Satiety and fat loss

Satiety and fat loss

Did it happen to you that you felt hungry very soon after having cereal breakfast? Or a croissant? Or a yoghurt snack? A banana with all that 15 grammes of sugar in it?

When ‘on a diet’ it is very disappointing to have some food and in 30 minutes feel like you haven’t eaten anything. Were all that calories for nothing? Here is a research, which shows how satiating different foods are. They have developed a ‘satiety index’ for different foods, where 100 is set for white bread. This index was calculated by having 200 volunteers come in the morning and eat 240-calorie portions of specific food. Then they were asked how full they were and checked how much food they ate after two hours.

Bakery Products 85%
Croissant 47%
Cake 65%
Doughnuts 68%
Cookies 120%
Crackers 127%
Snacks and Confectionery 100%
Mars candy bar 70%
Peanuts 84%
Yoghurt 88%
Crisps 91%
Ice cream 96%
Jellybeans 118%
Popcorn 154%
Breakfast Cereals 134%
Muesli 100%
Sustain 112%
Special K 116%
Cornflakes 118%
Honeysmacks 132%
All Bran 151%
Porridge/Oatmeal 209%
Carbohydrate Rich Foods 166%
White bread 100%
French fries 116%
White pasta 119%
Brown Rice 132%
White rice 138%
Grain bread 154%
Wholemeal bread 157%
Brown pasta 188%
Potatoes 323%
Protein Rich Foods 166%
Lentils 133%
Cheese 146%
Eggs 150%
Baked beans 168%
Beef 176%
Fish 225%
Fruits 170%
Bananas 118%
Grapes 162%
Apples 197%
Oranges 202%

These findings help us to understand an importance of being reasonably flexible with diet. Of course ideally we always want to eat the healthiest and most nutritious foods. But… Say, potato. There is nothing bad in a bit of boiled potato, but just a bit. There are so many better food choices out there. In addition, potato normally should be avoided when aiming to lose fat. However, it has the highest satiety index of foods included in the research. Moreover, eating 200 calories of potato may prevent you from eating 400 calories of other foods.

So, from satiety point of view chicken breast with something green will be a better snack than traditional yoghurt or 30 grams of peanuts. Eggs will be a better choice than muesli. Muesli would be better than a croissant. Adding a tiny amount of feta in a salad, can make the whole thing more satiating, although, cheese is far from good for fat loss.

Your satiety may be a bit different to what research showed. The idea here is to find what works better for you and be careful with foods that do not contribute to satiety in short and long term. For me, it is nuts, for example. I am very careful with nuts 🙂

When losing fat, a bit of hunger is unavoidable, though. Feeling slightly hungry regularly is a good thing. However too much hunger, letting sugar levels drop too low will not be beneficial for you. It is hunger that pushes us towards wrong food choices, low self-control and hating weight loss process. Not talking about hormones ghrelin and leptin. Reducing hunger will help to maximize results in the long term.


Holt, S.H., et al. (Department of Biochemistry, University of Sydney, Australia.) “A satiety index of common foods.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 49, September 1995, pages 675-690.

Fat loss expert, elite group fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Sheffield.