Food that lasts forever! Well, not quite...
July 18, 2010 11:03 PM   Subscribe

Foods that will keep you filled for a long time?

Ramadan is coming up in a few weeks. And this time, fasting hours will span over 12 hours (I think). If it were still summer and I could just spending the days bumming around the house reading books, napping, and surfing the net, I really wouldn't mind. Minimal energy usage. But, unfortunately school will be in full swing and not only will I be taking classes, I will also be teaching them! And working a side job. And running errands all over our gigantic campus. Energy usage suddenly went way up.

So what kinds of foods should I be eating? Preferably things that won't make me thirsty, since we can't drink anything while fasting. How much should I aim to drink too? I used to try to down a lot of water before fasting, but that always made me feel a little sick. I live in the southeast US, so it gets pretty warm. I figure if I stay indoors with the AC most of the time, I'll be okay...

(On a side note: I tend to get shaky when (I'm assuming) my sugar gets low. (My hands will tremble.) I don't necessarily feel "hungry" at the time, but eating helps the shakiness go away. So foods with slow-burning sugars?)

Anyway, thank you! :)
posted by joyeuxamelie to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Okay dearie, here are my suggestions:

almonds. they're yummy and easy and full of protein.
luna bars. my favorite flavor is the nutz over chocolate. one bar in the morning keeps you pretty full for most of the day.
eggs, either hardboiled or scrambled/in an omelette.
peanut butter, though this may make you thirsty.
hummus, esp with some pita or vegetables.

Also I'd say have at least 1 or 2 glasses of water a day. Without eating liquidy foods (like grapes) your body will become dehydrated which creates faintness, confusion and nausea. Good luck!
posted by wild like kudzu at 11:20 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

My friend's tater tot casserole lasts a long time. Brown some ground hamburger on the stove. Get a big casserole dish, cover the bottom with frozen tater tots. Mix the hamburger with a bag of frozen corn, a can of Cambell's cream of celery soup and a can of Campbell's cheddar cheese soup. Pour this mixture over the tater tots. Add another layer of tater tots to the top, sprinkle shredded cheese generously over that, and bake until the tater tots and corn are done.

Water counts against fasting? I did a couple of 24-hour fasts when I was in church (Christian church, though) and that was the 1 thing we were allowed to have. They didn't want us going to the hospital with dehydration. Can you consult your religious leader to ask if you can get a special release to have water due to the heat?
posted by IndigoRain at 11:27 PM on July 18, 2010

There seem to be some good suggestions at Islam 101.
posted by amyms at 11:28 PM on July 18, 2010

Stuff with a decent amount of fat or protein will be a big help. I like string cheese for breakfast; as fatty foods go, it's a pretty "clean" one (not super greasy and heavy), and it keeps me going until lunch. Be careful and don't have a lot of grease or sugar, as that will make you feel "logy" (as my dad always says). Eat well, but don't waste your calories on junk!

Stuff with lots of carbs, particularly simple ones, will whoosh right through you. Do have some, but balance them out.
posted by Madamina at 11:35 PM on July 18, 2010

Best answer: I'll second peanut butter. It might make you thirsty while you eat it, but if my Ramadan knowledge is correct, anytime you can eat you can also drink. It won't make you thirsty later, throughout the day.

One of the most "stick to your ribs" breakfasts I make is this ridiculous thing called "oatmeal in a peanut butter jar". You make oatmeal, then spoon it into a mostly empty jar of peanut butter. The hot oatmeal melts the peanut butter and you basically get a huge serving of warm, gooey complex carbs and protein. Keeps me full all day. The caveat being that you need to have a mostly empty peanut butter jar on hand. Adding a tablespoon or so of peanut butter to plain oatmeal might work just as well.

Protein rich foods are good. I'm a vegetarian so for me that means beans, eggs, nuts and nut butter, etc. Meat is obviously a good choice as well.
posted by Sara C. at 11:39 PM on July 18, 2010 [10 favorites]

Response by poster: wow. that oatmeal peanut butter thing sounds really good.
posted by joyeuxamelie at 11:54 PM on July 18, 2010

Three words: low glycemic index. Stick to those kinds of foods and you should be able to stave off any sensation of hunger for 6-8 hour stretches, and then just tough it out until sundown.
posted by randomstriker at 12:08 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Try acclimating before you start fasting - eating early breakfasts and eating only lightly during the day. And stop drinking caffeine - drink a little less each day. And drink a LOT MORE than a glass or two of water.

Also, consider moving to Australia. It's winter here. Shorter days.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:10 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

My wife (who works in the food industry) tells me that UK porridge makers sell huge amounts of the stuff in the Middle East during Ramadan, so I'm guessing it works pretty well.
posted by rhymer at 1:47 AM on July 19, 2010

As some people have said, consider eating foods with a high fat content (and get enough protein in your eating window). If you're fasting for 12 hours, your body will be using ketone bodies to some extent for energy. There isn't really a carb that can last you for 12 hours.

One suggestion is make a load of pemmican (pdf) beforehand with a homemade Jerky Drier (pdf) as then you will have a food ready to eat that will last for years outside the fridge.

If not, then lots of lamb would be a good choice as it's fatty or other meats with grass-fed butter (2nd choice).

It could be a healthy way to eat. I will generally not eat for 12 hours a day every day.
posted by Not Supplied at 2:44 AM on July 19, 2010

My post was a bit unclear. I think lamb would be equally as good as pemmican, but without the convenience as you'd probably have to cook it. Other meats would be my 2nd choice. Hope this helps.
posted by Not Supplied at 2:46 AM on July 19, 2010

Oat bran would do the job. It is one of the ingredients being popularised by the Dukan Diet -which has been popular in France for several years - see this recipe for Oat Bran Galettes for example. They are tasty (honest) and fill keep you filled up for a while.
posted by rongorongo at 2:47 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

For sehri/suhoor, I try to have milk, toast and a couple of eggs cooked in any way I want. At that time of the day, it's usually boiled. Eggs last you ages.

Dal is also easy to make in advance and tasty. A big bowl of that, with or without rice (a simple carb which won't do much to keep you full for long), should keep you going for a while.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:55 AM on July 19, 2010

Quinoa always sticks to my ribs. You can use it like you would use oatmeal at breakfast.
posted by katie at 4:11 AM on July 19, 2010

I find avocados really filling.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:44 AM on July 19, 2010

Kashi GoLean original cereal (the original, not the others). One bowl and you really don't want any more food, because it has 13 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber.

As a side note, I've always admired the Ramadan fast. Being a little hungry and a little panicked about your next meal serves its purpose exactly.
posted by Houstonian at 4:45 AM on July 19, 2010

Garbanzo beans.
posted by anniecat at 6:33 AM on July 19, 2010

Just to second oatmeal with peanut butter. I add strawberries, too, and call it my peanut butter and jelly oatmeal. So basically, protein (and fat), fruit (fiber makes you feel full), and whole grains is a great balanced meal and should keep you pretty full.
posted by Pax at 6:40 AM on July 19, 2010

Have a look at the "fullness factor" element of various foods that you already like at the Nutrition Data website.

Here's their list of common foods by fullness.

Good luck. Don't know how you do it, the food part I could handle, but no water! Yikes.
posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 7:34 AM on July 19, 2010

By the way, here's that Kashi Go Lean cereal's data sheet at the same website, looks promising!
posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 7:36 AM on July 19, 2010

Greek yogurt! Full of protein. Get a kind with a little fat in it, that'll help it stick.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:39 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Vinegar can act as an appetite suppressant, which might be helpful. I usually find that adding something like an oil and vinegar dressing to a sandwich drastically reduces my appetite for long periods of time after a meal. There are some studies that suggest taking a couple of tablespoons of apple vinegar as a way to reduce your appetite. Usually they recommend taking it before a meal, but it might be as effective an appetite suppressant after.
posted by _cave at 7:43 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Porridge. It's boring, and I only eat it occasionally before going to work, but when I do, I find that I don't notice any hunger pangs until well after 2pm, which is saying something because usually I am constantly hungry and get hunger pangs within an hour of arriving at work (skinny man syndrome).
posted by molecicco at 8:15 AM on July 19, 2010

These evening begins a 25 hour fast for the Jewish people called Tisha B'Av - ninth of the Hebrew month of Av - and you might find some helpful hints from Jewish forums. You can also search for "Yom Kippur fasting" and see what comes up.

I find eating lots of pasta and drinking lots of water is easy on the stomach and releases energy slowly. Some people swear by grapes and watermelon for liquid retention. Also, stay away from spicy foods which will make you thirsty.
posted by seatofmypants at 8:34 AM on July 19, 2010

Chia seeds. I added a tablespoon to my morning smoothie a while back and got busy and realized at 6:00 p.m. that I hadn't eaten lunch because I just wasn't hungry. I was very impressed because a smoothie, even with a protein supplement, usually leaves me hungry mid-day. The chia seeds apparently can be added to just a glass of water or juice. They are extremely nutritious, too.
posted by hecho de la basura at 10:06 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Extend Bars.
Amusing side-note: Three nutrition stores, when I went in and asked if they had these, all replied exactly the same way: they only come in pill form and they had them behind the counter. When you go in and receive the same response, be sure to laugh heartily and tell them you're after the low-glycemic energy/protein bar, not the penile enhancement stuff.
posted by tra at 1:07 PM on July 19, 2010

2nding porridge.
posted by Dr.Pill at 1:12 PM on July 19, 2010

I can't believe no one said walnuts yet. 3 of those and I'm ready to pop, unlikely to snack more or choose a heavy meal. Conveniently they are easily available and don't have to be eaten hot.
posted by whatzit at 1:52 PM on July 19, 2010

Sticky rice.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:58 PM on July 19, 2010

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