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Fitness & Health

09th Oct 2019

Eating these foods will help you feel fuller for longer

Cutting out entire foods will help you lose weight, but it also makes dieting harder. Dr. Michael Mosley has shared advice for creating a diet that works

Alex Roberts

Most fad diets have one thing in common

They cut foods out – sometimes entire food groups. This creates the calorie deficit you need to lose weight, but it also makes dieting a heck of a lot harder, because you’re making it more difficult to stick to.

Knowing how to feel fuller for longer is essential to successful weight loss. To help you stay on track, JOE spoke to Dr. Michael Mosley, who you may know many of from the BBC’s health and nutrition documentaries.

Dr. Mosley says step one is all about “the three Fs”, fluid, fat and fibre.

The three Fs

We all know how important staying hydrated is, but in the context of weight loss, Dr. Mosley says: “Drinking plenty of water can help you feel fuller for longer, so make sure you stay hydrated.

“When you’re not getting enough water, you’ll be sluggish, lethargic, and most likely mistake thirst for hunger.”

Fats help you absorb may vitamins, minerals and nutrients, so don’t go without your avocado or peanut butter. In terms of fibre, Dr. Mosley says it “induces the release of a chemical called ‘PYY’ which reduces appetite. To feel fuller for longer, pile your plate with fresh vegetables (especially greens), unprocessed grains and legumes.”

Protein is pivotal

It’s well known how protein helps you build muscle, but less is made of its weight loss benefits.

Dr. Mosley says our meals should therefore contain lots of protein, but one in particular needs the most: breakfast. Mosley recalls a study in which the level of protein in a variety of breakfasts was analysed for its impact on satiety (feelings of fullness).

“The high-protein breakfast group recorded the highest dopamine levels and lowest pre-lunch food cravings.”

Why is this? The answer is pretty simple, Dr. Mosley says.

“Eating protein with the first meal of the day helps you to feel fuller for longer because after a protein meal, levels of a chemical called tyrosine – a building-block for dopamine – rise inside the brain.”

When your natural levels of dopamine are higher, you’ll want it less from high-calorie comfort foods.

Avoid junk food

It goes without saying, but junk food will not keep hunger at bay for long.

Dr. Mosley says: “Our brains are completely unequipped to cope with the intense reward that such food delivers, and are switched to wanting ‘more- and-more’ mode after the first bite, especially if we take that bite when we are hungry. Junk food is trap food, designed to make you lose money and gain pounds. As a guide, the more aggressively it is advertised, the worse it probably is for you.”

So how should we avoid junk food? Dr. Mosley says you should always bring a packed lunch and keep high-calorie foods away from the kitchen.

Dr. Michael Mosley is one of the brains behind The Fast 800, a week-by-week, mentored and peer-supported programme for weight loss

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