One of the main factors keeping people from reaching or maintaining their ideal body weight is overeating. Overeating comes with poor portion control, or eating too much at one time, but it also comes with eating too often.
The problem with most diets is they leave you feeling deprived and hungry, which only increases your likelihood to want to eat again, in the near future.
The good news is there are certain foods that can help combat overeating- foods that can increase your satiety.
Satiety is the feeling of fullness you get after eating- it’s what suppresses the desire to eat again right away. If you stick to eating foods that will prolong this feeling of satiety, you will feel more full for longer, eat less overall and losing weight will be much easier.
What determines satiety?
As soon as a food or drink is consumed signals are sent to the area of the brain involved in the regulation of energy intake.
It can take 15-20 minutes after food is eaten before the full range of satiety signal reach the brain.
Satiety is most strongly related to the weight of the food consumed. Basically, the foods that weigh the most satisfy our hunger best, regardless of the number of calories they contain.
Because of this relationship between weight and satiety, many researchers have recommended the consumption of food with low caloric (or energy) densities.
Energy density is the amount of energy (or calories) per gram of food. Lower energy density foods provide less energy per gram of food so you can eat more of them without consuming too many calories.
The energy density of food does have a strong influence on feeling of satiety. However, energy density alone is not a reliable predictor of satiety.
After studying the results of numerous satiety studies, a nutritional data study used an advanced multivariate analysis of the existing data to create a new mathematical formula that predicts satiety from the nutrient content of a given food or recipe. The yielded value is known as the “Fullness Factor” (FF).
Foods that contain large amounts of fat, sugar, and/or starch have low Fullness Factors, and are much easier to overeat. Foods that contain large amounts of water, dietary fiber, and/or protein have the highest Fullness Factors.
How to improve satiety
Various studies, including those of the Fullness Factor test, have found foods that are high in protein tend to make people feel more full than foods high in fat or carbohydrates.
If you’re watching your weight it’s also best to go for leaner cuts of meat and avoid any visible fat. You might also want to skip the skin on poultry. Opting out of these things will help reduce the energy density of your diet, which will in turn increase satiety.
Food high in fiber may also enhance feelings of fullness.
And as some of you may have noticed, increased appetite is a common short-term side effect of drinking alcohol. We tend to lose our inhibitions when we drink, which makes those few slices of pizza seem not so bad anymore – though we might regret it later on. Not to mention, alcoholic beverages tend to be really high in calories so it’s best to cut down alcohol consumption when trying to lose weight.
What are the best foods to improve satiety?
· Wholegrain bread and cereals
· Fruits and vegetables
· Popcorn (minus the butter)
Note from Luke:
Notice how most of these foods are also mentioned when we talk about controlling blood sugar, building muscle, losing fat, increasing nutrient density and improving digestion? It's not a coincidence that foods that improve your health improve your body composition.
"Fullness Factor™." Nutrition Data Know What You Eat. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2017.
"Understanding Satiety: Feeling Full after a Meal." British Nutrition Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2017.