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Staying Full While Becoming Fit

Cutting calories typically increases hunger. These tips can help you feel full when you’re eating less.

While you know that your brain, not your stomach, controls your cravings, it can be challenging to remember that when your stomach starts growling. There are actions you can take to help your brain stop sending those misleading messages to your stomach.

The Mayo Clinic recommends eating high-fiber foods. According to their research, these foods help you feel full longer, decreasing the risk that you’ll eat when you’re not hungry. High-fiber foods include whole-grain breads, beans and most vegetables.

The Harvard Health Blog explains the trick of eating slowly to feel full faster also relies on brain and stomach communication. When you eat, your stomach stretches to make room for the food, sending signals to the brain that the desire for something to eat has been fulfilled. Conversely, smelling treats tells the brain that it’s time to consume them.

Best Ways to Beat Hunger

To keep cravings at bay when you’re trying to eat less:

Avoid alcoholic beverages, which signal your brain to desire food even when you’re full.

Focus on foods that contain a lot of water, such as low-sodium soups or fresh vegetables.

Avoid places that have conditioned you to feel hungry, such as bakeries and food courts.

Have eggs for breakfast. According to a Saint Louis University study, people who trade a bagel for eggs tended to reduce their daily caloric intake by more than 300 calories.

Most Filling Foods

Some foods are more adept than others at sending your brain the right signals. As noted above, foods high in fiber can reduce cravings. When you’re planning meals, create menus that feature ingredients like oatmeal, lentils and figs as a way to increase your fiber intake.

Pectin also reduces feelings of hunger. You can find pectin in apples, one of the most filling foods around. Protein is more filling than fat, so when selecting meats, look for lean cuts.

If you have questions about your nutritional needs, talk to your doctor. Don’t have a doctor? Tennova Medical Group is here to help. Our family practice office located on Tiny Town Road welcomes new patients of all ages. Call 931- 502-2423 or visit Ask about our same- and next-day appointments.


This publication in no way seeks to diagnose or treat illness or to serve as a substitute for professional medical care.

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