You decide that you would like to lose a few pounds, so naturally you turn to Google.
Your searches may look a little like this:
- How to lose weight fast
- What are the rules of Keto
- What is Whole 30
- How many calories should I eat
- Losing Weight
If you Google search these topics a laundry list of foods to avoid, and rules of a certain diet will come up. The list of restrictions is pretty much endless and often these diets do not talk about how to add good foods into your plan.
Let’s look at the word “diet” more closely. It really has two meanings.
- “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.”
- “a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.”
In the above definitions, the word “diet” is a noun, but it can be used as a verb, also.
- restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight
Notice that the first definition is the only one that does not use the word restrict, however, when we think of “diet” we automatically think of the second two definitions. Is it the negative connotation that attracts us, or is it because society makes us think that the way we eat isn’t correct, so there must be some form of restriction? As it has been said before, someone can say 10 good things about you and one bad thing. Chances are the one bad thing will be remembered before the good things are. I think this applies to the word diet. In talking with clients, I avoid the word diet, because of the negative feelings that are attached to it. In my intake sessions I ask, “How is your nutrition?” Even if it is not good, clients seem to be more open to give an answer when the question is framed this way.
Rather than seeing the way you eat as a place of restriction; it is helpful to change your mindset and think of it as an opportunity. I know that seems like something a self-help guru would say, but it is true. Every time you eat, you can provide fuel for your body that will nourish it. You can ingest food that leaves you full in many ways. You will be full, as in experiencing satiety, or full of energy. Your heart may be full because of the delicious meal you just consumed or because of the people you shared that meal with. Food is a powerful tool, and there are ways to use it, so we are getting the most out of.
Satiety is the feeling of fullness and there are characteristics in certain foods that promote this feeling. First, foods that are high in protein are the most filling. Some of the best foods for protein intake include eggs, chicken, oats, and almonds. Another characteristic that helps promote satiety are foods that are high in fiber. Some high fiber foods are beans, broccoli, popcorn, and potatoes. Foods that are high in volume are good for satiety as well. Foods that are high in volume contain a lot of water or air. These foods are pretty much any fruit or vegetable, along with cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. Lastly, foods that are low in calories compared to the weight of the food. These foods make you feel like you’re consuming a lot of it, but the calorie count is low. This could be a soup or stew, rice, quinoa, or peas.
That is a lot of information to take in, so I’ll simplify it. I’ve referenced blog articles from WebMD, Healthline and Mayo clinic and these articles point out foods that are:
high volume (contain a lot of water and air)
low energy density (low in calories for its weight)
*Click each category to read the article.
After reviewing the information in each of these articles, I’ve put together a list of foods that meet two or three of the above criteria. Below is a list of foods that you can incorporate into your nutrition plan that will allow you to cut some calories out while still feeling as though you’ve had enough to eat.
Eggs: Protein, Low Energy Density
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and they have low energy density. They include all nine essential amino acids, and have 6 grams of protein per egg. A way to incorporate eggs in your diet, which will help you feel more full throughout the day, is to eat them at breakfast. A breakfast sandwich on a wheat thin with some spinach, or scrambled eggs with bell peppers and onions are two quick dishes to whip up in the morning before running out the door.
Lentils: Protein, Fiber, High Volume, Low Energy Density
Lentils are one of the best sources of plant protein, and they are also high in fiber. Because of the volume of lentils, you can consume a little and still feel full. Even if you decide to consume a lot of lentils, you won’t have to worry about going over your calorie budget for the day. If you eat a plant based diet, consider adding this food in as a way to guarantee you are eating enough protein.
Popcorn: Fiber, High Volume
This is a great snack to add to your diet, however, buyer beware when picking out what type of popcorn to consume. Air popped popcorn without any additives is going to be your best best when trying to watch how many calories you are taking. Without added goodies such as salt or butter, popcorn has a low energy density, which pairs well with the high fiber content. This snack promotes fullness.
Almonds: Protein, Fiber, High Volume
If you have a nut allergy, this food may not be suitable for you, however, it checks many boxes when looking to see if it promotes satiety. Almonds are quite high in calories, but it does not take many of them to make you feel full. Plain unsalted almonds are going to be the lowest form in calories, so be sure to check the bag before you buy. Avoid salted, roasted, or honey roasted almonds. The extra toppings may leave you craving more, rather than just eating enough to feel full.
Apples: Fiber, High Volume, Low Energy Density
If you want to get the most out of your apple, be sure to eat the peel. That is where most of the fiber is. The fiber, found in apples, can aid in digestion, and help with your immune system. Eating whole apples is what will help with satiety best. Apple juice has a lot of added sugar, and will not help you feel as full. Although apple juice provides some benefits, it is always better to eat the whole fruit.
When thinking about changing your diet, try having a mind set of “replacement”, rather than “restriction''. You can revamp your diet by replacing one food at a time. Little changes add up to big results. Experiment with the foods listed above and see how you can put these foods in place of the less nutritious foods you are eating. Because these foods make you feel more full, you won’t be as tempted to snack throughout the day. As always, reach out if you need assistance! I’m here for ya! To you, my Maiden Friend! - Coach CoJo
Maiden Resistance is focused on equipping women+ with weight training knowledge designed by the belief that the weight you lift holds more value than the weight on the scale. We specialize in fitness for women. We strive to create an environment that is comfortable and safe for all women+ to experience fitness. Our services include strength training, interval training, and nutrition coaching. Courtney Jonsson, the owner and founder, is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach.
If you are interested in becoming a Maiden please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit maidenresistance.com to schedule an intake session.