Foods to Keep you Satisfied for Hours!
There is nothing more frustrating than eating, only to feel starving an hour later! It drives me crazy, and oftentimes, I struggle to feel satisfied…
Not too long ago, I learned that there’s more to healthy eating than just eating the right ingredients. It’s also important to consider our satisfaction with the food choices we make! Otherwise, if we aren’t satisfied, how can we expect to keep up healthy eating for the rest of our lives?
For me, satisfaction means two things:
- Every once in a while, I get to treat my sweet tooth. And…
- I don’t feel hungry all the time.
There are a few healthy eating strategies that I use for encouraging satiety (AKA fullness). They help me keep up on my smart food choices, AND they leave me feeling full, so I’m not mindlessly snacking to satisfy my hunger. Let’s get into it!
Stay Satisfied with Fiber
Fiber is essential for long-lasting satisfaction after meals. There are two main types of fiber – soluble and insoluble fiber. They both have important roles in the maintenance of our health, and in keeping us full and satisfied after meals! Let me explain the difference between these two types of fiber.
This is the type of fiber found in oats, bran, seeds, legumes, and some fruits and veggies. It dissolves in our digestive system as it combines with other solids and liquids, and forms a gel-like substance that binds with other nutrients. This form of fiber offers a few different benefits:
- Soluble fiber binds with cholesterol and prevents it from being absorbed into the bloodstream (thereby preventing accumulation of unhealthy cholesterol in the body). Instead, it is excreted with the rest of your food waste!
- Soluble also can bind with other foods in your stomach, particularly carbohydrates. This can slow down the rate of stomach emptying and absorption of nutrients, which is helpful for controlling blood sugar!
- This slowed digestion also contributes to an extended feeling of fullness, which keeps us feeling satisfied after meals, for longer periods of time! 
You’ll find insoluble fiber in the skins of fruit, vegetables, beans, grains, and legumes (so leave the skins on as often as possible!). Insoluble fiber behaves a bit more differently than soluble fiber. Rather than dissolve into a gel, insoluble fiber maintains its structure. This affects our digestion in a few ways:
- Insoluble fiber can absorb lots of water, which creates a physical fullness. Meaning that water takes up a lot of space, and can give us that feeling of fullness.
- The added moisture and bulk to the food we digest can help aid digestion, and keeps us… Well, you know, regular. No complaints there! 
If you ever significantly increase the amount of fiber in your diet, you’ll want to make sure you increase your water intake. This will help you absorb and use the fiber to your benefit, otherwise you might experience a little extra gassiness and bloating.
Mix your Macros
It’s always important to mix things up, especially when it comes to the macronutrient composition of your meals! When I say macronutrients, I mean the major nutrients that contain calories – carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Here’s how this can help your feelings of satiety and satisfaction…
Your body has to put in a lot of effort to digest and metabolize the food you eat. And different macros are digested and metabolized in different ways:
- Fat is digested slowly, which can definitely help keep you fuller, longer. However, on its own, high fat meals can leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued, and unsurprisingly doesn’t leave you feeling satisfied for very long. Studies have shown that fat alone actually has the least satiating effect, in comparison to carbs and protein.  So, it’s best to mix fats with other macros so you’re not feeling full in the next hour.
- All carbs are not created equal. Some carbs, complex carbs, contain a good amount of fiber, which can help keep you full (see above). However, simple carbohydrates have less ability to keep you satiated. These simple carbs usually cover sugars and sweeteners, like table sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, agave, honey, and corn syrup. Imagine staying full on just sugar. You can imagine why it’s not the most effective…
- Protein on its own may be the most satiating of the bunch, as dietary protein increases the production of fullness inducing hormones, and decreases the production of our hunger hormones.  However, you’ll extend your fullness and satisfaction even more by adding a little extra carb and fat here and there…
So mix your macronutrients! Don’t just eat a carb for breakfast, eat a carb plus a fat, or a carb plus a protein. Skip that high fat dinner, and opt for a more moderate mix of fat plus protein, or fat plus carbs! I think you can catch on at this point…
Adding at least two macronutrients to any meal is an easy, and healthy way to extend your satiety. Even after hours, you’ll still feel satisfied!
Collagen for Satiety
Have you ever heard that collagen may be helpful in promoting weight loss? There are a few reasons that collagen has taken on this reputation, but the simplest reason is related to its effect on satiety.
Ultimately, collagen is a protein. As I mentioned previously, protein may be more satiating because of its influence on satiety inducing hormones, and its suppression of hunger hormones. [3-4] So, after consuming a high protein food item, such as collagen, we may experience an increase in fullness after the meal. Improved satiety and satisfaction after meals can contribute to decreased caloric intake, which can lead to weight loss in some circumstances.
So, there you have it! Three actionable steps you can take today to help keep you satisfied and full, longer! Say goodbye to those hangry moods and mindless snacking, and fuel your body efficiently.
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- Gardner, Amanda. “Dietary Fiber: Insoluble and Soluble Fiber.” WebMD, WebMD, 23 July 2015, https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/insoluble-soluble-fiber.
- Samra RA. Fats and Satiety. In: Montmayeur JP, le Coutre J, editors. Fat Detection: Taste, Texture, and Post Ingestive Effects. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2010. Chapter 15. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53550/
- Moon, Jaecheol, and Gwanpyo Koh. “Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss.” Journal of obesity & metabolic syndrome vol. 29,3 (2020): 166-173. doi:10.7570/jomes20028
- Hochstenbach-Waelen, Ananda et al. “Single-protein casein and gelatin diets affect energy expenditure similarly but substrate balance and appetite differently in adults.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 139,12 (2009): 2285-92. doi:10.3945/jn.109.110403