How can you cut at least 130 to 190 calories each meal without depriving yourself of anything? You just add something.
The idea is to “trick” your stomach into being full on “low energy density” foods; that is, foods that are bulky, but each bite of the food contains a low number of calories. The best, healthiest, low energy density foods are vegetables and fruits that are particularly rich in fibers.
As presented at the Obesity Society Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas on September 21, researchers from Penn State University presented results of research showing us a practical and healthy way to trick your stomach. They found that if a person eats one of these three foods before a meal (preferably 20 minutes prior to the entree), that a person will typically eat 130 to 190 calories less during the meal:
A large lettuce-based salad with low-calorie dressing; or
A bowl of broth-based (not cream) based vegetable soup.
And the dieters who ate one of these “pre-foods” did not feel any less satisfied compared with a normal, bigger meal, and the decrease of 130 to 190 calories included the “pre-meal” too!
The second hint is aimed just at lowering the energy density of your main meal. You will feel full and satisfied with fuller with fewer calories.
The trick is: when you are making your entrée, add as much of high fiber vegetables to your meal as you can. Whether you are making a pasta dish, lasagna, stir-fry meats, stroganoff, pizza, or even sandwiches, add some of these high-fiber items:
Here is what Dr. Barbara J. Rolls, Chairman of Nutrition at Penn State and principal author of the study says: “Putting more vegetables into the entree is a win-win situation, because you are eating more vegetables and you are cutting the energy density so you end up eating fewer calories overall.”
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