Filling Vs Filler Foods
In this episode I will teach you how to distinguish the filling foods from filler foods. Plus 5 well researched tips on what to eat. Stay tuned.
Hi there. Welcome to Episode 12. How are you doing? I hope you having a good time. You know this week, my little girl said something that I wanted to share with you. She recently 7 and she is in grade 2. She said mumma, I have decided that I want to slim down and so no more chips, only fruits for snacks. So in this episode I wanted to have a conversation about the two broad categories of food. Some of you might find this too simplistic but let me tell you what I have learned in my life that simplicity is power.
It’s so overlooked because our brains want to stay confused and as a result not make progress all in the guise of comfort and safety while our best lives pass by.
And also when we simplify the concepts, that is when the real transformation takes place. Ok
So coming to the two categories of food
These are the filling foods and the filler foods
The filling foods are the fuel foods. The foods that cause you to feel full. They trigger satiety in your brain & also provide you with essential nutrients for a healthy body and maximum energy.
And the filler foods are the foods that are simply fillers in your life. They cant fuel you. And you eating them like a main course once in a while is fine. But day after day, week after week, is a problem. These not just lead to weight gain but they also decrease your energy and are detrimental to your health.
Now I am 110% sure that if you are listening to this podcast, you already have a generalised idea of what is fuel and what is not. Well, even my 7 yr old knows that apple is better for body than chips.
So apple falls in the cater of filling food and chips in the category of filler foods. And the goal is that you eat more of filling, fuel foods and less of filler foods and also plan ahead of time what you will be eating as I always say. Right.
I will give 5 quick tips on how to design your plate and incorporate the filling, fuel foods in your life. These tips will help you lose weight and experience optimum health. These are well researched and supported by numerous solid scientific studies. Choosing foods that send a strong satiety signal to the brain is a pretty good bet if you want to lose weight without experiencing that much of hunger.
Now some of you who are fans of low carbohydrate diets might disagree with some points but if you listen to this episode, I’m sure you will find some valuable nugget in the rest of the points.
By the way, I’m not against low carbohydrate diets at all. If it works for you, more power to you. But what I see most people doing low carbohydrate diet is for all the wrong reasons. They think thats its some magic fix that can end their weight struggle and that the carbohydrates rates are the enemy and the sole reason for extra weight. So I will keep the carb conversation for some other time.
But as of right now the 5 quick tips for designing your food plan are
Plants - The main focus of your diet which I don’t think any expert in the world disagree with has to be a plant centric diet. The more plants you eat, the better your health. Loaded with micro nutrients, vegetables both raw and cooked much be your focus if you are looking to drop the weight, increase your energy, strengthen auto-phagy pathways in your body and even trigger anti cancer genes. Gradually increase the amount of vegetables you eat. Fruits are also great and I would encourage to have all kinds of fruits in your diet.
2. The next tip is to make sure that there is protein in your plate. As in Indian, many a times I see people having all carbohydrate meals. Not a great idea. Im not telling you to add extra extra protein, but make sure that every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner, all 3 meals have an adequate portion of protein. Good sources are poultry, fish, meat, eggs, all other non vegetarian sources and for vegetarian people, all legumes, beans, soy, milk, yogurt, nuts & seeds are the go sources. Well, it has been documented that adequate protein triggers satiety in your brain even if you are consuming less amount of food than burning. And also, it increases your energy, helps recover your body faster from workouts and builds muscle as well as offer slight advantage in raising your metabolism.
So remember the protein content of a food is a major contributor to satiety. This is consistent with a large body of scientific research showing that protein is more filling than carbohydrate or fat, per unit calorie.
3. The third tip is fibre. I am sure you know that the more natural fibre you have in your diet, the better the satiety. The role of fibre in gut health has also emerged big time in the last decade with all the gut healing as well as a strong micro biota that the fibre containing foods cause. So all the vegetables, fruits as well whole unprocessed grains and nuts and seeds are a great source. And needless to say, the ultra processed foods are stripped of fibre. And whatever fibre is added back also is kind of useless….
4 The fourth tip is energy density. This means the more energy dense a food is, the less satiety it provides to the brain. Whatttt! Yes, all your highly concentrated, refined foods such those made with refined white flour, sugar and fat…the processed foods, foods with high amounts of sugar and fat…like the more calories a food packs in terms of volume, the lesser satisfaction the brain has. That is why when we are eating in a restaurant, we can eat a ton food and still not be satisfied or overeat a lot of food and feel satisfied way past fullness. Right. Fat is the most energy dense. You can pack a lot fat in tiny amount of food. People say the butter satisfied them for hours. Yes, but they also ate a lot of it. This is absolutely not to say that fat is bad or butter is bad…no no no…the context matters. Im simply giving you give tips here. Also, sugar even though half as dense as fat, but you can pack a lot of sugar and make a food very high energy density wise.
On the other hand, the energy dilute food like the foods that have lower calories in terms of volume seem to satisfy the brain faster. Things like vegetables and fruits not just occur more space in your tummy, they actually trigger satiety in your brain. So the lesson here is I want you to be mindful of your fat.
5. The last tip but one of the most important tip is called the Food Palatability. In fact this is a conversation for a full podcast episode. Palatability means the taste index…how tasty a food is…
Now here’s what is fascinating…the more palatable a food is…that is the more tasty it is, the less satiety it triggers in the brain. Like isn’t this what we experience in life as well. You can polish of half a pizza with coke followed by death by chocolate pastry and not even feel that you have overeaten…vs eating a big bowl of cottage cheese salad with yogurt dressing or even a plate of dal rice and feel fully satisfied. Yes the salad and the dal rice option might not sound that enticing or entertaining but it definitely is more satisfying in triggering fullness.
Many of clients and women who have done my workshops have expressed their confusion about this point. I remember in one of my workshops, one doctor said, Anu, I agreed with all the points except this one. You are saying, the food shouldn’t be tasty.
If you are having similar kind of thoughts then I hear you. You are not alone and such thoughts are normal. The thing is firstly taste is a learned phenomenon. I never thought that my mouth will salivate while cooking and eating plain boiled bottlegaurd and pumpkin and broccoli, just salted, thats it. I never knew there would come a day that I would literally find my sales to be tasting great. Thats one point. Taste is subjective and learned. And new tastes can be learned and enjoyed thoroughly. The other thing is do you know the intensely palatable meaning uber delicious foods do not exist naturally. There isn’t any food in nature which is a combination of fat, sugar and salt together in one package. And now we even add a ton of artificial flavouring. These are the kind of foods that are intensely palatable and trigger the reward pathways in the brain. And when reward pathways are triggered, its no longer about hunger. It’s all about intense dopamine hits flooding your brain.
It’s not the avocado, its the chocolate avocado mousse
It’s not the potato, its the deep fried, smothered with salt potato chips
The point is not to eat the bland food. Thats not what I’m saying. The point is a. You understand that simple whole foods are your best bet and b.you keep your food to be moderately tasty. I mean, don’t come straight to boiled veggies with low palatability or don’t make your artificially sweetened keto chocolate mousse a regular affair. Keep your food simple, as unprocessed and whole you can and don’t smother it with extra fat, salt or sugar. Sticking to simple foods fill you up without feeling hungry.
I want you to remember that your desire for your food to be very tasty is wired in the primitive brain. There’s nothing wrong with it. But the truth is as long as you are chasing pleasure from food, you will be misguided. Food can never provide you with pleasure. Its your job. Don’t put this on food. There s only one and one job of food…that is to fuel your body. You may find this fact to be boring but it is what it is. Like the pen is there for you to write with…too bad you cant paint with it.
Hmmmmm the job of the fire is to hot. Too bad it can’t be cold.
You got the point. You want the food to provide you with sensory, orgasmic experience it can’t. You want food to entertain you, it can’t. It’s your job. You create that with your thinking, with the results you create for yourself in life.
So, remember to incorporate more of plants on your plate, make sure there is an adequate portion of protein. So what I say is aim to eat half of your plate as plants, one quarter as protein and one quarter as complex, minimally processed carbohydrates and be moderate and mindful with the fats.
The more fuel foods you eat, the better you feel. The more the food loses its power over you. This is what it means to lead a purpose driven, deliberate life. The consciousness of the world has changed so rapidly. Eating fuel foods and taking care of your health is no longer a luxury, it’s mandatory, it’s imperative. Yes, looking good is a fabulous bonus of eating fuel but feeling good happens when you connect with your body and notice how these foods make you feel and then that takes a priority.
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