You sit down to breakfast, enjoy a bowl of oatmeal with fruit, then an hour later, you feel so hungry that you can't think straight. But you just ate. Why are you so hungry again? Sound familiar? NASM-certified personal trainer Sam Altieri (@saltylifts on Instagram) has the simple reason, explained in this Instagram post.
Can you spot the difference? The formula on the left is mostly carbs with a little protein, and the formula on the right includes fat. If you're hungry one or two hours after you eat, it's probably because your meal or snack is mostly carbs or a combination of carbs and protein.
"Fat is much slower to digest and has the power to keep you fuller longer. Protein fills you up *while* you're eating but fat *keeps* you full," Sam explained in her caption. "When combined with lean protein and some carbs, a small serving of healthy fats can add richness and satisfaction to your meals and snacks." This can not only help you stay full for four or five hours which helps you consume fewer daily calories, but it can also prevent you from overeating — see how eating healthy fats can help with weight loss?
Here are some sources of healthy fats you can include in your meals:
- Whole eggs
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Sam reminded us that "No, fat does NOT make you fat. Only eating too many calories can do that." She typically eats three big meals a day and aims to get 15 to 20 grams of fat per meal. So the next time you sit down to a plate of yumminess, make sure it's following the formula on the right. Aim to add a small portion of fats such as:
- One tablespoon of nut butter to oatmeal, toast, fruit, or protein smoothies
- One-quarter to one-half an avocado to meals such as on toast, with eggs, on your salad, mashed into guacamole to use as a veggie dip, or add to your smoothie
- Instead of an egg-white-only omelet, use one to two whole eggs and half a cup of egg whites
- Add a one-tablespoon sprinkle of seeds or nuts on top of protein pancakes, salads, a smoothie, or whole grains
- Use one tablespoon of olive oil to cook any meat or plant-based protein
Here are some meal and snack ideas that have a combination of carbs, protein, and healthy fats.