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For The Competitor
Ashleigh Atkinson obtained her Bachelors of Physical Education from Brock University, followed by her Masters of Human Kinetics from the University of Windsor. Academically, her research areas focused on sport and exercise psychology, but since leaving school, her interests have expanded. The science of bodybuilding, from muscle growth to hormonal impacts and supplementation, drew her in and she has completed a handful of certifications around training and nutritional constructs, including the Nutritional Medicine Profile certificate from the International College of Applied Nutrition & Strength. In addition to the work she does for Muscle Insider, Ashleigh works as a health promotion specialist, runs a successful online coaching business with her husband, and is also a national level figure competitor with the Canadian Physique Alliance.
5 Best Foods for Hungry Dieters
Curb your appetite by filling up on foods that are high in volume and digest slowly
At the root of all successful fat-loss strategies is one key concept—a calorie deficit. Unfortunately, a calorie deficit usually means more frequent and intense hunger cues as your body craves more food (energy). Feeling satiated throughout the day will greatly increase the likelihood of your sticking to your plan. This may seem impossible, though; how can you feel full when you’re simply eating less food? The answer, though, isn’t necessarily eating less food; it’s eating fewer calorically dense foods and more high-volume foods. In that sense, you can still afford to have a big appetite!
Including a high volume of foods that are low in calories will go a long way toward making you feel full after your meals. Here are five foods that you can eat plenty of without putting a big dent in your daily macros.
Use some of these foods throughout the day to help boost the volume of your meals, which can go a long way toward helping you feel full. As with any diet, experiment with different cooking methods and seasonings to keep meals enjoyable. Combined, both these factors will increase your odds of success and help make you a far happier dieter!
1. Lean Protein. It should come as no surprise that keeping your protein intake high while dieting will pay off exponentially. Not only do high-protein diets supply the amino acids your muscles need, but they’ve also been found to increase feelings of fullness after eating. Pro Tip: Include a variety of lean cuts of protein such as chicken breast, ground turkey, and whitefish to get a wide array of micronutrients. If you want beef, stick with cuts of loin and round.
2. Oatmeal. No longer just a staple for breakfast, oatmeal has become a much-loved food at any time of day. This carb-based food is a great source of fibre, especially soluble fibre, which leaves the stomach slowly, boosting feelings of satiety. Pro Tip: Oats soak up a lot of water, so when cooking, continue adding small amounts of water and stirring to make a very voluminous meal.
3. Leafy Greens. Nutritionally regarded as “superfoods,” a wide variety of leafy greens offer a spectrum of vitamins and minerals without adding many calories. Nutrient-dense and filling, these veggies can go a long way to boosting a meal’s volume and making you feel like you’ve eaten a substantial amount of food. Pro Tip: Leafy greens can be hard to digest in their raw state, but sautéing them can make it easier for your body to break down.
4. Potatoes. This root vegetable is packed with vitamins and fibre, and it tops the list of satiating foods. Potatoes contain resistant starch that contains half the calories of regular starch. Digestively, it acts much like soluble fibre to help you feel full without a lot of food volume and calories. A unique feature of resistant starch is that it increases after potatoes are cooked and cooled, boosting the hunger-suppressing effects. Pro Tip: Sweet potatoes have around six times the sugar content of white potatoes, so if carb content is a concern to keep calories down, stick to white varieties.
5. Cauliflower. This cruciferous vegetable supplies plenty of micronutrients per serving without a lot of calories. Cauliflower has become popular for the variety of methods that can be used for different textures: Try it steamed or make cauliflower rice or mash for a change. The fibre content is satiating, making it a great food to fill your plate. Pro Tip: Add riced cauliflower to your oats before you cook them for some extra volume.
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