Are you trying to give the ‘healthy lifestyle’ a try and want to know about foods that will fill you Up, not out? Chances are, you’ll be feeling hungry most of the time. It’s not that your body isn’t getting enough to function on – it’s just that your stomach is being a greedy piece of work and isn’t ‘full’ like it’s used to being.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always hated counting calories. Always felt too much like a miser counts money. This is why I figured an alternative: Find out what’s in the food you’re eating. Food that have a high fibre and water content are usually better at keeping you full and have lower calories than ones with low fibre. Also, anything “refined” or fried is a bad idea because they pack a lot of calories, but not much bulk.

What I like to do is to add as many healthy options as I can into my diet. That way, I get full on lesser calories than I would have gotten from eating a serving of fried chicken with garlic mayo. And I check the time and frequency of my meals. Normally, the healthier diet keeps me full for longer and keeps meal frequency down. Here are my 10 healthy snacks, top ten options for a healthy meal add-ons. And, I promise that they taste good too.

Fruits — On Top In My 10 Healthy Snacks List

Fresh fruits are like nature’s desserts and no doubt considered such Foods That Will Fill You Up, Not Out. You get a variety of flavours and sweetness without the fat or the calories. Go look up low-calorie diet lists online. I can bet you that almost all of them have various fruits comprising 60% of them.

Usually, fruits comprise of water and fibre. This will take up space in your stomach but they don’t pack the dreaded calories. The energy content comes from carbohydrates in the form of natural sugars that aren’t going to go straight to your thighs.

Fruits to try: Apples, Avocados, Berries, Oranges, Bananas, Grapes, Watermelons, Guava and grape fruit.

Vegetables

I can almost feel you turn up your nose at the mention of vegies. I have personally only met a handful of people who actually like eating vegetables and I was never one of them. What I came to realise was that, like fruits, vegetables come in such variety that everyone should be able to find a few they like. All it takes is a bit of experimentation and an open mind.

They have almost similar benefits as fruits, with the fibre content usually being higher. Also, they’re comparatively slower to digest so they’ll keep you filled up for longer. You could eat them in a salad (no mayo, cream, or butter, please) or as a side to your main course, and you could steam them or eat them raw (my preferred method).

Oatmeal

An underappreciated super-food, oatmeal should probably be a must-eat for anyone trying for a healthy diet. It contains a special antioxidant called avenan-thramide that lowers chances of developing coronary heart diseases; contains magnesium which will help regulate the body’s insulin and glucose levels; and is a huge source of fibre, including a special one (beta-glucan) that boosts natural immune system. Also, it has the ability to thicken the contents of the stomach, making it empty later. This will make you feel full for longer. Best of all, you can mix and match it with almost anything to suit your taste – just keep the pairings healthy.

Rice

Despairing over the rice restriction in most diets? Try substituting the white, refine variety with the unrefined brown or black rice. Black rice has even less a calorie footprint than its brown cousin and double the protein and fibre. Nevertheless, brown or black, both will have enough fibre to keep you full for a longer time without as many calories as the white ones.

Low-fat Milk

Milk is practically half a meal. It’s more viscous than water and contains protein and vitamins that your body needs to function. A glass of low-fat milk will decrease the hunger-pang, and provide a healthy way to boost energy without adding gym time.

Lean Meat

This includes chicken, fish, and turkey. All three are good sources of protein – which in itself takes a while to digest, so is always a good option for people trying to fill up without bulking up (fat-wise). However, make sure to keep the preparation fat-free. Frying fillets or smothering your meat in butter will effectively kill the low-calorie benefit.

Yogurt

Yogurt has almost the same advantages as milk, with the added benefit of probiotics (‘good’ bacteria that facilitate digestion and keeps your stomach healthy). Eat the low-fat variety to keep the calorie count to a minimum. You still get the benefits, just not the pounds.

Beans

Another appreciated super food, beans are rich in fibre and they take their sweet time digesting. This means that, not only do they help you stay full, they also steadily release energy over a long time, enabling you to utilize the energy better.

Soups

A study conducted by Pennsylvania State University showed that people who drank a soup before their main meal ate less of the main course, irrespective of the kind of soup. ) Also, it has been proven that any food substance, when turned into a soup, will keep the consumer feeling full for longer than the person who ate solid food. This is because the liquid variety causes a greater stretch in your stomach than the solid kind and your idea of ‘fullness’ is all about that stomach stretch.Still, I would recommend steering clear of cream soups and the sweet ones.

Almonds — World’s Healthiest Food

Nuts are great to keep hunger at bay without inviting the love-handles along. They have a complex structure designed to be slowly broken down, so they will take time digesting and help you stay full. Also, they are a good source of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids.

Nuts to try: Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, and Hazelnuts. (Remember to get the non-roasted types)

Managing your food should not turn into an anxiety-causing maths class. That’s just how I feel about it. Eating healthy without starving yourself is just a matter of keeping your portion size reasonable and eating foods rich in fibre or complex carbohydrates. The longer it takes your body to break down, the less effective calories you gain. Remember, for every delicious fattening food out there, there is a healthier alternative just waiting to be tried.