Optimizing each meal (or snack) you eat is more than just packing in as much nutritional value as possible. It’s also about eating the foods to keep you full for longer periods of time. If we can get the best bang for our buck with every bite we take, we can walk about feeling totally nourished and also satisfied until our next meal. The result? Eating for nourishment with a lower chance of overeating.
We’re breaking down our top ten healthy food picks that are filling, super delish, and full of all the nutritional goodness the body craves.
Why You Need to Know About Filling Foods
First, let’s talk about what makes a food filling.
Here’s the breakdown of some of the things you will want to look out for when boosting your diet with satiating foods.
- Rich in dietary fiber.
- Free from refined sugar.
- Rich in protein.
- Great source of healthy fat.
- Low in energy density (meaning that the food is low in calories for its weight, such as foods with lots of fiber).
10 Foods That Keep You Full All Day Long
Not all breakfast foods are created equal. There’a a huge difference between starting your day with a sugary bowl of cereal, and fueling up on foods that keep you full like a bowl of oats.
Oats are loaded with fiber—you’ll pack in about 4 grams in one cup of cooked oatmeal. Sprinkle on some flaxseeds and some blueberries, and you have a super fiber-rich meal to start your day.
Not only will this help keep blood sugar levels stable throughout your AM, but you may be less likely to reach for that sugary AM snack (win!)
Quinoa is another one of those foods that keep you full we’re totally here for. Quinoa is a plant-based rockstar. It’s one of the few plant-based foods that’s considered a complete protein, and it’s also rich in fiber.
Protein + fiber equals the dynamic duo of filling foods. In one cup of cooked quinoa, you’ll pack in about 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
So, swap out the white rice for some quinoa and take your meals to a new filling and nourishing level.
We also love us some lentils around here. Not only are they another plant-based superfood that adds in a healthy dose of protein, but lentils can help keep you full between meals.
Try using lentils instead of ground beef in recipes like spaghetti bolognese, or tacos, or simply add some cooked lentils to your favorite pasta dish or salad.
You’ll be shocked at how these tiny legumes can pack in a powerful filling punch.
#4 High Fiber Fruits
By now, you get the hint that fiber is king when it comes to satiety. So, it’s no surprise that high fiber fruits are something we all could be enjoying to boost our diet with foods that keep you full.
Some great high fiber fruits include all berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries), apples, mango, pears, and avocados.
Here’s a food that has nothing to do with fiber, but everything to do with protein. Since protein is found to be the most filling macro, we also want to make sure that we are getting enough of it to help us feel full.
In one single egg, you’ll rack up about 6 grams of protein, making it a great protein-rich snack to help promote satiety and keep cravings away. Try pairing a hard-boiled egg with a handful of almonds, and a side of berries for the ultimate filling snack.
#6 Full-Fat Greek Yogurt
If you can tolerate dairy, full-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt makes another quick and easy filling snack that can be dressed up with some natural sweetener and some added crunch.
One cup of Greek yogurt can contain up to 20 grams of protein (depending on the brand). So, that’s a pretty hefty dose of protein to help keep you full until lunch or dinner.
Not a big fan of the tangy taste? Try adding a drizzle of raw honey, some fresh raspberries for some added sweetness (plus fiber), and some almonds. Yum!
Speaking of almonds, nuts are another great filling option when you need a quick snack or a pick-me-up after an intense workout.
Nuts are rich in plant-based protein, fat, and fiber, making them a well-balanced way to nourish your body and promote satiety.
Feeling adventurous? Try mixing up some homemade trail mix with almonds, cashews, walnuts, goji berries, and raw cacao nibs for the ultimate snack.
#8 Coconut Oil
Here’s another one of those foods that keep you full that also adds a powerful punch of healthy fat. Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides that can be used as a quick source of energy. And, a study found that those who had breakfast with medium-chain triglycerides ate less calories at lunch.
So, if you’re looking to boost your breakfast (or really any meal) with the power of coconut oil, try adding some to your smoothie or your morning cup of coffee.
Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse. Plus, they’re super delish and can be added to so many things. From adding some to a smoothie for extra creaminess to enjoying some avocado toast or homemade guac, you really can’t go wrong.
And, avocados happen to be one of those foods that keep you full that come with numerous health benefits like packing in a mega-dose of fiber, healthy fat, and important vitamins and minerals like magnesium.
So, go on and get your avocado fix. This savory fruit has so much to offer.
#10 Dark Leafy Greens
All hail the mighty greens. Dark leafy greens are always a great addition to any diet, and they can certainly add some bulk to any meal, leaving you nourished and feeling full. Try adding some greens like kale to a stir-fry, an omelet, or even a veggie muffin to add a superfood boost and keep you feeling full.
Eat For Nourishment & Satiety
Healthy eating is so much more than just choosing the healthiest foods. It also has to do with choosing the foods that are going to help balance blood sugar levels, keep cravings at bay, and help keep you full between meals.
Fill your diet with these nutrient-dense foods to help take your healthy eating to the next level, while also helping you pass on that sugary snack between meals.