Did you know that order in which you eat certain foods may make a difference in your weight loss journey over time? What you eat first may determine what food you end up consuming more or less of during a meal.
Many people jump into a meal by eating bread or complex carb, which is often filling right away, but then you are hungry an hour later. Where protein and veggies and healthy fats tend to take a little longer to fill you up, but it provides more sustainable energy. With this in mind, it can help a lot to eat your protein and veggies first, with the carbs being last.
Start With Protein
Protein is a great place to start when diving into a meal. It is going to be satisfying, reduce cravings, and help get you full and stay full, experiencing satiation sooner. “Satiation” refers to the end of desire to eat after a meal. This can occur at any time after the onset of eating. Satiation signals the brain the meal is over, which is governed by hormones and stretch receptors in the stomach.
So next time you choose a healthy protein like tuna, chicken, steak, or even just eggs, why not try starting with that? The point is not to eat the least amount of food possible and become overly full from protein, but just become familiar with how you feel after eating different types of foods.
Many people fill up on carbs first, especially at restaurants where bread or chips are served to keep people busy until the main course arrives. This can cause you to become too full to eat other nutritious foods, like lean proteins or vegetables. This is why it is important to consider the more nutrient-dense foods first.
Veggies or Fruits Next
Some people will prefer to start with fruits or veggies first, such as a dinner salad, but if protein is your main priority right now, you can eat this second. You might have noticed that after most meals, it is your vegetables or fruits that get passed up because you are too full by then. Try alternating the veggie or fruit with the protein, until all of that is done, then try eating the carbs.
According to Harvard Health, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can reduce blood pressure, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, counter some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems. Vegetables can also have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check. So, eating vegetables and fruits first will allow your body to get all the benefit and not have them left on the plate.
Save Simple Carbs for the End of Your Meal
If you have any simple carbs in your meal, like rice or mashed potatoes, try to save it for last. There is absolutely nothing wrong with carbs! They give you energy, help you feel satiated, and often are absolutely delicious. But they can make you feel like you are very full, very quickly, especially if you are drinking a beverage at the same time. This seems like it may make you lose weight faster because of feeling full, except then you are hungry in a short period of time after your meal. This is why you might not want to eat all of your potatoes or rice before your chicken and veggies.
Why is This Important?
Unlike some nutrition plans, you don’t have to make this a strict eating schedule. This approach is just a way for you to start becoming familiar with how various types of food makes your body feel. On your journey to transforming your diet, it is important to establish sustainable healthy daily habits, and become familiar with your own eating style.