10 Foods That Curb Hunger

by Amy Hendel, P.A. Health Writer

If you struggle with weight loss or maintaining your weight, then you need to focus on tasty foods that satiate or help you to feel full. Fats, carbohydrates, and proteins have different impacts on satiation and appetite. It’s important to understand which specific choices from these food groups are healthy and filling.

Protein foods.


A new Swedish study confirms that dietary protein beats carbohydrates and fats in suppressing appetite. Prior studies have supported the effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet as a way to limit hunger and promote weight loss in obese men. High protein diets can also help with weight loss and sleep. Focus on lean, quality proteins, especially plant-based proteins. Set goals to include protein in every meal and snack.

Foods high in carbohydrates.


Highly processed carbohydrates can spike blood sugar levels, and when levels quickly crash, you’ll want to eat again. Whole grains and fruits and vegetables contain fiber, which successfully help to fill you up for the long term. Low carb diets that are popular like Atkin’s and the Paleo Diet dramatically cut all carbs, but most experts recommend including some carb superstars for the fiber and nutrients. Watch portions.

Fried foods.


Though some fats are more satiating than others, they’re also high in calories. Many of the unhealthy fats in creamy, processed foods also have an addictive-like impact on certain centers in the brain. This can mess with your ability to control portions. Regular consumption of processed, high fat foods is often linked with overconsumption and obesity. The solution? Be highly selective and measure portions.

Greek yogurt and raspberries.

#1 Raspberries and Greek yogurt

Full of antioxidants, fiber, and liquid, these berries will fill you up. One cup has about 64 calories. Buy organic when you can to limit pesticide exposure, and eat them alone or mixed into high protein Greek yogurt for a truly satiating snack. You can also add them to salads, your morning bowl of oatmeal, or high fiber cereal.

Plate of raw vegetables.

#2 Cruciferous vegetables plus hummus

Broccoli is full of fiber and packed with vitamins A and C, and protein. Add in some low oil hummus made from high protein garbanzo beans and you have a high fiber, protein rich, and nutrient dense meal. There are actually some healthy pre-made hummus options you can buy, or for a homemade option, blend chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice. Whole grain crackers and hummus is another snack option.

Bowl of edamame.

#3 Edamame

You can buy fresh, boiled edamame, defrost frozen soybeans, or enjoy dry-roasted edamame as a protein-rich snack. Edamame or soy nuts are complete proteins - meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids. A 100 calorie serving of roasted soy nuts has 11 grams of soy protein, plus a hefty dose of fiber.

Bowl of soup.

#4 Bean or lentil soup

This should be preferably homemade so that you control the sodium. A cup of lentil or bean soup offers protein, fiber, and a good dose of vitamins. “Souping” has become a popular diet trend because it offers portion control and high quality ingredients. A bean salad lightly dressed with an olive oil/balsamic dressing is another good option. Check out lupini beans, found in many supermarkets.

Bowl of fresh pears.

#5 A small handful of nuts and a pear

Nuts are considered very filling thanks to their fiber/fat/protein punch. About 15 almonds or 25 pistachio nuts clock in at 100 calories. Add a small high fiber pear and you have a filling snack packed with nutrients. You can also eat an apple and nut butter. The pectin and fiber in apples is filling. Make sure the nut butter has no added sugars. De-fatted powdered peanut butter is another option.

Fresh bread.

#6 A slice of whole grain bread and turkey

Breads with a simple list of ingredients and fiber can help to fill you up. Look for breads with whole grains, no added sugars, and at least 6 grams of fiber. There are also low sugar, high protein breads available at most markets. Aim for 80 calories or less per slice. Add a few slices of lean, roasted turkey or a small can of water-packed tuna for a filling snack or small meal.

Sliced sweet potato.

#7 Half a small sweet potato and a scoop of cottage cheese

Studies show that potatoes are filling and loaded with vitamins, fiber and other nutrients. Bake, boil or lightly roast them. Adding a serving of quality protein, like low sodium cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with some cinnamon, makes the perfect filling snack. You can also make it a small meal by topping the dish with fresh or grilled vegetables.

Pasta salad.

#8 Chickpea pasta and vegetables

Pasta gets a bad rap because we tend to eat too large portions of white pasta, often topped with sugary processed tomato sauce or creamy white sauce. Recently, high protein pastas have hit the shelves. A new edition is chickpea-based pasta. This pasta is lower in overall carbs and high in fiber and protein. A two-ounce serving has about 190 calories and 8 grams of fiber. Toss in some veggies for a filling meal.

Hardboiled eggs.

#9 A hard-boiled egg

Think of an egg as a high quality dose of protein. One large hard-boiled egg has about 80 calories. Concerns in the past surfaced because eggs contain on average about 200 mg of cholesterol per serving. This had many experts recommending caution, but most of us can enjoy one or two eggs daily as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Add a slice of whole grain toast or slices of tomato for a snack or mini-meal.

Bowl of popcorn.

#10 Air-popped popcorn with some spicy seasoning

You can significantly lower the calorie load of prepared popcorn by making air pop microwave popcorn and nixing the melted butter. Studies show that adding some “hot flavor” like red pepper to dishes also helps to suppress appetite. Lightly sprinkle on some red pepper to punch up flavor and to fill you up even more. One cup of air popped popcorn has about 30 calories.

Amy Hendel, P.A.
Meet Our Writer
Amy Hendel, P.A.

Known as "The HealthGal", Amy Hendel P.A. is a medical and lifestyle reporter, nutrition and fitness expert, health coach and brand ambassador. Trained as a physician assistant, she maintains a health coach private practice in New York and Los Angeles. Author of The Four Habits of Healthy Families, find her on Twitter @Healthgal1103 and on Facebook @TheHealthGal. Check “Daily Health News” at healthgal.com. Her personal mantra? “Fix it first with food, fitness, and lifestyle.”