Hunger can be a difficult hurdle to clear for people looking to lose weight. While nutritious foods don’t lack for taste, many people adapting to new diets featuring healthy, low-calorie foods find themselves still hungry after meals, making it difficult for them to stay the course and reach their weight-loss goals.
Some low-calorie foods may contribute to hunger pangs, but there are many foods that satisfy hunger despite their low calorie count.
• Baked potatoes: Potatoes might be high in carbohydrates, but they also are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that can boost the immune system. Baked potatoes also provide a powerful punch of potassium, which can help men and women better control their blood pressure. That’s especially beneficial to overweight or obese men and women who are already dealing with high blood pressure. Baked potatoes also can make men and women feel full, which should help low-calorie devotees avoid overeating.
• Eggs: The reputation of eggs tends to change every few years, and much of that can no doubt be attributed to misinformation about this low-calorie breakfast staple. Eggs are a great source of complete protein, and that protein contributes to feelings of fullness. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eggs contain all nine essential amino acids that, upon being digested, release hormones that suppress appetite.
• Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is another excellent and low-calorie source of protein, offering roughly twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Greek yogurt also is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. But Greek yogurt also contributes to feelings of fullness, as a study from the Nestlé Nutrition Institute found that consuming proteins found in dairy products increases satiety.
• Oatmeal: While many people may only eat oatmeal when fighting a cold, this high-fiber and low-calorie breakfast alternative can be enjoyed year-round, helping to fight feelings of hunger all along. According to the Dairy Council of California©, oatmeal contains soluble fiber that stays in the stomach for long periods of time. That contributes to feelings of fullness and may just decrease mid-morning hunger pangs. The soluble fiber in oatmeal can also decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is often referred to as “bad cholesterol.”
• Apple: Apples are another low-calorie source of soluble fiber, and apples also are a good source of vitamin C, which can boost the immune system. But apples are more than just a low-calorie food that contributes to feelings of fullness. Finnish researchers who studied dietary data of more than 9,200 men and women found that those who ate apples frequently had lower risk of stroke than those who did not eat apples. That could be attributable to the effect of soluble fiber on LDL cholesterol as well as the effects of the antioxidant compounds found in apples.
Hunger pangs have derailed many a low-calorie diet. But there are plenty of low-calorie foods that also satisfy hunger and reduce the likelihood of overeating.