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Feel full on fewer calories D


id you start a diet during January? Feeling hungry? Many who start diets break them


and put weight back on quickly but eating fewer calories does not have to lead to feelings of hunger. If you make the correct choices you can still feel full and lose weight. One way of maintaining the feeling of fullness


while losing weight is to reduce the ‗energy density‘ of your diet. This means the amount of calories a food has per gram. Foods with a low energy density tend to have high water content and are low in fat. Foods with a high energy density are usually high in fat and low in water. Avoiding foods such as fatty meat, full fat dairy products, pastry, oils and butter will help you lose weight. Fat has nine calories per gram, compared to four calories per gram for carbohydrates and protein. In order to avoid feeling hungry while trying to


lose weight, try to consume low energy density foods with high water content. Water has no calories but still adds weight to the food. Examples of food with high water content are fruit and vegetables, soups and stews. Try adding some fruit to your breakfast cereal


and extra vegetables to your lunch and dinner each day. You should find that you stay full for longer but still lose weight. Consuming food with high fibre content can aid


in weight loss because fibre rich food is digested more slowly so helps us to feel full for longer. Fibre is only found in food from plants. Good choices would be wholemeal pasta, brown rice, wholemeal and wholegrain bread because


wholegrain varieties of starchy food contain more fibre than white starchy food. Porridge would be a good choice for breakfast and should keep you full until lunchtime as oats are a wholegrain and high in fibre. The energy from porridge is released slowly


into the blood stabilising blood sugar levels, preventing the need for snacks in between meals. Porridge can be made with water or skimmed milk to keep the calories low and fresh fruit such as berries may be added to increase fibre content. Fibre also helps prevent constipation and can help reduce cholesterol. High protein foods can keep you full for longer


so include lean protein rich foods in each of your meals. These can include lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans and pulses. Including these foods in your daily food intake,


will allow you to lose weight and avoid food cravings. It is important, however, to eat regular meals


and stick to sensible portion sizes. Including some form of exercise daily would be beneficial, maybe walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift or getting off the bus one stop earlier and walking the extra distance. Dieting while eating a healthy balanced diet


should allow you to lose weight at a sensible rate and hopefully maintain the weight loss. Don‘t let hunger break your diet.


Michelle Marshall (BSc Hons Human Nutrition) If you have any questions about nutrition please email me at Michelle.marshall@wiseaboutfood.co.uk


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