Plants Just Not Filling Enough For You?
Have you just started eating Plant-Based or perhaps thinking about it?
Feeling hungry, or worried you will?
Just can’t imagine that you’ll A) feel full and B) feel satisfied eating Plant-Based?
It’s a common concern and easily overcome!
I’ve put together 4 simple tips that you can use today to help you transition, or include more, Plant-Based so you don’t give up because you’re starved all the time!
1. Eat More
Chances are your salad bowl was the size of an infant’s up until now. Remember, you’re making plant food the base of your diet and so you need to increase the amount you eat. Upgrade your salad bowl to a super large bowl (even a salad bowl) and fill it with more veggies – which, means more fibre = fuller.
Its important to remember when you eliminate the ‘crap’ from your diet like – processed bread, crackers, cookies, chips, oils, sugars – that the caloric density of the meal decreases.
But the increase in nutrients from other sources is abundant.
Once your body is ‘full’ on nutrients, you will feel the sensation to stop eating… your body will tell you when it’s full. You see, the inside of your stomach has 2 types of receptors – Stretch and Nutrient receptors. They gauge not just the amount of food you eat BUT the nutrients IN the food you eat.
Stretch receptors – as the name implies – is a receptor in the stomach that when stretched with food in the stomach sends a message to the brain to say “hey you’re full, you’re done” and you stop eating.
But there’s that other receptor, right? Yes – and its super important.
Nutrient receptors – as the name implies – it’s the receptor that measures nutrient content of food. You see the body needs nutrients to survive. It doesn’t really care about you or your waistline. Harsh hey!?
So, if the nutrient receptors are not turned on, then you keep eating. Why? Because your body needs nutrients to survive.
Take this example….
Your body needs 100% of nutrients – vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients (nutrients from plants), fibre, protein, fat (essential fatty acids omegas 3&6), carbohydrates (glucose for energy) etc.
You eat a meal with meat/fish/chicken and side salad. A meal – that frankly – is low in the body’s nutrient needs.
Let’s say it has 60% of your body’s needs.
Well guess what? Your body is going to send you out to get more food to meet its nutrient requirements. So, you eat more. But if you eat more of the same you’re going to keep eating and eating, craving and craving, until your body’s requirements are met. Unfortunately, by then you have a bulging waist-line!
Takeaway…EAT MORE nutrient rich plant-based foods.
2. FF – Fats & Fibre
Fat and Fibre keep you full.
Fats in avocado, olives, nuts & seeds are rich in Mono-unsaturated (Oleic, Erucic) and Poly-unsaturated fats (Omega 3’s and 6’). While you don’t want to go overboard on these, they are extremely important in maintaining cell membranes and as an energy-dense food, help to keep you full.
Plants/beans/legumes/lentils naturally are an excellent source fibre which will help to keep you full and slow digestion. Also, as a bonus, it feeds your Gut Microbiota (the beneficial bacteria that makes you healthy and keeps your weight stable).
3. Avoid Mono Eating
If you’re eating just an apple for breakfast or a banana for a snack chances are you will be hungry in an hour as it is digested quickly. It is best to combine your piece of fruit with a fat such as a handful of nuts/seeds. Same holds true for the new trend of ‘juicing’. While the intention for healthy eating is there, what’s missing is the fibre. Juicing extracts fibre which we discussed…slows the digestion and keeps you full. And with Juices, you’re getting a burst of sugars that will make you hungry again quickly!
4. Characteristics Of The Food
Many people misunderstand why meat makes them feel full. Eastern Medicine describe meat as a contractive food – it’s heavy, warming and thus is comforting. This is why many people crave meat during the cold winter months e.g. roasts, stews.
But did you know that meat takes 24-36 hrs to digest – that is from the mouth to the toilet. It takes a huge amount of energy to break down and move through the digestive tract.
Good news though. In the Plant-Based kingdom, you can replicate this full, warming, comfort from beans, lentils, legumes which are easier for the stomach to break down and move through the digestive tract quicker.
It’s important to include these foods early in your transition to plant-based. Not only are they rich in protein but also fibre. Including these foods into your diet is essential for getting enough nutrients, and providing satiation while give up meat.
Bonus Tip: Learn the Plant-Based basics for boosting any meal. Here’s a list that I’d recommend for adding more substance to your meals…
— Tempeh or Tofu
— Sweet Potato
— Tahini Dressing
— Oatmeal, Overnight Oats
Let me know how you go and Comment below, Nat xx