When I’m counseling clients, one of the major things we work on together is scoping out unknown overeating.
I see this pattern frequently, and the culprit is often a skewed sense of what hunger and fullness really feel like. The researchers conducted a number of tests with 50 young adult volunteers, and when foods were portrayed as healthy the study participants ordered larger portions, thought of them as less filling, and ate more.
If you’ve ever finished an entire bag of “skinny” popcorn, and thought, “Hmm, I could still keep eating” (despite having just consumed over half of your daily calorie needs) you’ve probably experienced this effect.
When people aren’t used to tuning into their bodies in this way they’ll often write down a 0 pre-meal, even though they actually had no physical signals that indicated hunger, or a need for fuel and nourishment. But it would seem pretty odd to do those things if the temperature already felt “just right,” right?
Once you start keeping track, you’ll learn some pretty amazing things, like what a normal level of hunger really feels like (hint: there are body-driven signals, but it’s not the same as feeling starving, or overly hungry).
If you’re like most of the clients I work on with this, I bet you’ll find that the meals that allow you to feel this way are nutritionally balanced, and not excessive (jackpot!). One of my clients told me one of her go-to dinner meals was a veggie burrito made with a whole wheat flour tortilla filled with beans, rice, cheese, salsa, and guacamole. Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health.
The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments.
Below is my list of healthy foods to eat when you’re undergoing a weight loss journey or just trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Brussels Sprouts – high in vitamins K and C, this cruciferous vegetable improves the stability of DNA in our white blood cells.
Whole Wheat – whole wheat is tricky because it is usually accompanied by several other processed ingredients. Green Peas – contains a polyphenol called coumestrol, which can protect against stomach cancer. Eggplant – rich in nasunin, a flavonoid antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and protects brain cell membranes. Plums – the skin of plums are high in the antioxidant phenols neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid. Cashews – most of the fat in cashews is oleic acid, which has been shown to be cardio protective. Zucchini – has many carotenoid antioxidants and can be creatively cut up into noodle shapes and used as pasta. Cod – lowers cardiovascular disease risk via its omega-3, vitamin B12 and B6 content. Chia Seeds – high in omega-3s, it supports heart health, and helps improve insulin sensitivity. Artichokes – rich in antioxidants, it helps increase bile flow, and it can potentially regenerate liver tissue. Cherries – contain phytonutrients like anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants responsible for giving cherries their color. Coffee – is packed with antioxidants, and can be beneficial for helping you lose weight. Pomegranate – punicalagins, which are only found in pomegranates, lower blood pressure and protect blood vessels. Bananas – packed with potassium, and makes a great base to a smoothie when you slice them up and freeze them. Cranberries – protects against urinary tract infections via its proanthocyanidins content.


Brown Rice – brown rice keeps the nutritious bran and germ layer intact, unlike its white rice cousin. Blackberries – high in fiber, and they reduce inflammation via their anthocyanin content. Tomatoes – its skin is a rich source of lycopene, and the tomato as a whole is packed with phytonutrients. Edamame – a rich source of isoflavones, which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Cucumbers – contain lignans that reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Carrots – an extremely rich source of beta-carotene, which is good for the health of your eyes. Peppers – they have one of the most concentrated amounts of vitamin C per calorie than any other food.
Pork – a fattier meat, but good in moderation if it fits into your calorie allotment.
Alfalfa Sprouts – full of enzymes and antioxidants that help assimilate nutrients and protect against cell oxidation. I have a question about green tea, I love it but my body doesn’t like the caffeine so I choose decaf not always but most times, does it still have the healthy properties as regular green tea?
Supposedly the nutrients in sprouted grains are more bioavailable, but I think the differences would be negligible. I’m in my first trimester of pregnancy and I am off alot of meats, I find it difficult to keep down most vegetables also, where as normally I’m a huge fan of trying to eat more than ur 5 a day, any tips of what to try and also should I avoid nuts?
I see you’re commenting on the this article, so these foods are really my recommendations to you. It’s all about making a slow transition from processed foods to the foods on this list. A new study, published recently in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, adds some nuance to my work with clients: In a nutshell, the Cornell University researchers found that the perception of how “healthy” a food is can influence perceived feelings of fullness. And here’s the kicker: this included people who said that they disagree with the idea that better-for-you foods aren’t as filling. This is just another example of how the way we think about food can matter just as much as our food choices.
For example, a 0 means mild-moderate hunger that has physiological symptoms, like a growling tummy; 5 is the absence of hunger signals and a “just right” level of fullness and energy.
In many cases this false sense of hunger is triggered by emotional or social cues, like boredom, seeing someone else eating, or simply feeling like it’s time to eat, even though you may have just polished off a snack an hour ago and aren’t actually hungry yet. In the same way try to connect with what it feels like for your body to guide your eating thermostat—without being influenced by anything but that.
You’ll also notice which foods and meals help you feel appropriately full, meaning the physical signs of hunger have gone away, and you feel satisfied and energized simultaneously. And best of all, she finally learned how to connect with her hunger and fullness signals accurately and trust them, no matter how a food was labeled, or what anyone else was doing.
Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy (Your California Privacy Rights) for more information. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, and antioxidants that will not only help you reach your weight loss goals, but also help you reach your ultimate goal of being healthy. Read here to see 33 health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, and see why including them in your diet is a must. Slice them up, sprinkle them with cinnamon, and bake them to make cinnamon sweet potato fries.


Pick steal cut oats or regular over instant, as they will provide you with a slower release of glucose into the bloodstream.
Omega-3s from animal sources don’t have to undergo the conversion process like plants do. Water is in every single food on this list, and should be the staple of your liquid intake. You just have to be careful because since they are higher in fat, they are also higher in calories. As an aspiring vegan myself I just want to point out the fact that it is number one on your list. Now I know you’ve heard about the positive impact of keeping a food dairy before, but many food trackers simply log calories, or grams of carbs, protein, and fat. If you’re too hot or cold you’ll experience physical symptoms, perspiring on one end of the spectrum, or shivering on the other. But when we talked about what her body was telling her after eating this meal, she realized that she actually felt a bit overly full and sleepy.
Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Yankees, previously consulted for three other professional sports teams, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. The grass-fed beef is higher in vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, omega-3s, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
It is also great to cook with because of its ability to remain stable under high temperatures.
You can also make a ranch dip by adding spices like garlic, onion, salt, pepper, parsley, and celery seed. I enjoy sweets, and I find that combining 3-4 dates with a tablespoon of peanut butter satisfies my sweet tooth.
It should have 1 or 2 ingredients at the most, and you should be safe in the majority of instances. I ask my clients to add another layer and also track how hungry or full they feel before and after meals, based on a 0 to 10 scale. Those signals generally prompt you to get back to an ideal temperature, by doing something like turning on a fan, or putting on a sweater. When she ditched the burrito wrap and the cheese (but kept the guac!) and started serving the contents over a bed of leafy greens she ended the meal feeling like a true 5 on the scale. Sass is a three-time New York Times best-selling author, and her brand new book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Like nearly every whole food, in moderation, bacon can add some flavorful goodness to your diet. But you’re right, many whole grain products have processed additives to make them into a food product.
I do love all of your posts but would love to see more without dairy as im allergic to it and maybe a few vegan dishes? In fact, grass-fed beef is packed with more nutrients than most of the foods on the list, and it has just as much fat content as chicken.
Eaten in moderation as part of a nutritious, whole food diet, you have nothing to worry about. I just need to get rid of the unhealthy snacks and have more of these healthy choices available!



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