Hey Angels and Alphas,
Everyone knows that the key to proper nutrition and optimal energy levels are the satisfying meals and snacks that keep our blood sugar steady.
In the weight loss community, a lot of people who first try to lose weight will make the mistake of eating diet-culture-approved snacks and meals that lack the vital nutrients necessary to create positive change in the body.
And one of the first things to learn in this situation is that each nutrient can actually be used with a specific purpose and can be made to work for you instead of against you.
Instead of avoiding certain nutrients, we should actually strive to create the right balance of nutrients inside our bodies via wholesome, filling, nutritious meals.
Today, we’re here to explore some tips for making the most out of your meals by learning how to use nutrients strategically to tailor your meals to your body’s needs and stay full for longer.
LET’S TALK ABOUT FAT
Fat takes the longest time for our bodies to digest. This also means it helps you stay fuller for longer after your meals. Healthy fat also keeps your blood sugar steady, keeping you away from the cycle of spikes and drops that can zap your energy levels and make you hungry all the time.
By adding fat sources to your meal, you’re not only reaping the benefits of longer-lasting satiety and blood sugar balance, but you’re also improving the taste of your meal.
You can try roasting veggies in olive oil or just using it as a salad dressing base. You can also try sandwiches with avocado instead of mayo, or nuts, seeds, and grain bowls, peanut butter, pieces of cheese with fruit, the possibilities are endless!
WHAT ABOUT PROTEIN?
Protein also plays an important role in satiety and it takes some time for the body to digest it.
Low-protein meals and snacks are usually not that filling, yet that’s an easy problem to fix since there are countless great protein sources you can get. If you’re looking for protein-rich meat, you can go with chicken, fatty fish like salmon or tuna, turkey, grass-fed beef, eggs, and more. Plant-based options such as hemp and chia seeds, tempeh, tofu, and quinoa and oats are also rich protein sources.
To boost the protein content of your meals, you can try adding Greek yoghurt, edamame, or just adding hard-boiled eggs (or egg whites) to your side.
CARBS (AND FIBER)
Fiber is a carbohydrate that the body can’t completely digest. This also works to slow your digestion and keep your blood sugar steady. A lot of fibers are basically fermented in the large intestine and they contribute to the production of healthy gut bacteria.
Meals rich in fiber keep you fuller for longer, and they’re very easy to make since they’re abundant in plants. Veggies, fruits, beans, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, all of them are rich fiber sources that keep you satisfied for extended periods of time.
On the other hand, sources of both simple and complex carbs are vital to a balanced diet, so don’t skip on your rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, and other whole grains. They’ll all provide your body with the necessary resources it needs to stay energized, reduce cravings for sweets, and promote meal satisfaction.
THE GOLDEN RULE OF SNACKING
If you’re looking for a simple way to include all these foods in your diet, use the rule of twos – for every snack you have, make sure you’re getting in at least two of the three nutrients listed above. They’re filling along, but they’re more filling (and even more satisfying) when they’re consumed together.
- Some great examples:
- Greek yoghurt with berries
- Bananas with almond butter
- Sliced apple with walnuts
- Hard-boiled eggs with whole-grain toast
- Whole-grain crackers and peanut butter
- Pita chips with avocado
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER…
All you need to create a satisfying meal or snack is two out of the three main nutrient groups. With a few tweaks and planning, you can quickly create meals and snacks that keep you full for a long period of time and keep your energy levels steady throughout the day.
Instead of thinking about what nutrients you need to restrict from your diet to achieve a certain goal, focus on what you can add to your diet (and when you can add it) so you stay satiated, full of energy, and still progressing toward your goal.