Are you a vegan that suffers from hunger? You don’t have to. The vegan diet can be a rich and satisfying diet when you approach it wisely. The fact that the vegan diet is very nutrient rich can absolutely work in your favor. Also, the manner in which you eat has a large impact on your satiety as well.
One very effective way to curb your hunger is to eat several small meals during the day. This is fun because you get to do more of a favorite thing – eating! When your body gets the message that you are consistently feeding it energy, it will no longer store the calories as fat. Your blood sugar levels are also more stable, keeping insulin levels stable. When your blood sugar levels are rising and falling, the low levels cause hunger cravings.
In addition, frequent meals allow your body to absorb nutrients more easily than when you eat large meals. Your cholesterol levels are positively affected as well.
“Studies have shown that those who split their total calories into 6 small meals a day significantly reduced both their total and LDL cholesterol levels.”
Consuming a balance of important nutrients brings true satisfaction. You should aim for a balanced intake of proteins, complex (not simple) carbohydrates and healthy fats. A nice variety of foods that offer these nutrients will give you “nutrient fullness”. Along with fruits, eat all types of vegetables; leafy green, orange and yellow, cruciferous etc. Add to this, some protein packed legumes and beans, nutrient rich nuts and seeds and delicious whole grains.
Supplements with these nutrients are great to add as well. Micro algae such as spirulina and chlorella are great protein sources and full of vitamins and minerals. Flax seed oil is a source of essential fatty acids that harmonizes the body. Eating these on your food increase your chances for feeling full and satisfied.
One thing you don’t want to do is to gorge yourself on carbohydrates in order to feel full. Many vegans tend to fall prey to this habit and it has adverse effects. Eating extra portions of rice, potatoes and pasta is known to cause insulin resistance, because the excessive starches turn into excessive sugars in your blood. Insulin resistance actually causes more hunger.
“Of special concern is how insulin resistance disrupts fat metabolism. When the cells won’t absorb the extra glucose, the liver has to convert it into fat. Fat cells are loaded with glucose receptors, so this is a vicious cycle. Ironically, while the insulin-resistant (sufferer) is gaining weight, their cells are actually “starved” for glucose, so they feel exhausted and tend to eat carbohydrate-heavy foods in search of energy.”- A natural approach to insulin resistance
Eating processed and refined foods causes insulin resistance as well, including some processed health foods.
The vegan diet can provide more than ample energy for your life’s affairs. You don’t have to suffer hunger or any lack of energy. There are even vegan athletes that have enjoyed a vegan diet and continued to find success. They employed variety and taste enhancement to be successful.
Like baseball player Pat Neshek:
“ By substituting items such as brown rice and beans, tofu spiced to taste like different meat dishes, and flaxseed oil and various legumes, he found that his body held up even better than expected. Though Neshek admits he’s hardly a demon in the weight room, he has put on seven pounds of lean muscle since switching to his now-vegan diet and a refined workout program last off season. ”
And marathon runner, Scott Jurek:
“As a strict vegan, he goes through his grueling training regimen on a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. This seems completely impossible when you consider Jurek’s typical calorie intake during peak training periods: 6,000 to 8,000 calories a day. Despite all that calorie loading, he packs just 165 pounds on his super lean, 6-foot-2 frame.
‘For breakfast it’s a dense, caloric smoothie,’ Jurek explained. ‘Then you’ve got lots of fruits and almonds. People assume it’s all carbs. But there’s also fat — avocados, rich monosaturated fats, almonds, olive oil.’
He’s just getting warmed up.
“For protein you’ve got beans, lentils, combining whole grains. Tofu and tempeh. Then for carbs: whole grains, breads, cereals, fruits and veggies, whole foods, unprocessed foods. There are three main meals, then lots of smaller snack foods and mini-meals throughout the day.”
So whether you are leading a normal active life or a more demanding active life, you can have success and fullness as a vegan.
Be sure to include plenty of tasty snacks so you don’t feel like you are missing out on anything. There are all kinds of treats vegans can enjoy; from dried fruit with nuts and seeds, to creamy smoothies and refreshing juices, to sweets made with healthy alternative sweets and oils.
Your own thoughts and perspective about your vegan diet are important too. If you view this lifestyle choice as restrictive, you will block the creative juices needed to make it a success. A certain level of faith and positivity is required to meet with success and satisfaction. Allow yourself time to develop healthy choices and habits. If you believe you can only be satisfied with the taste and bulk of meat, then you will be hard pressed to ever experience satiety with your vegan diet.
Believe in your decision and commitment to improve your health with a nutrient-rich vegan diet. Make the best effort to eat wisely, assuring nutrient fullness and balanced sugar levels, and you will enjoy and benefit immensely.
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