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How to Fill Your Tummy and Feel Satisfied on a Plant-Based Diet!


As much as you love your greens, sometimes you may not feel full just eating leafy vegetables and fruit alone. You may get hungry again after an hour or so, and this hunger may lead you to fill up on  “junk,” especially if you don’t have healthy food easily accessible during that time.

Before you throw in the towel and go back to eating animal protein, you need to know that you can stay satiated (and lean) on a plant-based diet. You just need to know what types of plants to add.

A plant-based diet does not mean you need to only eat kale, lettuce, broccoli or spinach every day. These are great non-starchy greens to have, but they may not necessarily fill you up.

To Feel Satiated, Try Incorporating Starchy Plant-Based Foods

According to Dr. McDougall, research shows carbohydrates lead to long-term satiety, enduring for hours between meals, whereas the fats in a meal have little impact on satiety.

Before you worry about getting fat eating carbs, I’d like to clarify that not all carbs are equal. Refined and processed carbs like white bread are a no-no. The processing and refining steps of refined carbs usually turn them into products stripped of nutrients (fiber, vitamins, and minerals) and loaded with salt, oils, sugars, dairy- derivitives, and chemicals.

However, complex, natural, unprocessed sugars, made in nature by plants, contain fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals which are all good for the body, reducing risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.

Other than starch-based foods, I’d also like to add that nuts and seeds are also a great source of protein and can help you feel full.

According to Dr. Michael Greger, 90 percent of relevant studies have shown that subjects showed no weight gain from nut consumption perhaps because nuts are so satisfying and appetite suppressing that you just eat less throughout the whole day. Nuts may also increase our resting energy expenditure by as much as 11 percent, helping us burn more calories while we sleep!

Without further ado… below are 5 groups of plant-based foods you can incorporate in your diet to help you feel full:

1. Grains

Examples: Wheat, barley, rye, corn, oats, millet, black rice, brown rice, purple rice, quinoa

Out of the grains listed, quinoa deserves a mention. I love quinoa (don’t we all?) especially since it serves as complete protein for vegetarians and is relatively low in calories.  Quinoa has significantly greater amounts of both lysine and isoleucine, which allows the protein in quinoa to serve as a complete protein source, providing amino acids your body needs.

Check out our quinoa recipes here! 

I also love brown, black and purple rice because they’re chewy and filling. Check out our dellliccious forbidden black rice with ginger and coconut recipe here.

2. Starchy Vegetables

Examples: Squashes, carrots, yams, parsnips, artichokes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes

Yeessss… I love my sweet potatoes, which is high in vitamin A and C, protecting cells and tissues from free radicals and oxidative damage which accelerates aging and causes diseases such as cancer.

Boiling sweet potatoes has also been shown to have a more favorable impact on blood sugar regulation and to provide the plant with a lower glycemic index (GI) value. Check out our plethora of sweet potato recipes here.

3. Legumes

Examples: Lentils, beans (black, green, kidney, pinto, navy, garbanzo), peas, peanuts

Beans are high in fiber, protein, and plethora of minerals that are good for your body. And yes, beans can curb your appetite.  A recent study reported that subjects were more satisfied with their diet when garbanzo beans were included, and they consumed fewer processed food snacks during test weeks in the study when garbanzo beans were consumed. They also consumed less food overall when the diet was supplemented with garbanzo beans.

Check out our mouthwatering raw sprouted hummus recipe for some living energy!

 4. Nuts

Example: Cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts

Before you fret at the thought of eating fatty nuts, please note that most of the fats in nuts are good for your health.

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders suggested that an almond-enriched low calorie diet (high in monounsaturated fats) can help overweight individuals shed pounds more effectively than a low calorie diet high in complex carbohydrates.

So snack on your almonds and eat your nut cheese!

5. Seeds

Example: Chia seeds, flax seeds

Yes, I have to mention our favorite superfood, chia seeds.

Chia is the richest plant based source of omega 3, dietary fiber, protein, vitamin, and antioxidants.  It also contains a right ratio of amino acids and essential fats. Indigenous population in Central America would use chia to sustain their energy and blood sugar levels so that they could sometimes run over 100 miles in a few days!

When you eat chia seeds, they will expand c. 3x original size and keep your stomach full, especially since the seeds absorb water and expand!

Still feeling hungry? Check out our top delicious vegan recipes here.

 Image source: Squash Soup

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16 comments on “How to Fill Your Tummy and Feel Satisfied on a Plant-Based Diet!”

Click to add comment
Rebecca Blight
4 Years Ago

Slinky Malinky

Shad Loh
4 Years Ago

I never have that issue...

Kathy Villa
4 Years Ago

Matthew Gonzales

Kim Neilson
4 Years Ago

Sharon Kewley good read

Marina Vrielink
4 Years Ago

Its not the protien that bothers me but the vit. d and omega 3. Yes you can get those from veggies but not nearly as good as from fish... And no, I do not eat fish... But I know I should to feel better.

Sam Dean
18 Jul 2014

Flax oil.

Loretha Jack
18 Jul 2014

As far as vitamin D goes, i've not had a problem with it on a vegan diet and I've never taken any supplements. If you really feel like you aren't getting enough omega 3 (even though it isn't hard to get enough of it on a vegan diet), why not just get a vegan omega 3 supplement? It wouldn't be full of mercury and what ever other heavy metals are in the fish people eat. Plus no fish die for it.

Jakki Diamond
18 Jul 2014

Vitamin D? Just get out in the sun for 30 minutes per day. Plenty of meat eaters suffer from Vitamin D deficiencies. http://plenteousveg.com/vegan-sources-omega-3/

Marina Vrielink
19 Jul 2014

Yes Jakki you are right about that but I live in the Netherlands and we do not have enough sunlight over here to last through winter. A lot of people suffer (eating meat or not) from vit.D shortage. I have a disorder that makes it an extra problem. I get vit.D from the doctor which I take during winter and it is okay. I am vega for over 10 yrs and had that problem before so beïng vegan is not the cause but I do not feel comfertable taking those chemical pills. I have a bigger problem eating dead animals so I take the pills anyway

Marina Vrielink
19 Jul 2014

My daughter (5 yrs old) has the same problems and that worries me the most!

Barbara Blanton
4 Years Ago

Never been a problem. Not hard at all

Madeleine Goumas
4 Years Ago

This is what I found. I tried a low carb diet (as a vegan) and just craved food all the time. I let myself have a sandwich and felt so satisfied. Now I just make sure I don't eat refined carbs (apart from the occasional small treat) - I like to have potatoes and plantains and avoid flours.

Donny Tucker
18 Jul 2014

I was starving when I tried to eat mainly raw. But then I started eating lots of healthy carbs like rice and potatoes and it made a huge difference. People think carbs make you fat but fat makes you fat. I really like Freelee the Banana Girl. Go check her out, you'll love her. She eats more carbs and calories than anyone and she's as lean as can be. Goodluck! Namaste

Sam Dean
4 Years Ago

I could never eat animal flesh again. I've been veggie for 32 years, mostly vegan for two of those years. The mere thought of eating bits of corpses makes me heave.

Erika Valadares
4 Years Ago

Animal based protein? What for when you have avocado, beans, chia, flaxseed, almond milk , tofu, chickpeas etc. It has been worked for me and I have never felt so stronger in my life.

Mike Gonzales
4 Years Ago

Yes! Don't go crazy on carbohydrates when you first go veg, need to get fats, fiber and protein! Build balanced vegan recipes from the ground up :).


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