How to naturally boost feelings of fullness

How to naturally boost feelings of fullness

Glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) medications are incredibly popular right now for helping many individuals lose weight successfully. However, not everyone who desires weight loss qualifies for these medications, can afford them, wants to experience possible side effects or wants to take medication.

If you find yourself in any of these categories, the good news is that there are ways to boost satiety without taking GLP-1 medications.

GLP-1 is a hormone that gets released from your small intestine after eating which decreases appetite and cravings. The hormone slows the rate of food leaving the stomach and into the small intestine. This provides a feeling of fullness and keeps blood glucose levels steady instead of rapidly increasing and then dropping.

Your natural GLP-1 hormone tends to clear faster than the GLP-1 in medications which can stay in the blood stream for days. The medications also provide much higher amounts of GLP-1 compared to what the body can naturally produce. Although, research does show that we can increase natural GLP-1 through eating.

How to naturally increase GLP-1:
  • Include protein every time you eat. Protein digests more slowly and slows down digestion of carbohydrates when eaten together. This balances blood sugar levels and helps you feel satiated. This helps put the brakes on eating too much and reduces post-meal snacking.
  • Fuel up with fiber—and lots of it! Fiber attracts water in your stomach and then expands like a balloon filling with air. This slows the release of food into the small intestine, helping you feel full longer. As a bonus, fiber triggers the slow release of GLP-1 and another hormone that suppresses hunger called PYY.
  • Focus on fermentable fiber. This type of fiber is especially helpful as GLP-1 is also produced when healthy bacteria break down fiber in the microbiome. Fermentable fiber is found in foods such as beans, peas, lentils, cruciferous vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, certain fruits, oats, barley, rye, flaxseed, garlic, and onions. Remember to drink plenty of water along with high-fiber foods to keep your digestion running smoothly.
  • Include small amounts of healthy fats. Long-chain, unsaturated fats have been shown to strongly stimulate the release of GLP-1. Great choices include extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, olives, avocados, nuts, seeds, and fish high in omega-3 fats, like salmon and tuna.

Managing weight can be challenging, yet with a few key strategies, you can make the process a little easier on yourself. If you need help with weight management, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian.

Heather Klug is a registered dietitian at Aurora Health Care.

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One Comment

  1. Regarding the GLP-1 hormone, my sister eats way too fast without chewing her food, and is always on her second helping before everyone else at the table has finished half their meal. She is also constantly dieting. She’s in her 60’s, so does not take criticism well when it comes to her table manners, i.e. talking with her mouth full. She literally scarfs down her food. What do you suggest?

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About the Author

Heather Klug
Heather Klug

Heather Klug, MEd RD is a registered dietitian and cardiac educator at the Karen Yontz Women's Cardiac Awareness Center inside Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI.