You’ve started eating more whole foods.
Or you’ve switched over to the Whole Foods lifestyle entirely. And now it seems your stomach grumbles all the time, you feel hungry more often, and once in a while (maybe more than that?) you get downright hangry!
Here we’ll talk about why that happens, what you can do to avoid it, and the best way to eat whole foods to make you feel full.
The Best Way To Eat Whole Foods To Make You Feel Full
There are some challenges to deal with as you change the way you eat as you try to eat healthier. When switching to whole foods, not only are you trying different foods and recipes, but you’re also reacting differently to what you eat.
Ideally, you should be feeling better – more energetic, more regular, and less blah (you know that feeling). But sometimes you end up feeling hungrier and you feel that way more often. And sometimes you feel hangry.
So why does that happen when you start eating whole foods? Well, processed foods tend to be made with ingredients, preservatives and additives that don’t easily get absorbed into your body.
If you think about it, processed foods are meant to have as long a shelf life as possible, which could mean they’re going to stick around your belly longer than unprocessed foods.
Whole Foods Vs. Processed Foods
In comparison, whole foods don’t have all that junk and are naturally absorbed into your system more quickly. That means your body gets all those great nutrients faster, but it can also mean you’re hungrier sooner.
So consider how you feel after eating a couple of slices of pizza or a burger and fries. You most likely feel full, sometimes bloated and weighed down, but for the most part you feel you can probably get through several hours without any hunger pangs.
But when you start eating more whole foods like fruits and vegetables, you may find you don’t feel as full for that same amount of time.
Again, that goes back to your body absorbing whole foods faster than processed food or junk food. But it can also lead to the temptation of resorting back to eating less healthy foods or eating more than your body needs. But don’t stress.
If you learn how to eat whole foods to make you feel full, you’ll be able to stick with eating healthier. It boils down to making sure you are eating enough of the right foods at every meal.
Then what are the whole foods to make you feel full? Is there a list I can print out and follow? Well, the answer isn’t in a list of foods to eat, it’s in the balance of macronutrients (protein, fats and carbohydrates) and fiber you should have with each meal.
First, you want to include protein in every meal. Ideally you want a minimum of a third of a gram of protein for each pound you weigh or, in other words, a third of your body weight in grams of protein. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds you should eat a minimum of 40 grams of protein per day.
The DRI (dietary reference intake) or daily minimum recommended by the National Institutes of Health for the average sedentary person is 0.36 grams per pound.
Protein is an important part of our bodies and many of us don’t eat enough of it. If you’re a whole food meat eater or whole food clean eater, you’ll get the majority of your protein in the meats and seafoods you eat. And if you’re a whole foods plant based eater, since you don’t eat meat, you’ll need to turn to legumes and grains to get the protein you need.
See First Thing You Need To Do When Switching To Whole Foods for more info on the three types of whole food eaters – Whole Food Meat Eater, Whole Food Plant Based Eater, and Whole Food Clean Eater.
To eat whole foods to make you feel full, include a portion of your recommended daily minimum of protein in all your meals.
Second, you want to include fiber in every meal. Fiber is fantastic in helping you feel regular and naturally cleaning out your system. It also aids in helping you feel full.
All fruits and vegetables contain plenty of fiber. Here’s a sample of whole foods rich fiber.
- Bell Peppers
- Black Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
- Lima Beans
- Split Peas
Here are some additional ways to include fiber in your meals:
- Add riced cauliflower, chopped spinach or grated carrots to your dishes
- Mix pureed vegetables into sauces and soups
- Use flaxseed meal instead of breading for meats and seafood or add it to oats and smoothies
- Add chia seeds to smoothies or puddings
To eat whole foods to make you feel full, include fiber in all your meals.
Related Article: How To Lose Weight on the Whole Food Diet
Third, you want to include healthy carbohydrates, or carbs, in every meal. Two of my favorite sources of healthy carbs are sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Both work with all three types of whole food eater and can be eaten many ways – baked, roasted, riced or mashed.
And just as fruits and vegetables provide loads of fiber, they’re also a great source of healthy carbs. Here are a few suggestions for adding healthy carbs to your meals.
- Fresh fruits
- Sweet potato pancakes
Lunch or Dinner
- Cauliflower rice
- Sweet potato fries
- Baked squash
Lastly, you want to include healthy fats in every meal. Fats take a longer time to digest and will stay in your stomach longer. This promotes a feeling of fullness and in turn helps suppress your appetite.
Some examples of foods with healthy fats are:
- Chia Seeds
- Nut Butters
- Olive oil
- Seed Butters
- Sunflower Seeds
To eat whole foods to make you feel full, include healthy fats in all your meals.
If you want to succeed in eating more whole foods or to switching over to the Whole Foods Lifestyle, it is important to learn how best to eat whole foods to make you feel full.
Doing so will help keep you from resorting back to eating junk food or convenient processed food to feel satisfied. So make sure to plan your meals to include protein, fiber, healthy carbs, and healthy fats to feel fuller longer.
What About You?
Now it’s your turn. Do you feel hungrier or even hangry when eating whole foods? What do you struggle with when eating whole? Share in the comments below. I’d love to know.
Whole Foods Eating Series
This is the sixth article in a series of Whole Foods Eating articles. Click the links below to follow along.
- First Thing You Need To Do When Switching To Whole Foods
- This Is How To Shop Healthy For A Whole Foods Diet
- 3 Sweet Chocolate Treats – Gluten Free, Easy and Healthy
- How To Lose Weight on the Whole Food Diet
- The Best Way To Eat Whole Foods To Make You Feel Full