I have an enormous appetite. I cannot and never have been able to eat like a bird, despite my greatest efforts. I hate to admit it but it is something I have been self-conscious about throughout my life…I remember being 10 years old at my after-school day care getting a dixie cups’ worth of Cheerios along with the other kids and thinking to myself, “Why is no one else is STILL STARVING after this? Am I the only one?” and apparently I was. Call it a fast metabolism or the fact that I was always expending so much energy through sports and running around, but I could always out-eat any other kid. Fast-forward 20 years and guess what? I am still starving and can still out-eat almost anyone, including my guy friends and husband, who is constantly in awe of the amount of food I consume! lol
Despite resigning myself to the fact that I will always a huge appetite, I have still managed to stay lean and fit. This of course is partially due to consistent intense training with weights and holding a lot of muscle on my frame, but also, I have found ways to increase the VOLUME of the foods I eat to feel fuller for longer with little fat storage potential. I always say “I am all about volume” and here are 3 of my favorite ways to increase volume, satiety and stay lean at the same time, despite eating more.
Make protein your #1 priority and eat a lot of it. Protein takes longer to digest in the gut and is therefore both more satiating and also uses up more calories through the digestion and absorption process than the other macronutrients. If you eat lean proteins like egg whites, chicken breasts, lean ground turkey, white fish and pork chops, they have very little fat to add calories. Take this example. I love eating an 8-egg white omelet every morning for breakfast. If you have ever seen an 8-egg white omelet, you know this is massive and 95% of people could not even finish it. Guess who can! :) However, it only contains 240 calories and packs 48 grams of protein. Stuff as many fibrous veggies as possible into it to add some vitamins and minerals with few cals: spinach, onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc and whoa, I think we are feeling full now!
Choose foods with a high water content. Best choices include fruits and veggies. They pack lots of water along with fiber to fill you up with less calories. The more dense the food (i.e. less water), usually the more of it you need to eat to feel full–for example, white bread has zero water, and I think I would need to eat an entire loaf to feel full (and probably have at a restaurant at some point–who has ever devoured an entire bread basket?). I also like to add water in the form of ice to my protein shakes. Jade laughs as how enormous and icey my shakes are but not only do they make me feel fuller for longer, they take a while to eat (also key) and it makes me feel like I am eating a milkshake. Using my Vitamix blender, I fill it with literally 2-3 cups of crushed ice to start. I add 8-10 oz of unsweetened almond milk and 1 scoop whey protein. The whole thing only has about 200 calories and yet it completely fills me up. The more ice you use, the more thick the shake becomes. If you want to add even more fiber and water, throw in a handful of berries.
Fill up on fibrous veggies. If you have ever been given a plate of chocolate chip cookies, you know how easy it is to eat a dozen in mere minutes. What about a big plate of broccoli? Not so much. The reason is because fibrous veggies have tons of water and fiber and require more chewing, a longer time to break-down and digest. On the competition prep diets at JillFit, we use this tactic for competitors who get hungry–eat another cup of broccoli or munch on celery throughout the day as needed. High water and high fiber with very little calories nor metabolic impact.
Here is one of my favorite breakfasts–lots of food but lower in cals, carbs and fat. Check it out! YUM! :)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes
In a blender or Magic Bullet, mix the following ingredients:
6 egg whites
1/4 cup oat bran
1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
Peanut butter Cappella drops to taste (about 20-25)
Makes 2 large pancakes, add a splash of sugar-free syrup if desired