6 Tips To Feel More Satisfied At Mealtime

by Laura N. Brown, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-CPT

Last Updated: March 22, 2021

Whether you have weight loss goals or you are working to improve your health status, changing what you eat may leave you feeling unsatisfied, hungry, and craving meals of the past. Making healthy choices should not be a bummer! Follow these 6 dietitian-approved tips to create a balanced and exciting meal that will leave you full and satisfied.
  1. Bulk up your meal.
    Tweak a well-known and loved family favorite by adding more vegetables! For example, add cauliflower rice to taco meat or mix pasta sauce with your favorite diced vegetables. Doing so adds vitamins and minerals that your body needs while also giving the meal a new and satisfying texture. You may even trick picky kiddos into enjoying vegetables!
  2. Paint a colorful picture.
    When building your plate, aim to create a stimulating experience for all five of your senses. Color is visually pleasing - so the more color, the better. Excitingly, the phytonutrients responsible for the vibrant colors of plant foods are known to have powerful disease-fighting properties. It sounds like a win-win!
  3. Bump the fiber.
    Fiber does more than just support a healthy GI system. Having adequate fiber at each meal slows the digestion of food, which will help you feel full sooner and for longer. Aim for a minimum of 3 grams of fiber per meal or snack. Easy ways to increase your favorite meals’ fiber include swapping enriched-pasta for 100% Whole Wheat Penne. This simple substitution triples the fiber from 2 to 6 grams of fiber per 3/4 cup serving!
  4. Add a healthy source of fat.
    There is no denying the pleasure house that is fat! Fat has a wonderful flavor, contributes to a smooth mouthfeel, and increases dopamine levels, a feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain. Since fat has the most calories per gram compared to its carbohydrate and protein, counterpoints consider individually portioned sources of healthy fats. Simple Truth™ Mashed Avocado Single-Serve On-The-Go Packs or almond packs are two simple ways to add fat to a lunchtime routine.
  5. Don’t forget protein.
    In addition to fiber, protein can impact satiety through its potential impact on digestive hormones. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 15-30 grams of protein per meal. If salads are a go-to lunch option, round out your meal with a protein topper like Starkist Tuna Packets. Vegetarians and vegans - do not fear! Many plant-based protein sources can be combined to deliver a knock-out protein punch.
  6. Be mindful.
    We live in a world of busy schedules and technology, and distracted eating can result in quick meals and overconsumption. The fact is, it can take up to 20 minutes for the stomach to signal to the brain that you have had enough to eat. Slow down at your meal by turning off screens and being present. Enjoy conversation or listen to music, put your fork down between each bite, and savor the smells and texture as you chew your food.

Mealtime is a time of nourishment, but it also can and should be a pleasurable event. Building a more balanced plate and mealtime routine can go a long way in helping you feel fulfilled and satisfied after eating. But most importantly, sit down for your meals and take time to enjoy the plate you have created for yourself – you deserve it!

For more tips on making satisfying meal choices, visit thelittleclinic.com/dietitian to schedule a free nutrition session with a Kroger dietitian.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Laura N. Brown, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-CPT

Laura N. Brown, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-CPT

Laura’s food philosophy is quite simple: there is no such thing as bad foods, just incorrect portion sizes! All foods have a place in the diet and should be enjoyed guilt free. Laura is both a dietitian and personal trainer with a diverse background working with children, adolescents, athletes and more. She even had a 3-year stint as a performing artist singing and rapping about healthy foods! As a mom of a young toddler, Laura understands the challenge of balancing a busy schedule with health goals. For fun, Laura enjoys hiking with her dog and family and jamming out to some good showtunes.