7 Healthy Hacks to Feel Full Fast

Article posted in: Lifestyle
woman in the kitchen cooking holding a help sign

Having a healthy plan and tracking your food are great ways to stay on the road to weight loss, but like the commercial says, you’re not yourself when you’re hungry. And sometimes, to level out your blood sugar, improve your mood, or just get rid of the distraction of hunger pangs, you might binge outside your plan to solve that hunger.

Stop yourself from getting as hungry in the first place—and put an end to hunger faster—with these seven daily hacks that can make you feel full faster, and keep you feeling full longer. The best part: You can eat the same amount of food—and in some cases, more food—and still get these feel-full effects.

Hack 1: Use smaller serving spoons to put your food on smaller plates.

When your plate is smaller, the same amount of food can feel more satisfying. In a Cornell University study, scientists found that people who ate burgers served on smaller plates thought they were eating 18 percent more calories than they actually were. Smaller serving utensils helped, too: The same lab at Cornell found that dieters given a three-ounce serving spoon ladled out 15 percent more food than those using a two-ounce serving spoon.

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Hack 2: Eat some olive oil in the a.m.

Healthy fats have been shown to help reduce belly fat, but olive oil seems to have bonus powers: German and Austrian scientists both found that olive oil improved feelings of fullness compared to butter, lard and even canola oil. The German study participants were given yogurt with one of these fats added each day as a supplement to their normal diet. Those eating the yogurt infused with olive oil had the best fullness feelings, and none of them added body fat or pounds despite eating the yogurt as extra calories in their day. Try supplementing a morning yogurt regimen with a teaspoon of olive oil to see if it helps you feel fuller until lunch.

Hack 3: Eat fiber before work.

Fiber helps you stay feeling full longer because it slows the speed of digestion—that is, it sits in your gut and intestines longer than other nutrients, so you feel full. And when breakfast fiber comes from oatmeal, it can also reduce the calories you eat at lunch by 30 percent. That’s according to a study from the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, which found that oatmeal literally stayed with dieters longer than cold cereal—scientists added acetaminophen to study participants’ breakfasts, and the drug showed up in the blood longer for the oatmeal eaters than cold cereal eaters, suggesting the higher-fiber oatmeal stayed in dieters’ stomachs for a longer period of time.

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Hack 4: Drink two big glasses of water before every meal.

When scientists at Virginia Tech had study participants drink two eight-ounce glasses of water before meals, they lost 36 percent more weight over a 12-week period than those who didn’t drink before meals.

Hack 5: Snack on something that shows your work.

A tiny bit of manual labor—and something to show for it—can help you eat less while feeling just as satisfied. In a study published in Appetite, students given pistachios in their shells ate 41 percent fewer calories than students given pre-shelled pistachios. But the students in both groups felt just as full and satisfied. Scientists theorize that the piling of the shells helped signal to study subjects that they were eating enough to be full.

Hack 6: Have a cup of tea an hour before dinner.

Penn State scientists found that people who had hot drinks an hour before a meal wound up consuming 134 fewer calories during the meal. Adding cinnamon can help with your processing of the meal, too: In a study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cinnamon was shown to increase sugar metabolism by a factor of 20.

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Hack 7: Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and concentrate on your meal.

Eating without distractions can help you eat less not just at the meal you’re enjoying, but for the rest of the day, according to a study from the UK. When you’re not focused on the food you’re eating, though, you won’t get as much satisfaction from eating it: In a Dutch study, dieters who were asked to gauge the sweetness of a beverage had a tougher time doing so while they were asked to concentrate on another mental task.
Try practicing “mindful eating” instead of focusing on work your phone, or the TV. To try this practice and feel full faster, eliminate distractions like reading or email while you eat, focusing instead of the colors, textures and flavors of your meal. This can help you feel full and, according to a study from Ohio State, help you better manager your blood sugar.