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Tip of the Week: A Lasting Appetite
Do you eat and feel hungry an hour later? After eating a meal, do you soon begin to feel like you want to doze off? What is the secret of having sustained energy and a more satisfied appetite?
The right balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in your meals and snacks will not only energize you, but will also help sustain your appetite until the next mealtime.
Here are some tips for a lasting appetite:
1. Avoid eating carbohydrates by themselves.
Many people enjoy snacking on foods like crackers, granola bars, and fruit. Carbohydrate-dense snacks rev you up but they don’t necessarily keep you up. A solution is to pair carbs up with protein. Convenient sources of protein include peanut butter, lowfat cheese, hard-boiled eggs, plain yogurt or even bean dip or hummus.
2. Don’t stop moving after dinner.
Dinner tends to be many people’s largest meal of the day. Eat, lounge, eat again, then go to sleep. Sound familiar? If you’re trying to manage your weight, lounging and sleeping on hundreds of calories is not the way to do it. After dinner, relax then get back up and get moving. Walk the dog. Do some laundry. Just don’t sit on the couch the rest of the evening. Moving after a meal increases insulin sensitivity and helps control blood sugar levels, which can influence your appetite and prevent you from going back into the kitchen for a late night snack.
3. Avoid extra large portions.
Imagine a plate filled with spaghetti and meat balls or maybe even spaghetti with garlic bread. Is this what your plate looks like? If this is all you have on your plate, you likely are consuming oversized portions. Try to fill your plate with 3 types of food. Fill half with non-starchy vegetables (salad, summer squash, green beans, etc.) Fill one of the remaining quarters with protein (like your meat sauce) and the other quarter with a starchy food (like the noodles OR the garlic bread). This method helps ensure a well-balanced and proportioned meal that will keep you coasting through the rest of your day.
Maria Ali, RD, LD/N