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Indulgence 101: satiety for diet success


Photo:  Business Wire

In an earlier article, Indulgence 101: the way of the proper diet, satiety headed up the list of indulgences necessary to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Satiety (suh TIE uh tee) could take on a number of definitions. But satiety is mostly about feeling, and feeling is easier to describe than define. Satiety is about feeling full. It’s about feeling satisfied. It’s about how when you want the taste of a burger in your mouth and its gratifying weight in your belly, a carrot stick won’t cut it; but other items with a lower calorie count will.

In the world of keeping your body at a healthy weight, it’s also about getting the biggest bang for your calorie while getting all the bennies of satiety. “Mmmmm, yummy, good mouth feel, full belly, feelin’ good all over and still slim and trim.” That is your ideal picture of satiety.

So how do you get it?

Pay attention to the foods that have a high satiety impact. “Uh, sure. Glad I asked.” You already have a good internal measure for satiety. Let’s go back to the “jonesing for a burger” example. You can get a grilled chicken breast with a baked potato for fewer calories and a similar satiety effect. You and your body both know it.

If you would like official satiety measures, check out the satiety index, developed by Susanna Holt, PhD in a study in which equal calorie portions of different foods were compared. With white bread as a satiety baseline of 100, a donut ranks at 68 and oatmeal at 240. Potatoes go wild at 323. Foods with a higher water content tend to have a higher satiety index, and foods closer to Nature score better than the highly processed. Holt's study also demonstrated that high-fat foods create cravings for more of the same.

Satiety is also affected by how you eat. Most overweight people (which is currently most Americans) eat quickly, do not fully chew their food, certainly do not savor it. From the time your stomach has had enough, it takes the brain 20 minutes to get the message. Eating twice as fast means cramming in twice the calories before a sense of satiety sets in. It also prevents the full satisfaction of “mouth feel” to be processed, leaving you mysteriously dissatisfied even when you’re no longer hungry.Slow down. Chew. Savor.

Choosing foods with a higher satiety index takes some focus and planning; and changing habits to eat mindfully is a major challenge. But the end results are well worth it. Mmmmm, yummy, good mouth feel, full belly, feelin’ good all over and still slim and trim.

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Other articles you may find of interest:
Indulgence 101:  the way of the proper diet
Indulgence 101:  real taste, real diet success
Indulgence 101:  sleeping your way to optimal weight
Water: the miracle diet elixir
Special diet Rx:  food for health and beauty
Super-charge your diet and fitness program with the breath of life
Ironman is out:  a fitness plan for the less ambitious
An exercise in gratitude: giving thanks for this most imperfect miraculous body
When accumulated grief keeps you overweight


  • Jan 5 years ago

    Liz, I have got to finish all your articles.I'm following all this as closely as possible.Never thought of the slow down and enjoy.Its usually eat,get it over ,do the clean up and go.Thanks for pulling my,ahem,fat out of the fire!

  • Bo Thornton 5 years ago

    This is a very well-written article, and it's also very informative. It covers some things I've never heard before.