You can make your diet more satisfying and filling by increasing bulk in your diet. Fruits and vegetables in puree or chopped can be added to smoothies, quick breads, main dishes or desserts. You can add pumpkin puree to muffins or loaf bread and chopped zucchini or butternut squash to meat loaf or macaroni and cheese. Doing this cuts calories, adds bulk to your diet, and increases your fruit and vegetable intake which is needed by most Americans.
Here are some additional tips to eat foods that are low in calories and high in density. These are some suggestions that come from Rutgers Cooperative Extension and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
• Know when you are hungry and when you are full. Stop eating when you are full. Don’t eat when you are not hungry and be a conscious eater.
• Add fruit and vegetables to traditional dishes to add more nutrients and fiber. You will also feel more full and satisfied.
• Begin each main meal with a cup of vegetable soup or a side salad. Both add bulk, but few calories. Remember to choose a low fat salad dressing and use a small amount. Also choose soups that are low in sodium and fat.
• Try salsa as a dressing for salads or on a baked potato. It adds flavor and vegetables to your diet and is low in calories as compared to other dressings like sour cream or creamy salad dressings.
• Drink water or unsweetened tea rather than juices or sweetened beverages at meals or in between.
• Fill half your lunch and dinner plate with fruits and vegetables. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn about preparing healthy meals and snacks.
• Set a good example for children by eating fruit and vegetables everyday with meals or as snacks.
• When eating out, order a salad or extra vegetables rather than a starchy food.