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What do I eat to feel full? (Feeling satiated on the Paleo Diet)

Dietary change does not have to be difficult

We all know that changing can be difficult. It’s most evident when we are talking about a dietary change. Changing your food. As more and more people are taking stock of their health,  they are realizing that being more careful with food, with what they put in their bodies, is the most important thing. From as far as our minds can remember most of us are ingrained with making the right food choices. And those ideas can range from the FDA food pyramid to the latest fad diet. Even then changing your diet can be difficult. But if you have the correct knowledge about the foods you are eating, and you know how to use the foods you eat, you are better prepared when you have to make substitutions, or when life happens. It definitely makes a difference.

Are you full? or Stuffed?

I am often asked by my patients, “What do I eat to feel full?” This can be a little bit of a misleading question. When we feel full, are we saying that we are stuffed, or rather just satisfied? Making a habit of eating until you are stuffed is not a good idea. Instead, you want to eat until you are no longer hungry or until you feel comfortably satisfied. However, when eating to a comfortable point, some will find that they are hungry again in a relatively short time. When this happens, we have to make some subtle diet changes.

Paleo diet satisfies all aspects

Making the Paleo Diet work for you is not that difficult. You simply have to know when to consume certain foods. As it relates to feeling full, the Paleo Diet is inherently designed to help satisfy your desire for additional foods. This is based largely on the breakdown of “Paleo Food”. In contrast to the Standard American Diet, which is high in carbohydrates, the Paleo Diet tends to be more abundant in high fiber vegetables, protein and fat. If no other aspects of diet are compared except these macronutrients, it becomes evident of the differences. It is these differences that you must emphasize to feel satisfied after eating.

The key is protein, fat & fiber.

The rate at which food leaves the stomach determines how quickly you become hungry again. The more rapid the transition of food out of the stomach, the faster the onset of hunger. In contrast, the longer food stays in the stomach, the more likely you are to stay satisfied. Carbohydrates increase stomach emptying. Food rapidly leaves the stomach and within a short time you are hungry again. Proteins, fats and fiber act in opposition. They act to slow down stomach emptying and tend to keep you satisfied longer. Good examples include meats, oils and fiber-dense vegetables such as broccoli.

Add more fat!

So now you understand, that adding more high-fiber veggies, protein and fats is the key to feeling “full” or more satisfied. Surprisingly, of those 3 the fats are the ones I have to remind my patient to eat more of. It’s so easy to add fat to your meal. Maybe it’s a little extra dressing, or cooking in olive or coconut oil, or maybe just adding some avocado.  If you do these things, you will be and stay satisfied longer after you are finished eating. The most important thing to remember is that when eating Paleo, it’s not about how much you eat but rather what types of foods you eat that determines your success!

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