How to Get Full Before a Meal
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Getting full before a meal can help you lose weight. Although your weight-loss goal is to decrease the number of calories you consume, you still need to get adequate nutrients in your diet. The amount of food you eat rather than the number of calories you consume is what fills you up, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By drinking water and eating foods with high fiber and water content, you can cut calories but still feel full.

Drink Water

Drinking water before eating a meal is one way to feel full. In addition, water doesn’t have any calories. A study conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech University found that participants who drank two glasses of water before every meal lost an average of 15.5 pounds during the 12-week study. In comparison, those who did not drink water before meals only lost about 11 pounds, even though they followed the same low-calorie diet. An earlier research study found that older individuals generally consumed between 75 and 90 fewer calories during a meal if they drank two glasses of water before eating.



Eat an Apple

Eating an apple 15 minutes before mealtime can make you feel fuller so that you eat less. Nutrition researchers at Penn State University found that people who snack on an apple before meals consume fewer calories when they actually sit down to eat. A diet that includes an abundance of fruits, vegetables and other high-fiber foods provides more volume, which makes you feel full.

Eat Soup or a Salad

Eat a cup of vegetable soup or a large green salad before mealtime, and you will eat fewer calories. Barbara Rolls, a professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State, points out that you need to limit the number of calories in a soup or salad to between 100 and 150. Select broth- and tomato-based vegetable soups in place of cream-based soups. Keep your salad low in fat and calories by not adding cheese, croutons, meats or high-fat dressings.

Overall Diet

Adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet will lower the calorie density but won’t leave you feeling hungry. Planning meals that include high-protein foods such as lean meat, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy products and other sources of low-fat protein will help you feel full longer. Protein foods tend to be more filling, but complex carbohydrates such as vegetables and fruits have higher water and fiber content, making you feel fuller even though you are eating fewer calories, according to Dr. David Katz, a nationally recognized nutrition and weight control expert. Legumes, vegetables, fruits and whole grains including brown rice, oats and whole wheat are all complex carbohydrates that leave you feeling satisfied because they take longer to digest.