Feeling full from your meals and feeling satisfied with what you’ve eaten are two different things, but equally important to your habits. We’ve all been there. We feel full, but yet want something more. We’ve finished our meal, but for some reason still keep thinking about something to snack on. This could be because what we ate allowed us to physically be full, buy not satisfied.
If you are not satisfied with the foods you are eating, more than likely you will overeat. For example, you might be thinking a salad would be good for lunch. You put greens, vegetables, maybe some beans or meat on it with a little dressing. But then still feel hungry. However, if you made a salad with greens, vegetables, protein of choice, maybe some cheese or toasted nuts/seeds, dressing and then had a few crackers or a piece of bread on the side, you might have been more satisfied with your meal and not felt hungry afterward.
Finding pleasure in eating and our meals is part of what food does for us that is healthy. I’ve said before, food is more than just calories or fuel. It’s emotional, social, pleasurable, ect. If you are not finding pleasure or satisfaction in what you’re eating, more than likely you will overeat to find that satisfaction or pleasure.
Building a Satisfying Meal for You
- Finding a Healthy Balance
- Make sure in your meals you are having a balance of your macro-nutrients. These are your carbohydrates, protein, and fats. These in combination help you feel full and helps to regulate your blood sugar.
- For instance, if you were to make a green smoothie with greens and fruits, protein will increase the fullness factor, and then adding a tablespoon or two of fat like a nut butter, coconut cream, a piece of an avocado, etc. would give it that extra satisfying creamy yummy factor.
- What Do I Look Forward to Eating?
- Find the foods you enjoy eating. Not limited to the taste. All senses are involved in eating and our food. Do you like the way it smells, the texture, does it add a pop of color to your meals that brings it all together?
- Find out if you are looking for a cold or hot meal. Some people find that cold meals are good for sides or snacks, but for meals they are looking for something warm. What is it that you’re looking for in your meal?
- Take a moment to find what it is you are hungry for. Sometimes I have made something for lunch already, but then realize that peanut butter sounds really good. So then I’ll have a few peanut butter crackers or a spoonful of peanut butter as a snack – right after I eat lunch. (TIP: There’s no set time after a meal that you can have a snack.)
You’ll find that you when you are satisfied with your meals, the less you’ll eat and the more you’ll enjoy the food you are eating. You’ll have a better view of food and notice that giving in, even if it’s a small amount, is worth it.
I know for some people who are dealing with eating disorders that this might not be a habit you can incorporate into your life right now. And that is okay. This is about knowing yourself and taking care of your body and its needs nutritionally and mentally.
If you are not feeling satisfied with the meals you are having, try to find what would make it something you look forward to eating. Sometimes it’s just by adding that one extra ingredient that makes all the difference in your fullness and satisfaction factor.
I’d Love to Hear From You
What makes your meals satisfying?