We know that beginning our meals with salads and/or soups can cut down on the number of calories that we consume. When researchers give people soup (or salad) to eat before a meal they become full faster because of the water and fiber in the soup and tend to eat fewer calories. That sounds good to me.
It seems that there are watery foods and there are airy foods. The watery ones (vegetables, fruits, cooked beans, cooked pasta, cooked rice) are heavier and fill us up causing the stretch receptors in our stomach to signal our brain that enough is enough. The airy ones have no water and therefore don’t affect the stretch receptors.
Watery starches added to your diet can fill you up quickly and cause you to eat fewer calories. If you simply add steamed rice, boiled corn, potatoes, cooked beans, whole grain noodles to your diet daily you will fill up and realize some interesting benefits. When you eat these starches be sure that you do NOT add oil or fat or butter. An addition of about 600 calories of these watery starches will fill you and help to cut down on calorie dense foods that do not fill you up and therefore… you want to eat more. Hmmm…
Think about the difference between rice and rice cakes. Rice is full of water (when cooked) but rice cakes are not and would not be as filling as the rice. We could say the same thing about pasta and bread. So even though rice cakes, certain no fat crackers and some breads are low in calories they really don’t fill us up. That’s interesting. We can enjoy those foods but not as a whole meal… unless we are trying to gain weight.
If you want to gain some weight… focus on airy foods; if not… focus on watery ones. Easy.