You can exercise like you’re Serena Williams training for the next grand slam but let’s face it, working out is only a small part of the wellness pie. (Mmm, pie.)
What you put in your mouth massively impacts your weight, health and wellbeing. The exact split varies depending on who you ask but it’s thought that exercise only makes up around 25 per cent of the picture while diet is the other 75 per cent.
For that reason, personal trainer Sam Wood is big on helping clients with their food as well as their fitness.
“It’s a line I hear constantly from my clients, ‘I just don’t understand why I’m so hungry ALL the time’. For me, this signals that they’re probably just not eating the right foods to keep them full and energised throughout the day,” Wood told Mamamia.
“At the end of the day, it’s really not rocket science. If your salad is just leafy greens and the odd cherry tomato, your body is going to remind you one hour later that it needs to eat again. If your meal consists of a quality protein source, good veggies and a healthy dose of good fats, you’ll feel fuller for longer.”
With that in mind we made Sam spill on his favourite foods to keep us all energised and satisfied.
Almonds are a great hunger crusher because they are packed full of protein and good fats. While they’re the ultimate snack to have on the go, they’re also an awesome addition to any salad. You can even try roasting them for breaky – they’re great with some fruit and Greek yoghurt.
Gone are the days of thinking that fats are the enemy. In actual fact, good fats (found in foods like our beloved avocado) are one of the best things you can be eating. With massive benefits to brain function, they also help train your body to burn fat rather than carbs and they’re awesome at keeping that hunger at bay.
Nutrient dense and rich in healthy fats, avocado is another go-to when fighting off those hunger cravings because when we eat food high in good fats, our body releases hormones that will keep us feeling satisfied. So say goodbye to your savings and hello to smashed avo.
Delicious, and totally nutritious. Yep, eggs are one of my favourite ingredients to cook with and for good reason. Eggs are full of high quality protein, packed with the healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals that your body craves.
Being nutrient dense makes them super filling and the perfect ingredient to keep you satisfied until your next meal. The best part? They’re one of the most versatile ingredients and are super easy to cook. You can seriously have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
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Loaded with soluble fibre, oats are always at the top of the list when I need something to keep me full from breakfast through to lunch. So often I’m asked, ‘what breakfast cereal should I be eating?’. There’s always only one answer, oats.
Super high in fibre, they dissolve slowly in the stomach, so they’ll also give you long lasting energy to sustain you throughout the day. If you’ve dismissed them as a winter breakfast option, think again. My overnight oats recipe with rhubarb and pear is the ultimate easy summer breaky.
Say goodbye to constant cravings with a good healthy dose of salmon. Fish is one of the most concentrated sources of protein you can eat, so it ticks all the boxes when it comes to satisfying your hunger.
The added benefit? Fish is full of omega 3 fatty acids, so it’s also amazing for heart health. I love a side of smoked salmon with my breakfast, or my brother Alex cooks a mean pan-fried salmon with mango and avo salsa. Yum.
What, those tiny things are going to keep me full? I know it seems ridiculous but chia seeds are actually jam packed with fibre and protein, making them a natural appetite suppressor. They’re also full of antioxidants, are incredibly low in calories and deliver a massive amount of nutrients to your body. Supercharge your porridge with a sprinkle of the tiny seeds or make them your new breakfast best friend by making a chia pudding.
Alright, I know you don’t technically eat water, but this is a massive one and super important point to remember. So often our bodies get confused and mix hunger signals with dehydration signals, so technically, a lot of the time we feel ‘starving’, we’re actually just dehydrated.
Staying on top of your water intake and making sure you get your six to eight glasses a day is key when trying to keep that hunger at bay. Another tip is to always make sure you have a big glass of water before each meal to avoid over eating.