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Foods to Stop Hunger While on a Diet

author image Betty Holt
Betty Holt began writing professionally in 1966 as co-editor of a summer mimeographed newspaper, "The Galax News." She has written for "Grit," "Mountain Living," "Atlanta Weekly" and others. Holt received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Education from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her articles specialize in health, fitness, nutrition and mental health.
Foods to Stop Hunger While on a Diet
Popcorn is a snack food that helps you feel full. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

People often equate dieting with being hungry, even if the diet is a healthy one including a wide range of foods. Typically, people who struggle with weight issues have problems with managing appetite and knowing when they are satiated. They are more sensitive to hunger signals and less sensitive to feelings of fullness. Certain foods and habits around eating can reduce hunger and allow you to stick with your weight loss plan.


Hunger is increased by not eating regularly and eating a diet high in starches and sugars. When blood sugar levels fluctuate, it leads to cravings and mismanagement of eating behaviors. A diet too low in fat or protein or low in fiber can increase hunger. Although caffeine suppresses appetite in the beginning, when it wears off, it can increase it. Stress can increase appetite, as can the visual cues of having food around in your space.


Feeling satiated after you eat is increased by eating regularly, every two to three hours. A balanced diet of protein, fat and fiber, including meat, poultry, fish, nuts and seeds and vegetables is ideal. Foods that are high in volume but low in calories like vegetables increase fullness. Drinking plenty of water helps with satiety, as does eating slowly and mindfully and not being distracted during eating. Since people often eat whatever amount they are served on a plate, try using smaller plates to control portion sizes.

Energy Density

Energy density pertains to the number of calories, or energy, in a specific portion of food. If a food has high energy density it has a lot of calories in a small amount of food. Low energy density foods have few calories in a large amount of food. When trying to lose weight, choose low energy density foods. Many fruits and vegetables have high water content, which provides weight and volume but not calories. High-fiber foods provide volume and take longer to digest, causing you to feel full longer. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are high in fiber. Fats are high energy density and are found in dairy products and meats. A teaspoon of butter contains a similar number of calories as two cups of raw broccoli. The broccoli will help you feel much fuller than the butter.

Foods That Quell Hunger

There are 10 foods that fill you up more than others. The fiber and starchy carbohydrates in whole-grain porridge helps you feel full longer. Boiled potatoes, even with a higher glycemic index, are more satiating than chips. Eating soup before a meal improves satiety so that you eat less. Eating eggs for breakfast reduces hunger. Whole-wheat pasta is full of fiber and filling starchy carbohydrates. Oranges have a high fluid content and are low-glycemic. Popcorn fills you up because it is so bulky. Beans have a good combination of fiber and protein. Crunchy peanuts keep you fuller longer. Salad before a meal helps fill you up, but beware of oily salad dressings.

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