3 Tips on How to Eat Less Without Feeling Hungry

Need to lose a few pounds? These simple tips will make it easy to cut back without feeling deprived.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
5-minute read
Episode #126

Tip #3: Replace Some of the Starches in Your Diet with Protein

Another big factor in regulating your appetite is how fast your blood sugar rises and falls after meals. In a nutshell, the more the quickly your food is converted into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream, the more quickly you’re going to feel hungry again. 

Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose much more quickly than proteins and fats, which require a lot more digestive steps to convert. Research consistently shows that dieters who eat fewer carbs and more protein are not as hungry as those who eat a higher percentage of their calories as carbohydrates.

So,for example, instead of a sandwich consisting of two slices of bread and a slice of turkey, have an open faced sandwich with one slice of bread and two slices of turkey. Both sandwiches have about the same number of calories but the higher protein version is going to keep you satisfied for longer. At breakfast, you could have an extra egg and one fewer pieces of toast. And instead of having a handful of pretzels for a snack, you could eat a few pretzels and some cheese.

See also “How Much Protein Should I Eat?”

Of course, you can also replace starches with an extra helping of vegetables, which are high in both fiber and fluids.

Calories Still Count

I’m not saying that you don’t have to pay attention to calories or that you never have to exercise any restraint. After all, we overeat for lots of reasons, not just because we’re hungry. (See also my article, Why We Overeat.) But choosing foods that are higher in water, fiber, and protein and dialing back the amount of starches and sugars in your diet can help you feel satisfied with fewer calories—which can make it a lot easier to maintain a healthy weight. As a bonus, following these strategies also tends to steer you toward more whole, nutrient-rich foods, which improves the overall quality of your diet.

Keep in Touch

See the links below for some research pertaining to today’s topic. If you have a question or comment, post it below or on my Nutrition Diva Facebook Page.  I answer a lot of listener questions in my free weekly newsletter, so if you’ve sent a question my way, be sure you’re signed up to receive that.

Have a great week and remember to eat something good for me!


Drinking water before meals aids weight loss (Research summary)

Increased fiber curbs appetite (Research summary)

Protein, weight management and satiety (American J. Clinical Nutrition)

Fullness Factor of foods (NutritionData.com)


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.