What are ways to make you feel more full when first starting a diet? I am always starving between lunch and dinner. What are some more diet friendly foods that will make me feel fuller? Thank you!

Being hungry can certainly make following a healthy diet tricky. Many people will forget that they are trying to make good food choices when they feel hungry, and they will select anything and everything to ravenously fill their bellies up. The trick is to eat in a way that you don’t necessarily get to that “ravenous” stage. Planning ahead can be the key to helping you stick with a healthy diet.

You mentioned that you feel most hungry between lunch and dinner. I will ask you to review what your typical lunch consists of. If you generally have a smaller lunch (small salad and or a bowl of soup) I would recommend that you increase your portion sizes and make sure you include fiber, protein, and a little healthy fat. All of these three things can help keep you feeling fuller longer. A typical lunch for me consists of a whole wheat wrap filled with hummus, black beans, low fat cheese, spinach, broccoli sprouts, and slivered almonds. I drizzle a little lemon juice over the top and I pair this with a glass of the Health Balance (low sugar) juice. This contains a lot of fiber from the vegetables, beans, and almonds in addition to protein/fat (almonds, hummus, cheese).

If you don’t have a lot of time at lunch (or breakfast) make sure you are still eating something and you may wish to pack a few items that travel well and that you can “snack” on before, during, and after the meal time period. Examples include Greek yogurt, nuts, protein bars, hummus, fruit, and string cheese. These foods can also be helpful in the event that you are hungry, as they are healthy snacks to help alleviate hunger pains. Just make sure that you are sticking with the portion sizes that the package suggests, because even though nuts are healthy snacks, the calories can add up fast if you take in more than the allotted portion. If you are looking for a lower calorie snack to help you feel full, fiber is the key. Choosing fresh vegetables as a snack is a great high fiber snack, as it allows you to feel fuller without giving you a lot of calories. I also like rice cakes. In the afternoon I top a 45 calorie rice cake with a few tablespoons of hummus or choose fruit or air popped popcorn as a high fiber snack.

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