Many people often wonder if vegetarians are hungry all of the time once they remove meat from their diets.
You may be hungry more often as a vegetarian if you don’t replace meat with filling foods. It is possible to be a vegetarian and not be hungry all of the time. Make sure that you eat enough protein, healthy fats, and fiber in your meals and snacks.
Why Are Vegetarians Hungry All Of The Time
Many times vegetarians will simply remove meat from their diets, resulting in a plate full of carbohydrates that are quickly digested leaving you feeling hungry shortly after your meal.
Even if you have a wonderful plate full of healthy vegetables and rice or pasta you will still be missing some key meal components to balance out your vegetarian meal and keep you full longer.
How Can Vegetarians Not Be Hungry All Of The Time
Selecting a balance of foods representing the categories of carbohydrates, protein, fats, and fiber within every meal or snack will keep you full.
Avoid skipping meals and make sure that you are eating a large enough portion size.
Always have a snack nearby filled with protein and good fats to grab in between meals if you become hungry.
Does Not Eating Meat Make You Hungrier
If you stop eating meat without replacing the protein and fat source with a vegetarian option that is just as filling you will be more hungry.
It’s important whenever you remove foods from your diet that they are replaced with something that will provide similar nutrients or macros (fat, protein, carbs).
It’s not very hard to do with a little planning.
Try eating a variety of proteins and fats during that day like eggs and a berry smoothie for breakfast, a veggie wrap made with hummus and avocado for lunch, nut butter, and an apple for a snack with roasted tofu, rice, and veggies for dinner.
Is It Normal To Be Hungry On A Plant Based Diet
It’s not normal to be hungry on a plant-based diet and you don’t need to be.
When many people switch from eating a meat-heavy diet to a plant-based diet your body will need to adjust as well as you learning and trying new plant-based foods and protein sources.
It may take some time to discover what will keep your body full.
Do Vegetarians Have To Eat More
Vegetarians do need to eat more in volume to receive that same amount of protein that is found in meat.
A 3oz portion of steak contains 21 grams of protein.
One 1/2 cup portion of black beans contains 8 grams of protein.
You would need to eat almost 1.5 cups of black beans to reach the same amount of protein in a 3oz steak.
Since 1.5 cups of black beans at a meal would be too many black beans for anyone to eat at one time we need to make sure that we aren’t just switching a meat item for a vegetarian item.
Add a cup of quinoa (8 grams of protein), 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds (4.5 grams of protein) to your 1/2 cup of black beans for the same amount of protein as the 3oz steak.
If you add a salad or a side of vegetables to this meal you will have a delicious filling meal to keep you full longer.
What Foods Should I Avoid If I Am Always Hungry
If you are always hungry, avoid eating simple carbohydrates and sugars alone.
I am guilty of it as well, and end up hungry and searching for food shortly after consuming foods in this category.
- Plain pasta or with marinara sauce
- Pancakes or waffles
- Toast with jelly
- White rice and veggies only
- Potato chips
- Snack cakes and cookies
This is just a short list but, It gives you an idea of the type of foods that will not keep you full.
I’m not saying that you should avoid these foods altogether if you enjoy them, just be aware of how they affect your body and make adjustments or additions if needed.
I’ll add some lentils to my pasta sauce or have a side salad with a hard-boiled egg in it.
Have eggs with your pancakes and waffles or a protein-loaded smoothie.
Have nut butter or avocado and hemp seeds on your toast or bagel.
Add beans or tofu to your rice and veggies.
Enjoy potato chips, snack cakes, and cookies with a meal that is rich in filling proteins and fiber.
Have an egg or string cheese and fruit with your muffin.
What Are The Most Filling Vegetarian Foods
The most filling vegetarian foods will be full of protein, fat, fiber, and lots of long-lasting energy.
At one point fat was viewed as the enemy, this is far from the truth when we are trying to eat a well-rounded diet that will keep us full.
Make sure that you have a variety of fats in your diet and some included in every meal to help keep you satiated longer.
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
What Are The Most Filling Vegetarian Proteins
Seitan– this popular vegetarian food is made from wheat gluten and contains 25 grams of protein for a 3.5 oz serving.
Tempeh– A fermented Soybean product that is pressed into a condensed form that can be cut and diced. Tempeh is a great base to inject your favorite flavors. Tempeh is high in protein-containing 15 grams of protein in a 1/2 cup serving.
Tofu– A vegetarian staple that can transform into many flavors and textures. Tofu contains 10 grams of protein in a 1/2 cup serving.
Lentils- An extremely versatile legume that contains 9 grams of protein in a 1/2 cup serving.
Edamame- Soybeans in their raw state pack in 8 grams of protein for a 1/2 cup serving.
Beans– The majority of bean varieties contain 7 grams of protein in a 1/2 cup.
Eggs- One large egg contains around 6 grams of protein.
Cheese- Depending on the cheese you select and the serving size a portion of cheese can have 3 to 13 grams of protein.
What Are The Most Filling Vegetarian Fats
Walnuts- a one-ounce serving of walnuts contains 4 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat.
Hemp Seeds- Hemp seeds contain 9 grams of protein and 14 grams of fat in a 3 tablespoon serving.
Nut Butters- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter contains 3.5 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat.
Avocados- one half of an avocado contains 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of fat.
Olives- A serving of olives contains 1 gram of protein and 11 grams of fat.
Olive Oil- One tablespoon of olive oil contains 13.5 grams of fat.
Coconut Oil- One tablespoon of coconut oil contains 14 grams of fat.
Ghee- One tablespoon of ghee contains 13 grams of fat.
Butter- One tablespoon of butter has 11 grams of fat.
What Are The Most Filling Vegetarian Carbohydrates
Potatoes- Roasted potatoes of any type tossed in some oil or butter with the skin on.
Oatmeal- Oatmeal is full of fiber. Adding in some nuts or seeds makes a perfect addition.
Quinoa- Quinoa is high in fiber and protein which makes it a filling carbohydrate option.
Popcorn- Popcorn is a wonderful high-fiber snack. A popcorn popper has been a great addition to our kitchen.
What Are The Most Filling Vegetables
Broccoli- Broccoli is one of the best vegetables you can eat. It’s full of filling fiber.
Cauliflower- Replace some of your rice with cauliflower rice for a more nutritious and filling meal.
Cabbage- Cabbage is a delicious and filling vegetable that you get a lot of bang for your money.
Beets- Full of vitamins and filling fiber.
Peas- Peas are packed with protein for a small little vegetable.
What Are The Most Filling Fruits
Blueberries- Berries are delicious and full of fiber and antioxidants.
Blackberries- Berries are full of filling fiber.
Raspberries- Raspberries maybe my favorite go-to fruit.
Bananas- Bananas are high in potassium and fiber.
Apples- Apples are a filling snack or addition to a salad. Add some nuts or nut butter.
Pears- Pears are another filling fruit that we often overlook.
Filling Vegetarian Meal Ideas (To Not Be Hungry)
If you are at a loss for vegetarian meal ideas that will keep you full longer, here are some of my go-to meals.
I like to have a smoothie with my breakfast every day in addition to my meal.
- Eggs with a smoothie
- Eggs with roasted vegetables
- Omlete with cheese and vegetables
- Avacado toast with tomato
- Egg on toast with a smoothie
- Nut butter on an english muffin with a smoothie
- Hummus wrap loaded with veggie and a side of fruit
- Avacado wrap loaded with veggies and a side of fruit
- Soup loaded with beans, veggies, and pasta, rice or Qunioa with a salad and fruit
- “Big Salad” filled with veggies, eggs, cheese, nuts, beans and an olive oil dressing with a fiber filled bread
- Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich with salad and fruit
- Roasted tofu with BBQ sauce, rice or potatoes, broccoli and fruit
- Bean and rice burritos with corn and avacado
- Rice bowl with beans or lentils, roasted veggies and oilve oil dressing with a side of fruit
- Pasta with marinara sauce with lentils, salad with nuts and seeds
- Pea or bean soup with salad and bread
- Cheese Quesadillas with black beans, corn and salad
- Cabbage roll soup made with lentils, cauliflower rice, tomatoes, garlic, and onions
- Baked beans with potatoes and salad with egg, seeds and olive oil dressing
How Can I Feel Full On A Vegetarian Diet
Staying full on a vegetarian diet is easy with a little planning ahead. Make sure all of your meals and snacks contain some protein, fat, and fiber to keep you full longer.
How Vegetarians Stay Full (Quick Tips)
- Don’t skip meals
- Have a protien and fat rich snack nearby
- Eat a large enough portions
- Balance meals with protien, fat, and fiber
- Eat a variety of vegetarian protiens during the day
- Eat a variety of healthy fats during the day
- Plan meals and snack ahead
- Keep simple snacks and meal ideas on hand
- Always have nuts or nutbutter and fruit around for an easy snack
- Precooked hardboiled eggs are a got to when you are busy
- Cheese sticks are another quick and flling snack option
- Choose quick food items with long shelf lives
When I stopped eating meat it was a slow progression over a few years of eliminating one meat product at a time.
At first, I didn’t do what most people do and just removed the meat, this left me more hungry and hungry all of the time.
It’s taken me a long to figure out my body and what I need to have enough energy.
For years I survived the energy drop and hunger I would get shortly after lunch by having an apple with peanut butter.
That apple and peanut butter was the hint towards success.
I need to have protein and fat at every meal and snack or I will end up hungry and grumpy within an hour of eating.
Hopefully, you have found this article early on in your vegetarian journey to prevent you from making the same mistakes I did.
You don’t need to be hungry as a vegetarian!