January 22, 2023

Satiety vs satiation

Satiety and satiation are two of the most abused terms around. Satiation is what you feel at the end of a meal and stops you from eating more. Satiety is how full you feel between meals. This can keep you going for longer between meals or leave you raiding the fridge shortly after a meal. Two foods of equal nutritive value could provide entirely different satiation and satiety values due in part to texture, packaging and your expectation of what nourishment it provides. And there’s more to it than trust yourself to stop when you are feeling full.

How you perceive a food and even how stressed you are can play a role in how full you feel after every meal. Every person responds differently with patterns of bingeing, undereating or fasting. Even the texture of a food plays a major role in satiety. Harder and viscous foods that require more chewing are superior for both satiety and satiation than liquid and mushy foods which require less chewing.

So to trust yourself to eat till you are full is to trust every choice you have made from picking the right foods, pairing it well and eating for hunger rather than emotional reasons. There’s an entire song and dance to produce that feeling of fullness. Involving ghrelin, leptin, peptides, the amount of time the food spends in your stomach and the components it is broken down into by gut bacteria and digestion.

Even if you decide that weighing your food is too obsessive, any effort to eat better has to start with picking the right foods and ensuring that you get through a minimum amount to get the protein, fat and fiber you need sans measurements.

Advice to eat till you are full makes sense for a farmer or a nomadic tribesman. But going ad-libitum for a person stressed and hardwired to make convenient choices without regard for their health or well being can be a risky strategy. Especially when we are working from home, so close to the pantry filled with so many evolutionary and revolutionary temptations. We live in a hyper-stimulated environment for food with imagery, packaging and processing geared to make you override your rational and logical side.

About Adarsh

- I run a strength and conditioning facility in Chennai, India
- I work with my clients to make training and eating for better body composition a part of everyday life
- I coach online and in-person
- I design and manufacture strength training equipment for use in our strength training facility