Our hunger drive craves volume. A key skill that you are developing for your health is the ability to eat large volumes of raw and cooked, high-nutrient, low-calorie foods every single day. This means eating lots of vegetables.
When you are actively trying to lose weight, you should strive to satisfy your volume requirements first, before addressing the other dimensions of hunger. This may feel strange at first because you may not immediately feel satisfied by the higher volume of food. This is because you are accustomed to eating large quantities of high-calorie foods that cause a dopamine rush, a rush that low-calorie foods don’t deliver. However, your body will adjust, be less dependent on the dopamine surge in the brain, and will gradually become more and more satisfied with fewer calories. Give yourself time, and use the knowledge you have gained. Striving to fulfill your body’s volume and nutrient requirements can help you resolve food cravings and your toxic hunger.
The trick to get you to desire fewer calories faster is to eat lots of these high-volume, high-nutrient foods. You are already familiar with these, but many of the foods that you have been incorporating into your diet because of their nutrient values are also great tools in meeting your volume requirements. They include:
- Raw Vegetables: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, celery, anise, snow pea pods, carrots, beets, cucumbers, water chestnuts, red cabbage, onion
- Most Fresh Fruits: melons, oranges, grapefruits, apples, kiwis, berries, papaya
- Cooked Green Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, string beans, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, bok choy
- Other Non-Green Vegetables: mushrooms, eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, bean sprouts, cauliflower, spaghetti squash
Especially on holidays and days when you know that you will be around a lot of unhealthy foods, pre-fill with these high-nutrient, low-calorie foods. Never go to a party or event with an empty stomach. Eat a large salad with assorted raw vegetables and a bowl of vegetable soup before going to the places that may tempt your desire to eat unhealthily. Being healthy is about being in control. You must control your hunger, and the more low-calorie, high-volume foods you consume, the less high-calorie food you will be able to eat. When you increase these super healthy foods in your diet, you will feel less temptation, and you will be in control of your food cravings and appetite.
This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.