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  • Writer's pictureIlona Luff

How to Stay Full When Cutting Calories

Before we dive in deeper, it makes sense to make it clear that I'm not a proponent of low-calorie diets or encouraging you to go in a caloric deficit. Your daily caloric intake should be adequate to your caloric output throughout the day and make sense for your particular goal.

Feel full while eating fewer calories? It might sound like another trick for weight loss, but it's actually something you can do. Dieting should never be about starving. You can safely reduce your daily calories and still feel full by consuming low-calorie, nutritionally-dense foods rather than high-calorie foods. You don't have to consume a lot of calories in order to feel full.

Combine your protein source with a good source of fat (think avocado or nuts). Protein and fats take a longer time to digest, which means they’ll stay in your stomach, keep the feeling of fullness.

Cut your food into small bites. You may find you can get more meal satisfaction from less food throughout the day by intentionally cutting your food into smaller, bite-sized pieces during your meal. It takes longer to chew all those bites, so it can help trick your brain into thinking you’re eating much more than you actually are.

Eat your greens and veggies first. Starting your meal with salads can actually help your body control its blood glucose levels by minimizing post-eating spikes. This means you’ll not only stay fuller longer, but you’ll also save your body from an inflammation-inducing spike in blood sugar.

Choose a meal over a smoothie. It may seem to make sense to grab a smoothie instead of an actual meal since they tend to have fewer calories, but in fact it's not the best idea when cutting. Your body simply doesn’t register liquid calories the same way as it does with solid foods. Energy obtained from fluids has been shown to be less satisfying than calories from solid foods.

Steer clear from MSG. MSG (monosodium glutamate) is used as a flavor enhancer in a variety of processed foods and asian foods from most restaurants. Research suggests that MSG causes a drastic increase in appetite.

Avoid skipping meals. Instead plan your meals and snacks for the day in the way that you eat something every 3-4 hours. This will make sure you have less desire to overeat later in a day, because your blood sugar levels would be more stable throughout the entire day.

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