Has your stomach ever rumbled in anticipation of the next meal, even though it may seem like you’ve just eaten a meal or snack? Despite the timing of your meals and snacks, a growling stomach is your body’s way of telling you to grab a bite! Wondering how to stave off hunger and keep those hunger pangs away? A major key to maintaining energy throughout the day and obtaining adequate nutrition to fuel your body and brain is to eat foods that digest slowly. Read on to learn more about the physiological process behind why your stomach growls, and a few key foods that will help keep you feeling fuller, longer!
Why Does Your Stomach Growl?
So, what’s the cause of the growling sensation? During the digestion process, the food you eat enters your stomach, and is later pushed through your intestinal tract. But before it enters the intestines, the stomach first churns and mashes the food. This process is aided by the walls of the stomach, which are muscular and constantly contract to help circulate the digestive juices. When your stomach is empty, these juices slosh around your stomach; the combination of the gases in your stomach and walls of your stomach contracting..generates the familiar growling sound we hear when we feel hungry.
10 Foods to Help You Feel Fuller, Longer
If you focus on eating less, you may find yourself feeling hungry. Rather than eating less, shift your focus on choosing foods that are naturally high in fiber, are a lean source of protein and low glycemic carbohydrates. Incorporate foods that keep blood sugar levels stable and give consistent energy throughout the day. This can help prevent fatigue, headaches, or midday crashes. Note that simple carbohydrates (like cookies, or white pasta) digest quickly and cause blood sugar levels to spike higher than a complex carbohydrate (like legumes or whole wheat pasta) and then drop quickly. Remember, thhough there are no “good” foods or “bad” foods, be mindful of what foods may be a better option to eat during meal times so that you don’t find yourself feeling hungry soon after. Yes..there are certain foods that promote satiety more than others! This way, you’ll still be able to enjoy the foods you like and stave off hunger!
2 Egg White and One Egg Yolk – Adding the one yolk will help to satiate you in the morning. The combination of fat and protein takes longer for the body to break down, therefore helping you feel fuller longer.
Oats – This soluble fiber will expand in your body and help you feel more full.
Lentils – This low glycemic carb is high in fiber and protein. This combination doesn’t raise your blood sugar.
Whole Wheat Pasta – Many people think you need a low-carb diet but the average adult needs at least 135g carbohydrates a day. This is a great way to stave off hunger as long as you pair it with a protein and a fat.
Kale Salad – With its fibrous leaves and crunchy stems, kale takes longer to chew, which slows down your eating and gives your body time to gauge how full you are. To create a salad that will help keep you fuller longer, be sure to pair this fibrous green with a fat like sliced almonds for crunch.
Salmon – Fatty fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids and provides ample amounts of lean protein, which as a fat and protein combination takes longer to digest. The fat is very palatable on the tongue so its great for people who are looking for a food to pair with greens and whole grains.
Low-Fat Greek Yogurt – Creamy and tangy, Greek yogurt is a rich source of calcium, low in sugar and high in protein. It helps slow the digestion of other carbs during your meal. It does not negatively affect blood sugar or zap your energy like a regular yogurt might. Enjoy it on its own, mix with wheat berries and a dash of cinnamon, or simply top with fresh fruit.
Olive Oil- Not only does this healthy fat help us to feel full, but also research shows that those who follow the Mediterranean diet are associated with having a smaller waistline.
Hydrate with H20 – Increase your water intake by consuming a glass before, during or after your meal. Often, people can mistake hunger for thirst, which leads to people eating when they are actually not hungry. Drinking water throughout the day and during meals can fill up your stomach and help you feel satiated.
Chia Seeds – Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber (~10g in 2 tablespoons) and expand in the body to help you feel more sated. With a neutral flavor, these seeds can be added to almost any dish. They are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). Sprinkle over steel cut oatmeal or low-fat Greek yogurts, or mix into nut butters or blend into smoothies.
For more foods that may help keep you fuller, longer, check out Laura Cipullo’s tips here.