Learning how to stay full on a diet is critical.
Calories and staying in a consistent calorie deficit are king during your fat loss & fitness journey. Consuming adequate protein is a close second on the priority list...
...but learning how to optimize your food volume-eating high volume foods with a lower energy density-is a not so distant third.
That’s the formula. If you put those 3 pieces of the puzzle together (it doesn’t happen overnight), you will master not only the fat loss process but also the maintenance process. You’ll get the results -without being ravenous hungry all the time-and then be able to maintain your results as a fitness lifestyle. You will truly learn how to eat.
So let’s delve into this topic of staying satiated and somewhat full (you’ll always be a bit hungry though) on a lower calorie diet. Here is a list of, in my opinion, the most satiating, high volume, lower calorie foods you should be including in your diet...along with some other pointers for staying full and keeping your food enjoyable and palatable.
These particularly stand out as offering a lot of volume for the calories:
White Fish (cod, tilapia, shrimp and scallops in particular)
Liquid Egg Whites
Deli Turkey Breast
Carbs & Plant-Based Carb Alternatives
White & Sweet Potatoes (I like the simply potatoes in a bag)
Rice cakes (the Quaker cinnamon and caramel versions are good)
Jasmine & Basmati Rice
Watermelon & Strawberries (a lot of volume with these)
Low Calorie English Muffins (Thomas brand offers a number of these at 100 calories)
*Shirataki Noodles (I like Simple Truth & Liviva brands)
*Hearts of Palm Noodles & Rice (I like Palmini brand)
*Riced Cauliflower/Broccoli (you can buy these in microwave packets)
*I would highly recommend starting to incorporate these plant-based starch alternatives to your diet. They offer HUGE volume for very low calories.
NONE! Fats are not conducive to staying full on a diet.
Fats (cheese, nuts, avocado, butter, nut butters, oils, etc.) are calorie dense and offer a VERY SMALL volume of food for the calories.
While fat is in no way off limits, I would highly recommend NOT going out of your way to consume direct sources of dietary fat and, instead, rely on just getting in trace fat from protein and carbs. If fat is making up 10-15% of your daily calories, this is plenty to meet basic needs.
I tend to rely on low-fat cheddar cheese slices and, every now and then, a serving of < 50 cals per serving oil-based dressing (Garlic Expressions makes a very good one).
Other Tips, Tricks, & Pointers for Staying Full
Beyond the above, utilizing a variety of low/no calorie sauces, condiments, sauces-while also getting creative with the rubs and spices you use to season your food-is another game changer in your fat loss playbook. I’d even call utilizing these essential (and there is NO excuse to eat “boring and bland” food when working towards your goals).
Here are some of my favorites:
ANYTHING FROM G. Hughes!! Everything they make is 5-10 cals/serving and all are incredible (they should be paying me for how much I talk about them). They offer a variety of BBQ sauces, steak sauces, low cal ketchup, dipping sauces, dressings, honey mustard, etc. ASK FOR THIS FOR CHRISTMAS!
Any Hot Sauce
Low Cal/Sugar Ketchup
Pico De Gallo
Frank’s Wing Sauce
Bolthouse Farms Greek Yogurt Dressings
Here are some other little tips for staying full on a diet you can add to your toolbox:
Drink a ton of 0 cal seltzer water
Use flavored water drops (mio)
Diet soda (within reason)
Black coffee (within reason)
SNACK ON PICKLES!
DO NOT CHEW GUM! (5 cals/piece)
So, that’s how you stay full on a diet.
Yes, theoretically, anything-sweets, treats, alcohol-can “fit your macros” and as long as you remain in a calorie deficit..you’ll be fine. Theoretically, you could make up your entire diet of fruit loops and as long as you stay in a calorie deficit...you’d lose weight.
That’s in theory.
However, if those types of foods are making up a large percentage (as in over 10-15%) of your daily calories, your chances of having success exponentially decreases. You have to look at how foods impact your hunger, level of fullness and satiation, energy and cravings.
Yes, calories matter. Big time. But...they are not ALL that matters. What’s more, if optimal improvements in body composition-not just “weight” loss-is your goal, the quality of the calories and, particularly, protein intake is critical.
So take this advice, use these tips, and enjoy the increased level of satiation during your fat loss and fitness journey. I guarantee you’ll find this process more sustainable and enjoyable.
If you found this article helpful and informative, I’d REALLY appreciate it if you could share it on your social media. Best of luck on your fitness journey!
*Want to level up your nutrition, training and fat loss? Want a GPS on your fitness journey? Want someone to take all the guesswork out of the equation and provide daily accountability? Check out my budget-friendly coaching program HERE*