This post is by OYS writer Alexis from Trading Cardio for Cosmos. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram sharing her awesome weight loss tips and motivation!! She’s lost over 100lbs so she has lots to share!
Having lost -115lbs, I am routinely asked “What do you eat?!” I spoke at a Weight Watchers #LiveFully Expo last weekend, and true to form, the very first question someone asked during the Q&A was “What do you eat for breakfast?”
You’ve been able to see what I eat through some past columns (HERE and HERE) and also what I eat when I travel (HERE), but I thought today I’d try to explain some of the WHY behind the foods I eat. In nearly every snack and meal I eat, I look first and foremost to be satiated.
So, what is Satiation?
Dictionary.com says that satiation is “to supply to satisfaction or capacity.” For me, satiation in weight loss is the idea of eating food that provides me satisfaction and leaves me not feeling hungry or deprived.” No small feat while losing weight, right?
So I’m looking for food items that
- Will make me feel “full” without feeling sick.
- Will keep me “fuller” longer.
- Are low in calories or SmartPoints, so I lose weight when I eat them in moderation.
What does that mean for me?
#1. A Low-Carb Way of Life
I exercise 4-5 times per week, so I need food that is going to take longer to process, which means I really have to limit my simple sugars and simple carbohydrates. Bread, pasta, white rice, even sugary snacks all seem to burn off so quickly, leaving me reaching for another snack or another meal WAY before I’m due. So I have chosen to really make my simple carbs and sugars into “treats” rather than every day occurrences. I enjoy my rye toast and my Cosmos, but I do so maybe once a week, and usually not all together! For things like pasta, French fries or other high-calorie simple carbs, I try to limit these food items to 2-3 times per month. I can’t spend half of my daily intake on an item if it’s not going to satiate me, and especially if it’s going to cause me to need to eat MORE later, so I really plan ahead for these indulgences.
#2. Popeye Wasn’t Kidding: Eat Your Spinach
I use fruits and veggies as a way to bulk up my meals, utilizing the theory of “volumetrics,” which says that your stomach is approximately 1L in size (the average adult’s stomach, not just yours), so what do you need to put into it to feel satiated? For lunch I might have 4-6 ounces of lean protein, but then I fill my plate (and thereby fill my belly) with leafy greens like kale, spinach or salad AND I add other veggies that I enjoy – like cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, or roasted zucchini and broccoli, or sautéed mushrooms and onions. By adding these low-cal vegetables I’m able to feel satiated without taking in tons of calories or SmartPoints.
#3. I Limit My “Toppings”
I love cheese. I love it. But to take in 120 calories for a sprinkling of cheese on my omelette or over my vegetables? No thank you!
I also love bacon, but you won’t find bacon on my salads. No thank you!
I’m not depriving myself of these things. Not at all. I still eat both cheese and bacon, but I eat them in a way that allows those ingredients to be the STAR, not a secondary component. I save my bacon for Sunday mornings with my family, where that’s the best thing on my plate, and I save my cheese for snacks with an apple, or dinner with some Light Wasa crackers where I can truly savor the cheese!
By changing how and when I eat these items, I can save between 100-200 calories, which can be used for a greek yogurt and berries snack OR a larger portion of protein. Which reminds me…
#4. Protein: A Key to My Weight Loss Success
My meal plans begin with me listing the various types of protein I’m going to eat that week. Chicken breasts for lunches, 94% lean beef for Taco Tuesday, pork chops on Wednesday, eggs for Saturday brunch, Tofu for lunch out at Chipotle, etc.
Protein burns slower than just about any other type of food, which means when you eat more protein you stay satiated longer. Protein also helps rebuild and repair those muscles you’re toning in the gym, so I often forgo the toppings or the carbs in favor of another ounce or two of whatever protein we’re eating.
My snacks are protein focused, too! I make sure I get cheese or a hardboiled egg, almonds or hummus or even black bean dip in my snacks (along with a piece of fruit or some veggies) because those snacks help fuel my body and keep me satiated until the next meal or snack.
What about you? What do you eat to satiate yourself, or what do you eat that keeps you fuller longer?