Four Strategies to Eating Less and Staying Full
One of the best blood sugar management strategies for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes is a tricky thing: losing weight. Losing weight generally includes cutting back on food intake, and often we will feel hungrier.
Strategies to feel full
I've put together four strategies to help you feel full while not raising your blood sugar levels and to maintain a healthy weight.
1. Add protein to your meal or snack
This recommendation does not mean that you should load up your plate on protein foods. When I'm talking about the amount of protein, it reminds me of Goldilocks and the three bears' story of being "just right."
Short-term research studies have shown benefits for people with type 2 diabetes (or with the prevention of type 2 diabetes) by following a high protein diet. But there are also studies that advise caution about consuming too much protein, especially animal protein.
Including protein does not seem to raise blood sugar levels and helps to slow down the absorption of the food we eat. The slowing down in digestion gives your body more time to catch up with insulin secretion, which assists with preventing spikes in blood sugar levels post-meal. Other studies have shown that those who ate a higher-protein breakfast did not experience a spike in their blood sugar after the meal.1,2
2. Choose high fiber foods
High fiber foods are plant-based complex carbohydrates that come in two forms: insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. These complex carbs, which contain fiber, will slow down the absorption of food through your digestive tract. The slowed absorption of food will make you feel full. And there is a bonus.
Foods high in fiber have many extra health benefits, such as helping to maintain steady blood sugar levels, reducing LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, preventing constipation, and feeding healthy gut bacteria.3
3. Drink tea or coffee for dessert
If you tend to crave eating dessert after lunch or dinner, stock your lunch tote or kitchen with zero-calorie flavored teas or coffees. These flavored beverages are perfect for offering a sweet or savory taste without adding calories or carbohydrates to your eating plan.
4. Check the plates and bowls you are using
Yes, the size of your dishes can play a role in how much you eat! Studies have shown that visual images can play games with our minds. You may not have thought about this before reading this post, but we have perceptions on our food portions, and using a plate or bowl with a wider rim will make the amount of food on your plate look larger. It will give you the image that you are eating more. The study found when there the rim of your plate or bowl is colorful, then the portions will appear smaller.4
The recommendation is to take small steps when changing lifestyle behaviors, like cutting back on your food intake. Take some time to try one or two of these ideas to see what works best for you!
What are your go-to snacks when managing type 2 diabetes?