 blogs on behaviors that affect eating)
This definition of feeling satisfied and gratified by Becky Han raises two issues.
First, feeling full during the meal so you can stop eating. Second maintaining the full feeling between meals.
The heavier a person, the more they rely on external cues (like the plate is empty) to tell them when to stop eating and the less they relied on whether they felt full. Warsink
One of the secrets to “Why French Women Don’t Get Fat” is that they eat slowly and take pleasure in each bite. This gives the stomach a chance to send fullness signals to the brain. This is a challenge for many Americans since the typical meal is about 20 minutes, the same amount of time it takes for the stomach to start sending the full message to the brain.
Obviously, one has to tune out the external cues that are often used to tell us when to stop eating. See Food Portions for more on this topic.
Try preceding the main meal with a cup of soup. This is an effective way to get the fullness signal to the brain that leads to the consumption of fewer calories.
Soup is usually a low-density food where the number of calories to the volume is low. This alone is a good start to feeling full but there is more. Research shows that when soup was eaten prior to a meal the total energy intake was reduced by 20%.
In a study reported by the BBC, ultrasound and MRI showed that while water passes quickly through the stomach, soup stays and makes you feel full. Even if you eat veggies with the water, the stomach lets the water pass through and retains only the small volume of veggies. In the case of soup it is like the ingredients are homogenized into the water and therefore have more impact on the sensation of fullness.
Brain Boosting Broth and other soupy starters. I am assembling a series of low-density broths that taste great, are nutritious and jumpstart the feeling of fullness. My current is the Brain-Boosting Broth that comes from The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook: Recipes to Boost Brian Health. The recipe can be found in the book and on epicurious.com
To make sure the broth isn’t perceived as water by the stomach, I leave a small amount of the veggies in the broth and “homogenize” them into the liquid with a stick blender.
Sipping a hot cup of broth takes time, which gives the fullness feeling a chance to reach the brain. It also is a great time to start a mindful eating process – start by trying to taste the ingredients.
Feeling Full Longer
WebMD.com has a good article on food that will help you curb your appetite.
Here is an overview of foods they recommend.
Eggs. They are full of protein which will help you feel full longer than a high carbohydrate food like a bagel. Protein also prevents spikes in blood sugar, which can lead to food cravings.
Beans. Beans contain a digestive hormone cholecystokinin that is a natural appetite suppressant.
Salad. Start your meal with a large salad that is light on the creamy dressing. Research at Penn State University found that women who this, did consumed 12% less pasta afterwards – even though they were offered as much as they wanted.
Pears. Pears have twice the fiber found in an apple. Both contain pectin fiber, which decreases blood-sugar levels and helps you avoid between meal snacks.
Lean Beef. Beef is high in protein, which is not only critical to good nutrition, it curbs the appetite.
Cinnamon. Research from the U.S.Department of Agriculture found that a little cinnamon could help control post-meal insulin spikes, which makes you feel hungry.
Vinegar. A Swedish study found that people who ate bread dipped in vinegar felt fuller than those who ate plain bread. It is likely that vinegar slows the passage of food out of the stomach so you feel full longer.
High-fiber Cereal. Researchers at the University of Minnesota gave subjects one of five cereals before sending them to an all-you-can eat smorgasbord. Those who had the highest-fiber cereals ate less of the smorgasbord.
Hot Red Pepper. In a Japanese study women who ate breakfast foods with red pepper ate less than they normally did at lunch. Hot peppers are the key since it is the capsaicin that suppresses the appetite. Sorry, bell peppers won’t work.