Struggling to feel full after a meal can happen with any diet, but a very popular misconception is that this is incredibly common when following a vegetarian diet. When managed well, it is entirely possible to feel full and maintain a balanced diet as a vegetarian. By making informed choices about vegetables, proteins, iron and calcium, there is no reason why vegetarians can’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal. See the embedded PDF for more information on vegetarian sources of iron.
Whole Foods and Food Groups
It is crucial to eat a balanced diet including multiple food groups. Like any diet, a vegetarian balanced plate should include protein, fat and carbohydrates to ensure a rich and fulfilling meal. Vegetarians who find themselves feeling hungry after meals should try to include more whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains.
For example, vegetarians struggling to feel full after breakfast could swap any processed cereals for whole-grain options such as oatmeal that are topped with fresh fruits.
The current recommended daily amount of protein is 50 grams per day. Fortunately for vegetarians, this protein doesn’t have to come from meat. In fact, according to the BHF, evidence suggests that plant-based proteins can benefit your health too.
Vegetables such as lima beans, bean sprouts, spinach, sweetcorn, asparagus and mushrooms are all high in protein and can help make up your RDA of protein.
As a substitute for rice and pasta, quinoa is a good option to consider. Quinoa is cooked like any grain but is actually a vegetable seed that is full of all the essential amino acids that would normally be found in animal protein.
For those looking for a plant-based protein that is truly comparable to animal proteins, soya beans fit this criteria perfectly. Eating just 25g of soya protein a day in the place of meat can help lower cholesterol levels to the benefit of overall health and wellbeing.
Fibre and Protein
Legumes and beans might be great sources of protein, but they are also high in fibre which is known to make people feel fuller at the end of a meal. A daily serving of pulses can help to lower your cholesterol level whilst also counting towards your 5-a-day, making them a great addition to sauces, soups and stews. A three tablespoon (120 gram) serving of lentils contains nine grams of protein, while a three tablespoon (105 gram) serving of chickpeas contains eight grams of protein.
Explore Meal Options
Long-time vegetarian and health enthusiast Richard Mallett firmly believes that a great way for vegetarians to eat a varied diet while also feeling full is to experiment with different vegetables and eat them in new ways. For example, vegetables don’t need to just be used in stir fries and salads; they also make great pizza toppings and burrito fillings. Exploring new meat alternatives and snack choices can keep vegetarians feeling satisfied throughout the day.