When it comes to going on a diet, most people think they have to heavily reduce food, causing them to be starving, grumpy and miserable during the process.
While this is the general consensus, luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way with my advanced hunger-fighting techniques.
What if I told you that, based on the type of the foods you eat, you can actually increase the amount of food you are eating without compromising your weight loss results?
I know it sounds too good to be true, but by placing an emphasis on foods that are low in calorie density, but high in protein and fiber you can actually eat more food than previously and still lose weight at the same time!
Not to mention, doing so will have you feeling fuller for longer, making your weight loss attempts far more successful and enjoyable in the long term.
In this article, I’ll discuss some of the major concepts behind losing weight while eating more food and how to incorporate these advanced hunger-fighting techniques into your diet.
Understanding Energy Balance and Calorie Density
The key to figuring out how to lose weight while eating more food is to understand two basic concepts of dieting: energy balance and calorie density.
The first of these is the most important when it comes to adjusting your body weight and composition.
Energy balance is the idea that, in order to lose weight, you’ll need to expend more calories than you consume. This can be accomplished by reducing the amount of calories you consume, expending more calories through exercise, or through a combination of both (1).
When it comes to calorie density, this concept revolves around the calorie content of different foods relative to their volume, usually measured per portion, per plate or per 100g.
For instance, if a food has a low calorie density, it means that the food provides a large volume or amount per portion, but with a low calorie total. Contrastingly, if a food has a high calorie density, it will have a fairly low volume, yet contain a high amount of calories. This means it’s easy to overeat on high density foods which won’t fill you up so will leave you feeling hungry again, shortly after eating them.
Broccoli for example, has a very low calorie density coming in at around 30 calories per cup.
Alternatively, peanut butter, which has a very high calorie density, comes in around 1,620 calories per cup.
Both provide one cup of food and signal your stomach in a similar fashion, as it has receptors that sense the volume of food. However, as you can see, you could eat a large salad to stay full up, whereas a few slices of cheese or nuts would not help keep you full because the portion size would be relatively very small.
As you can see, different densities of food can have a major effect not only on feelings of satisfaction from meals, but also on how easily you can consume the right amount of calories based on your goals.
Why High Volume, Low Calorie Foods Help You lose Weight
The primary reason that high volume, low calorie foods help you lose weight is because they allow you to feel fuller for longer periods of time. Eating these allows you to consume fewer total calories without feeling famished and wanting to binge.
This is because having large volumes of food in the stomach has a knock-on effect for the hunger hormone, ghrelin.
Ghrelin is a hormone which is secreted from cells within the gastrointestinal tract. In response to normal eating times, the cells secrete ghrelin, telling the brain that it’s time for you to eat (2, 3, 4).
This survival hormone, while necessary, can be quite a nuisance if you’re attempting to lose weight.
Traditionally, this hormone is secreted prior to eating. Once food is ingested and cells that secrete ghrelin become stretched in the stomach from a large volume of food, they become unable to release this hormone, resulting in feelings of fullness (5).
Having low calorie dense foods provides two unique benefits in this situation. In addition to not significantly impacting total calories, these high volume and low calorie foods efficiently cause ghrelin cells to be stretched, decreasing hunger and so resulting in an eventual weight loss.
Protein Increases Metabolism and Reduces Hunger
One of the ways in which you can eat more food, while reducing calories and body fat is to increase your protein intake.
Protein is an often under-consumed macronutrient but absolutely essential, not only for increasing muscle mass but also for reducing body fat.
A primary reason that protein helps reduce body fat is because it has a relatively low amount of calories but helps to stretch ghrelin-releasing cells and slows down digestion of food.
Proteins, especially solid forms such as lean meat, have a 3 dimensional structure, which is actually quite difficult for the body to break down, digest and absorb. Because of this, protein slows the speed at which food exits the stomach (6, 7).
This can have an immense effect on feelings of satisfaction from meals.
Additionally, research suggests that protein directly increases metabolic rate. This again, is due to the structure of proteins requiring a large amount of energy to break down and digest them (8).
Increasing protein intake from foods such as meat, fish, greek yogurt or eggs won’t add a ton of calories and will actually allow you to eat more food while dropping calories. Try focusing on a protein source at every single meal.
Fiber Further Reduces Hunger & Lets You Eat More
High fiber foods such as vegetables are unique because they allow you to eat more food when dieting.
Fiber comes primarily in two different forms: insoluble and soluble.
While the body technically digests neither, soluble fiber helps to reduce appetite by absorbing water and forming a gel. In so doing, the speed at which food moves through the gut is reduced, acting in similar ways to protein (9, 10).
Consuming a large amount of vegetables, and thus fiber, can help you significantly reduce the total amount of calories that you are ingesting while allowing you to eat more food.
Focus on high fiber food such as:
- Whole grains
- Root Vegetables
- Other grains
How To Eat More Food and Example Meals
Hopefully now you can see how, by being smart with your food selection, you can actually eat more food and lose weight.
Luckily, these lower calorie dense foods also tend to be very healthy, which is a win-win for your health and physique.
Here are a few low calorie meals that will also fill your plate and keep you full:
- Beef Chili: 6oz low fat beef, 1 cup rice, kidney beans, tomato sauce, onions, peas, peppers and mixed vegetables.
- Fish Salad: 6oz white fish, low-fat fish sauce, tomatoes, quinoa, mixed salad.
- Shrimp Stir-fry: 8oz Shrimp, low-fat stir-fry sauce, mixed vegetable, noodles.
- Omelette: 4 egg whites, 2 whole eggs, low-fat sausage, spinach, 3 other vegetables, butter spray for pan.
- Yogurt & Berries: Large bowl of high protein yogurt, bowl of berries or frozen berries (microwaved), stevia sweetener.
Hopefully you can now see how we can create enjoyable meals that are low in calories, helping aid your weight loss while also allowing you to eat more total food every single day.
If you want to get 120 High Protein Low Calorie Dense meals you can download them now in our Macro Cookbook here.
- Spiegelman, B. M., & Flier, J. S. (2001). Obesity and the regulation of energy balance. Cell, 104(4), 531-543.
- Sakata, I., & Sakai, T. (2010). Ghrelin cells in the gastrointestinal tract. International journal of peptides, 2010.
- Lesauter, J., Hoque, N., Weintraub, M., Pfaff, D. W., & Silver, R. (2009). Stomach ghrelin-secreting cells as food-entrainable circadian clocks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(32), 13582-13587. doi:10.1073/pnas.0906426106
- Cummings, D. E., Purnell, J. Q., Frayo, R. S., Schmidova, K., Wisse, B. E., & Weigle, D. S. (2001). A preprandial rise in plasma ghrelin levels suggests a role in meal initiation in humans. Diabetes, 50(8), 1714-1719.
- Leidy, H. J., Gardner, J. K., Frye, B. R., Snook, M. L., Schuchert, M. K., Richard, E. L., & Williams, N. I. (2004). Circulating ghrelin is sensitive to changes in body weight during a diet and exercise program in normal-weight young women. The journal of clinical endocrinology & metabolism, 89(6), 2659-2664.
- Luscombe, N. D., Clifton, P. M., Noakes, M., Farnsworth, E., & Wittert, G. (2003). Effect of a high-protein, energy-restricted diet on weight loss and energy expenditure after weight stabilization in hyperinsulinemic subjects. International journal of obesity, 27(5), 582-590.
- Veldhorst, M., Smeets, A. J. P. G., Soenen, S., Hochstenbach-Waelen, A., Hursel, R., Diepvens, K., … & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. (2008). Protein-induced satiety: effects and mechanisms of different proteins. Physiology & behavior, 94(2), 300-307.
- Westerterp, K. R. (2004). Diet induced thermogenesis. Nutrition & metabolism, 1(1), 5.
- Cho, S. S., Case, I. L., & Nishi, S. (2009). Fiber and Satiety. Weight Control and Slimming Ingredients in Food Technology, 227.
- Lefranc-Millot, C., Macioce, V., Guérin-Deremaux, L., Lee, A. W., & Cho, S. S. (2012). Fiber and Satiety. Dietary Fiber and Health, 83.