Q: FOODWISE, HOW CAN I ENJOY THANKSGIVING BUT KEEP IT FROM WRECKING MY DIET? -LEVI R., RUTLAND, VT
Precede the big meal—and any meals made of the leftovers—with a protein shake to help fill you up. The creamier the shake, the better: Protein is more filling than carbohydrates, but a 2013 study in the British Journal of Nutrition also found that the thickness and creaminess of a protein drink can further heighten the perception of its protein content and its ability to satisfy the appetite.
In the study, healthy males drank two protein-rich mixtures before lunch, one with the thickness of a milkshake and the other with a more juicelike consistency. Then, in a companion experiment, the men drank both a high-carbohydrate drink made to look thick and creamy (as if it contained protein) and a more watery beverage.
In both cases, the creamier drinks were the most effective in curbing the subjects’ appetites, causing researchers to conclude that the look and feel of a drink may be even more important than the protein content itself in terms of making you feel full.
My advice: Drink a conventional milky protein shake—not one of the clear juice-like ones—shortly before mealtime.