Satiation and Satiety: the Secret to Long-lasting Fullness - Lakeside Natural Medicine

Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

Satiation and Satiety: the Secret to Long-lasting Fullness

BySarah Axtell, ND April 26, 2024

Ditch dieting. Make it a lifestyle!

Feeling full is more than just eating. It’s about choosing the right foods. Let’s break down satiation and satiety and the best foods to promote long-lasting fullness.

Satiation is the main process that determines when we stop eating. Satiation occurs during a meal. It’s the point when you decide you’ve had enough.

Satiety is the feeling of fullness that persists after eating– how long before you start to feel hungry again.

Satiation is important in controlling the amount of calories consumed at a meal, while satiety affects the period of time between eating occasions and potentially the amount consumed at the next meal.

Calorie counting and calorie restriction can leave you feeling hungry and tends to be unsustainable. Instead, I propose putting your emphasis toward foods that promote satiation and satiety. Eating to satiety (or satisfaction) is an essential element to setting yourself up for optimal health. If you are satiated, you will not feel the need to snack. You’ll feel full but not bloated. You’ll feel liberated from constant food thoughts. You’ll feel stable energy in between meals. You’ll be able to keep insulin levels down thanks to long periods of time in between meals.

While ultra-processed foods have an intense taste profile (and thus are highly addictive), they are commonly lacking in fiber and protein. They require a high number of calories to feel satisfying. On the other hand, beans for example provide a lot of satiety because they’re full of fiber and protein. They are nutrient-dense (without being calorically-dense) and physiologically satisfying.

Crafting well-balanced meals plays a pivotal role in achieving satiation and maintaining satiety.

What foods promote satiation and satiety? Foods that are high in fat, fiber, and protein slow down digestion and help you stay full. Empty carbs (bagels, bread, pasta, instant oatmeal, pretzels, chips, granola bars, cookies), on the other hand, are devoid of fat, fiber, and protein and thus get metabolized quickly, resulting in constant hunger and an energy roller-coaster ride.

  • Fiber– Fiber provides bulk to your meals and slows stomach emptying, making you feel full longer. Examples include beans, vegetables, fruits, veggies, chia, flax, quinoa, buckwheat, forbidden rice, wild rice.
  • Fat– Combining fat with fiber has been shown to increase the satiating potential of fat. Example of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, olive oil, salmon, and olives.
  • Protein– Studies show that protein is the most filling macronutrient. It changes the levels of satiety hormones such as ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). Examples include fish, chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, eggs, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein powder added to smoothies.
  • Colorful foods– We eat with our eyes first! Eat the rainbow with a variety of fruits and veggies! Beautiful food is so satisfying. Think purple sweet potatoes, blueberries, beets, purple cabbage, spinach, heirloom tomatoes, papaya, forbidden rice (aka “black rice”), and carrots.
  • Foods that take longer to eat/chew– It takes time for your brain to get the signal that your stomach is full. Examples include apples (versus applesauce), salads with protein, and steelcut oatmeal with nuts (versus instant oatmeal).

Hara Hachi Bu: the eating method practiced by the longest-lived people. In Okinawa, they subscribe to this “hara hachi bu” mantra when eating which means “eat until you are 80% full.” It is about eating slowly, with full awareness and without distraction, in order to receive the satiety signals sent by the brain. It takes time for the brain to get the signal that you are full and satiated.

When you eat real food rich in fat, fiber, and protein, you can say goodbye to insatiable cravings.

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

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