When many of us are ready to start their weight loss journey one of the first things you may think about is that you’ll feel hungry all the time because of the “calories in, calories out” logic. While calories-in and calories-out has some truth to it, that is only a small piece of the weight-loss puzzle. One of the best ways to keep you feeling full for a long time after meals is to boost the volume on your plate (or bowl, whichever really)! Finding recipes and adding large portions of high-volume foods such as non-starchy veggies, proteins, fruits, and broths, is the key to feeling full for a long time AND keep on track with your weight loss goal. Not to mention, you include a wide variety of micronutrients this way, which is important for your health! It’s all about what you can ADD instead of take away. Let’s look at some examples together down below.
Cauliflower rice + brown rice – The cauliflower alternatives are an excellent source of micronutrients, and because it’s flavor is not very strong it blends well with so many different dishes. Brown rice is a great choice already because it’s high in fiber. To boost the volume of your meal, mix the two together!
BIG Salads – One of my favorite ways to add volume to a meal! Here is an example of a meal-sized salad that will keep you full for hours: 1-2 large handfuls of your favorite salad greens (I personally like spring mix), 3 oz. cooked chicken breast cut up, ¼ cup sliced cucumber, ½ avocado cubed, sliced red onion, ¼ cup chickpeas, and dressing of choice (balsamic, honey mustard, and Caesar dressings are all great options and some of my favorites).
Stuffed Oatmeal – By stuffed, I mean oatmeal that is filled with so many good ingredients! Here is a simple recipe that is perfect for fall: 3/4 apple chopped (however much you really want), 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, ½ cup quick cook rolled oats, ½ cup milk of choice, about 1/3-½ cup Greek yogurt, 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds, and a shake of cinnamon. In a saucepan, first toast the walnuts for 2-3 minutes to remove their slightly bitter taste, then remove and set aside. Add the chopped apples and maple syrup and cook down for about 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the oats, milk, yogurt, chia, and cinnamon and mix until thoroughly combined. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then serve into desired bowl. Top off the oats with the walnuts, cinnamon and enjoy!
Zoodles + Noodles – For years now it’s been a common trend to trade regular noodles out for zucchini noodles. Zucchini is rich in micronutrients, but on its own is not very filling. That’s why I recommend combining it with your favorite noodle (rice noodles, spaghetti, you name it!). The combo will help it be a more complete meal to boost the volume, fiber, and micronutrients of your dish.