Have you ever noticed that some foods curb your cravings so you’re full until your next meal, whereas you’re back in the kitchen an hour or so after eating others? Have you ever wondered why that is?
If you’re working towards kicking the snacking habit and kicking your cravings before they arise, then this post is for you.
The feeling of fullness, or being satiated after a meal is important. It helps us to stop thinking about food and move on with the other things we want to do in our day. But how do we know which foods to choose?
There is actually a list of food that has been analyzed and ranked according to their perceived satiety. Amazing right!?
It’s called the satiety index (created in 1995). It arose from a study that rated 38 foods in a 240-calorie portion size based on the “fullness” factor. The scale is similar to the glycemic index. The response to white bread was set to be 100. Foods that were ranked as more filling have numbers higher than 100 and those that are less filling have numbers lower than 100. According to the study, the following traits of more filling foods were found.
Traits of Filling Foods
More filling foods tend to have:
- More protein. Protein tends to be more filling than either carbohydrates or fats.
- More fibre. Because fibre is not digested, it provides bulk in your GI tract that helps you feel full longer.
- More volume for the same number of calories. Again, providing more bulk to help you feel fuller.
- Less fat. What? Really? I thought fat was satiating?
- Less processing. Highly processed foods tend to lack nutrients and digest quickly and leave you feeling hungry for more quickly.
Eating more foods that have a higher satiety index and are more filling, curbs cravings and makes you want to stop eating. Therefore, eating more of these foods can help you to eat less overall which is a good strategy if you’re trying to lose weight.
The Most Filling Foods
- Boiled potatoes (323) – To make this food even more satiating, use boiled and cooled potatoes to increase the amount of resistant starch.
- Fish (225)
- Oatmeal (209)
- Oranges (202)
- Apples (197) – I personally don’t find apples filling on their own and feel hungry again shortly after eating them. I add nuts or nut butter to make it a snack that leaves me feeling satisfied.
- Steak (176)
Try this weeknight recipe book that includes many of these foods. All recipes take 15-20 minutes to prepare!
The Least Filling Foods
- Yogurt (88);
- Peanuts (84);
- Mars bar (70:
- Doughnuts (68);
- Cake (65);
- Croissant (47).
In general, it is beneficial to increase filling foods in your diet and decrease the less filling options if you want to reduce weight. If you follow this you will likely gain more nutrients as well because more filling foods tend to be whole and nutrient dense and the others are primarily processed foods.
However, each of us is unique, so it’s even better to listen to your own body and note how you feel after eating certain foods. Keeping a food and mood journal can help and be very enlightening. For instance, I know for myself that I don’t feel full with high consumption of carbohydrates and need to combine in proteins and fats for my fullness to last.
We each thrive on a different balance of macronutrients, so you may notice that different foods curb your cravings. Which foods make you feel the fullest?