Recently i have gotten quite a few questions from people mentioning that they don’t feel satisfied or full after eating plant based – this seems to be a common problem for people who go vegan.
The first thing when you start to eat plant based is to remember to SUBSTITUTE and REPLACE. You can’t just take away meat and dairy and not replace it with something. But also think about what you are replacing those with. Many go from eating lots of animal protein to suddenly eating alot of carbs and fiber rich food and that can 1) effect your stomach so that you get all gassy and get cramps – this is why it is best to slowly increase your fiber intake. But also that protein leaves you feeling full longer compared to carbohydrates. And fats give you a quicker feeling of fullness, but it isn’t as long lasting compared to protein. So if you for example used to eat an omelette and salad for lunch and suddenly just eat beans and rice, it’s not so strange that you don’t feel satisfied or full for long.
Also make sure to eat enough. When you eat plant based and eat alot of whole foods i.e non processed foods that means that YES, your portion sizes will most likely need to increase. Eating a few potatoes, some veggies and half a deciliter of chickpeas won’t leave you full or satisfied, so you need to increase portion sizes if you are eating alot of beans, vegetables, fruits, grains etc
Also don’t eat monotone meals. Most people feel satisfied when they have gotten all the different “tastes” in one meal, i.e sweet, salty, sour, bitter and even umami. If you just eat potatoes for lunch you may feel full after eating 500g potatoes, but satisfied? Nope… you will most likely crave more even if you feel physically full. Not to mention that just eating fruit or just eating potatoes or any other “Mono” meal will leave you feeling bored, unsatisfied and most likely spike your blood sugar if it is a carbohydrate rich food. So my best suggestion, Combine different foods, textures and tastes in one meal to leave you feeling full longer. I.e add guacamole with your potatoes or add different fruits to your fruit salad or eat something sweet after a rather salty meal. Not to mention that if you eat just yoghurt or just nice cream it might leave you wanting more rather soon after you have finished eating…. but just adding some nuts and seeds or granola which adds crunch and texture as well as healthy fats (which give you a quick sense of fullness) will leave you feeling more satisfied and full!
Remember that a plant based diet isn’t a restriction diet, you shouldn’t feel hungry or walk around feeling tired and lack of energy – then you need to look over your lifestyle or what/how you eat. It can help if you write down everything you eat and track it for a few days and look over to see… maybe you are just eating lots of vegetables or lots of rice or potatoes which leave you feeling physically full but you are lacing healthy fats or protein or more variety to your meals. You should feel satisfied after eating – that also helps take focus away from food and you won’t spend time thinking about food if you are mentally and physically satisfied!
Eat enough. Eat varied. I don’t recommend mono meals or raw food diets, instead eat cooked food, eat healthy fats and get your vegan protein source as well as plenty of carbohydrates as they are the main source of energy for your brain. And remember it is not always diet/the way you eat that is the problem, it could be your lifestyle as well!