8 Tips to Reduce Food Portions Without Increasing Hunger

When you are trying to drop weight, you might start by eating much less.

But how do you scale back your portions without going hungry? Thankfully, there are a number of approaches you can use to reduce calories whilst keeping hunger at bay.

This article contains 8 wonderful tips to decrease meals portions without making you hungrier.

1. Make at Least Half Your Plate Veggies

Young Woman Drawing Pictures of Fruits and Veggies

Vegetables have lots of filling water and fiber, but not a lot of calories (1).

By replacing half the starch or protein of your meal with non-starchy vegetables, you can consume the very same volume of meals and nonetheless slash general calories (1).

And analysis has shown that the amount of food you eat is a aspect in feeling full (two).

In one particular study, participants were every given the very same amount of pasta, but with differing amounts of vegetables.

Participants ate equivalent amounts of meals regardless of how a lot veggies they got, meaning those who had the highest proportion of vegetables ate the least calories with out even understanding it (3).

Try scaling down the portions of other foods and fill the rest of your plate with non-starchy vegetables.

You can apply this same notion when making mixed dishes. Just add far more vegetables to your favorite recipes to make them lower in calories and a lot more nutrient-dense.

Summary: Veggies add volume to your meal, letting you eat fewer calories for the same quantity of meals.

two. Consume Protein With Every Meal or Snack

Plate with Turkey, Baked Potato and Salad

Science has repeatedly shown that protein increases feelings of fullness more than carbs or fat (4).

One study from 2012 looked at the effects of consuming high-protein meals on feelings of fullness. Participants ate meals with 20–30% of calories from protein.

The researchers found that men and women who ate the protein-wealthy meals felt fuller in both the quick and extended term, compared to when their meals contained half that quantity of protein (5).

Take advantage of protein’s filling properties by including it in each and every meal and snack.

Concentrate on lean sources of protein, such as eggs, skinless poultry, dairy, seafood and fish. Plant-primarily based proteins are also great selections, and might incorporate beans, bean dips, tofu and nut butters.

Here are some tips for obtaining a protein boost in distinct meals and snacks:

  • Add some plain Greek yogurt to your breakfast smoothie.
  • Pair entire-grain crackers with string cheese or hummus.
  • Poach an egg in vegetable soup.
  • Add beans or a tough-boiled egg to salad.

Summary: Protein helps your body really feel a lot more full than carbs or fat do. Consist of protein with every meal and snack to enhance its power.

three. Drink Water With Your Meal

Small Glass of Water

Drinking calorie-wealthy beverages like juice or soda does not make you feel full, but does leave you with additional calories you don’t require (6, 7).

For older adults, drinking water right prior to a meal could help fill you up and lessen the likelihood you’ll overeat.

In a single study in older adults, men and women who drank about 2 cups (500 ml) of water ahead of breakfast ate around 13% significantly less than the participants who did not drink any water prior to eating (eight).

Drinking water ahead of a meal does not look to have the identical impact on younger adults. Nevertheless, replacing high-calorie drinks with water can save you total calories at your meal (9).

Drink water or other zero-calorie beverages with your meal to quench your thirst with out growing your calorie intake.

Summary: Drinking water with your meal saves you additional calories. What’s far more, drinking a glass of water before a meal aids some men and women consume less.

4. Start With a Vegetable Soup or Salad

Woman Drinking Soup Out of a Bowl

It might seem counterintuitive to eat far more courses in order to consume less food, but beginning your meal with a soup or salad can help you do just that.

In 1 study, participants ate lunch in a lab when a week for 5 weeks. When they had been offered soup just before the entrée, they ate 20% fewer calories for their whole meal than when they just ate the entrée (ten).

That exact same researcher identified equivalent outcomes when she gave individuals salad ahead of an entrée of pasta (11).

When individuals ate a small salad prior to their pasta, they ate 7% fewer calories during their meal than when they dove straight into the pasta. When they ate a big salad, they ate 12% fewer calories.

Light vegetable soups and salads have anything in widespread: they have a high water content, are complete of fiber-rich veggies and are usually low in calories.

This high-fiber, high-water combo seems to be a fantastic way to curb subsequent calorie intake (12).

However, watch out for salad dressing, which can swiftly rack up the calories.

Summary: Starting off with a low-calorie soup or salad requires the edge off your hunger, priming you to eat less of the main course.

5. Use Smaller Plates and Forks

Fork, Knife and Empty Plate

It may possibly sound strange, but the size of your plates and consuming utensils impacts how a lot you eat.

In one study, researchers discovered that individuals have a tendency to fill their plates about 70% complete, regardless of plate size (13).

That translates into a lot a lot more meals if you’re utilizing a 10-inch plate compared to an 8-inch plate — 52% much more meals, in truth (13).

And when you have more on your plate, you are most likely to consume much more (14).

In other research, people have served themselves more ice cream when making use of a larger spoon and have eaten less meals when utilizing a small fork (15, 16).

So harness the power of illusion and use a smaller sized plate and utensils. The identical portion will look larger and you will probably eat less.

Summary: Using smaller sized plates can support maintain portion sizes in verify even though tricking your brain into considering you’re eating far more.

six. Eat Mindfully

Amongst your wise phone, the tv and a hectic life-style, it can be all too easy to eat whilst distracted.

Distracted eating tends to lead you to consume much more, not just at that meal, but for the rest of the day (17).

Mindful consuming, the practice of paying complete consideration to what you eat without having distractions, aids you notice your body’s hunger and fullness cues, so that you can in fact know when you have had sufficient (18).

Mindfulness can also support you distinguish among physical hunger and emotional hunger (18).

When you feel hungry, ask your self if you are really hungry or if you are just wanting to consume since you are bored or experiencing one more emotion.

If you’re in the habit of eating emotionally, try some other techniques just before consuming, such as going for a walk, exercising, having a cup of tea or journaling.

And as an alternative of multitasking at mealtime, try setting aside at least 20 minutes to tune into your meals, taking time to smell it, taste it and really feel its effect on your body.

Summary: Limiting distractions and getting mentally present whilst you eat can help you much better recognize when you’re hungry or complete.

7. Spice Up Your Meals

One Pepper and a Pile of Flakes

Adding hot peppers to your food may possibly help you eat significantly less.

A compound in hot peppers named capsaicin can in fact aid reduce appetite and hunger (19).

In 1 study, participants who consumed spicy red pepper as part of an appetizer ate 190 fewer calories in the course of a subsequent lunch and snack than these who skipped the spice (20).

If you can’t take the heat, ginger may possibly have a comparable effect.

A study in ten overweight guys discovered that participants felt significantly less hungry when they drank ginger tea during breakfast than when they skipped the ginger tea (21).

Summary: Adding hot pepper or ginger to your meal could support you feel a lot more full and eat much less.

8. Eat Far more Soluble Fiber

Two Bowls of Veggie and Bean Soup

In general, fiber-wealthy foods can aid you really feel full.

And foods with soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, pears and beans, are especially filling. That is due to the fact soluble fiber holds a lot more water, giving it bulk.

In the digestive tract, soluble fiber produces a thick gel that helps slow digestion, keeping hunger at bay (22, 23).

Lately, researchers identified that adding soluble-fiber-wealthy flax or chia seeds to meals increases feelings of fullness (24).

As a side note, these very same researchers found that using chia seeds decreased the hunger hormone ghrelin by the end of the six-month period, compared to starting levels (25).

Here are a handful of easy approaches to boost your soluble fiber intake:

  • Add chia or ground flaxseeds to smoothies, yogurt and cereal.
  • Prime entire-grain oatmeal, buckwheat or millet breakfast bowls with diced apple or pear.
  • Add beans to soups, salads and entrées.
  • Consume a lot more squash. Each winter and summer time squashes are high in soluble fiber.
  • Snack on fruit.

Summary: Soluble fiber assists maintain hunger at bay. Locate it in oatmeal, chia seeds, squash, beans, apples and pears.

The Bottom Line

Consuming fewer calories does not have to mean feeling hungry.

In reality, there are many issues you can do to maintain hunger at bay.

Try bulking up your portions with veggies, consuming a lot more protein or tricking your mind by making use of smaller plates.

These straightforward tips can help you manage food portions with out feeling hungry.

Authority Nutrition



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