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How to Stay Full on a Vegan Diet

How to Stay Full on a Vegan Diet?noresize

You may be wondering, “If I eat nothing but plants, how am I going to stay full?” Whether you are thinking about going vegan or have already started practicing a plant-based lifestyle, it is important to satisfy your hunger by properly fueling yourself!

Because vegan diets are more nutrient dense than calorically dense (meaning, you eat many nutrient rich plant foods with lower amounts of calories per serving), it is normal to feel hungry more frequently than non-vegans or non-vegetarians.

Here’s the good news – eat more! The most common challenge we see is that “new” vegans and vegetarians do not eat enough calories throughout the day. Snacking is a great way to stay full! Make sure you are incorporating snacks between meals. These snacks allow you to meet your calorie needs as well as manage your hunger between meals.

Do not skip meals! Plan out your meals to make sure you are getting enough good quality vegan meals and snacks- rich in fiber and protein, throughout the day.

Fiber keeps you feeling full, so be sure to eat fiber-rich food at all meals and snacks. For example – a bag of chips is not nearly as filling as eating a baked potato. The baked potato is much more filling because it contains more fiber and protein. Eat a protein serving with each meal to keep you feeling full. Great vegan and vegetarian protein sources are beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, quinoa, lentils, whole grains, and starchy vegetables.

As long as you focus on whole foods (rich in nutrients) and avoid processed foods and oils, it will be hard to overeat. Vegan diet food quality is a major factor in your success. Focus on whole foods that are minimally processed- whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, starchy vegetables, lentils… and the list goes on!

Make sure your portion sizes are big enough to satisfy you. Listen to your body! Eat until you’re about 80% full, or about an 8 on a hunger scale from 1-10; 10 being stuffed and 1 being starving. Become familiar with hunger and fullness cues versus food cravings.

Are you hungry or thirsty? Drink enough water throughout the day and monitor your hunger cues. Is it more water that you need? Try drinking a glass or two and reevaluate your hunger levels.

Lastly, take your time when eating. When you eat too quickly, your body does not have enough time to signal to your brain that you are full. Slow down your eating pace and practice mindfulness. Think about how these healing foods are nourishing your body and health.

Looking for more ways to stay full on a vegan diet? Your dietitian or nutritionist can help you create a plan to help balance meals and nutrients to maintain your hunger and satisfaction. Check out our blog post about how to build a vegan meal plan.

Our team helps people implement vegan and vegetarian lifestyles for many goals: weight loss, disease management, and improved quality of life.  Visit our main page to learn more!

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