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.
|Snacks and Confectionery||100%|
|Mars candy bar||70%|
|Carbohydrate Rich Foods||166%|
|Protein Rich Foods||166%|
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.
Fat loss expert, elite group fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Sheffield.