5 Secrets to Satiety and Weight Loss

Learn the secrets to achieving a feeling of comfortable fullness that lasts long after your meal has ended.

This information is taken in part from Halt Your Hunger by Brierley Horton, MS, RD, in CookingLight.com, September 11, 2017.

Mindful Eating: How You Think About Your Food Really Matters

Your thoughts play a role in the feeling of fullness you experience after eating.

Your thoughts play a role in the feeling of fullness you experience after eating.

Our thoughts play a role in the feeling of fullness we experience after eating.  In a 2012 study, people were given a cherry-flavored gelatin cube. They were told it would either turn to liquid in their stomach or stay solid. When they believed that it would turn into a liquid, they were more likely to eat more at a later meal. When they believed it would stay solid, they ate less at a later meal.

Relaxation is essential to our feel full and digestion. For the gut’s nervous system to work properly you need to be relaxed. If you are stressed, you will not digest food properly and your stress hormones slow metabolism. Furthermore, when you eat quickly you are likely to overeat, since it takes your brain a full 20 minutes after you start eating to “know you’re full.”

So, what drives us to eat is complex with many factors playing a part. But the master influencers are how you eat as well as what you eat.  With the right knowledge, you can lower your appetite, eat less food and still have that glow from feeling full.


What you Eat – Essential Nutrients

The single most important step to lose weight and avoid overeating is to include real, whole, unprocessed foods in your diet. That means eating vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, olive oil, organic, range, or grass-fed animal products (poultry, lamb, beef, pork, eggs), and small wild caught fish such as salmon.


Essential nutrients such as fat, protein, and fiber help you feel full. But it’s not just about feeling full, it’s also about staying comfortably full—that’s satiety. David Katz, MD, MPH past president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine explains, “Fullness is transient and satiety, on the other hand, lasts.

How You Eat


Enjoying a meal affects nutrition

Enjoying a meal affects nutrition

Research tells us that a lot of factors influence satiety—the characteristics of your food (as in what it looks like, how it smells, its texture), your senses, and your environment – the time of day and even the room temperature make a difference.

Leptin, the “feel full” hormone that is released by fat cells, and ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger, are the biggest contributors to satiety. Research suggests this hormone might slowly raise baseline levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Specifically, over time, high leptin levels may make you less likely to eat just for the sake of eating, which can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Other Hormones

There are many other acronym-named hormones and receptors in your body—such as CCK, PYY, GLP-1, PPARs—that also affect satiety. These hormones and receptors respond to your stomach and intestines stretching when you eat, they dictate the pace at which your body digests food, and they determine whether to burn what you ate or store it as fat.


5 Steps to Achieve Satiety & Be Slimmer

  1. Proteins

High-protein foods help you feel full and stay that way longer. Eating lean proteins, like grass-fed beef, wild fish and organic chicken, can prevent overeating and help you lose weight. One study found that increasing protein intake along with moderate exercise helped people burn more calories and lose more weight than those who did not increase their proteins. (R)

  1.  Start with a Soup or Salad

Ease your hunger by starting with a soup or salad before your entree.  Start with a broth-based soup or a raw vegetable salad. This will add to nutrition without adding the calories of a crème-based soup. Here is a simple recipe. 

Ease your hunger by starting with a soup or salad

Ease your hunger by starting with a soup or salad

  1. Include low-density foods

Low-density foods provide high nutrition with fewer calories. For instance, eating 100 calories of French fries doesn’t provide the same amount of nutrition as eating 100 calories of blackberries, even though the number of calories are the same.

Incorporating low-density foods into meals and snacks means you’ll be eating nutrient-rich foods with fewer calories but still feel full. The health benefits of eating low-density foods like kale, blueberries and salmon are enormous.

  1. High Fiber Foods

Eating high-fiber foods decreases hunger and increases meal satisfaction.  (Click here for a list for a list of high fiber foods and recipes). In addition, high-fiber foods take longer to digest allowing you to feel full longer. These high-fiber foods get into the colon undigested where they work with probiotics to impart many health benefits including:

  • lower risk for cardiovascular disease
  • healthier cholesterol levels
  • better gut health
  • improved digestion
  • lower stress response
  • better hormonal balance
  • higher immune function
  • lower risk for obesity and weight gain
  • lower inflammation and autoimmune reactions
  1. Fruits and Vegetables

Not only do fruits and vegetables contain nutrients and fiber, they contain H2O.  This water increases satiety without adding the calories of pastries and similar desserts. Plums, melons, oranges, peaches and leafy greens are excellent choices.


The Restorative Lunch

Turn your 30-minute lunch into a restorative oasis. Even if you eat lunch at your desk take a moment to transition from working into a few minutes of relaxation. Imagine yourself stepping into a time warp where by slowing down you can stretch the minutes. Before you begin to eat, take a moment to relax. Inhale slowly. As you release the breath, allow your shoulders to release any tension. From this relaxed state, pause and allow a feeling of gratitude to emerge.

Begin lunch by smelling the aroma of the food, creating a moment of anticipation. Feel the texture of the food in your mouth. Taste the combination of flavors sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savory), pungent and oleogustus (“fattiness”).

When you have finished your lunch pause and relax. Focus on your breathing feel the coolness of the air as it passes your nostrils on the inhale and the warmth of the air as you exhale. As you exhale, let the tension fall away from your shoulders. Hold the tip of your tongue just above your teeth and on the next exhale allow your jaw to relax. Take another breath and relax your forehead and eyes. Just three breaths can cleanse your tension away.

From this relaxed state set your intention for the afternoon. When you are ready, exit your oasis and return to your work or other activities.

If you feel silly or uncomfortable, be gentle with yourself. The transition from “doing” into “being” is simple but not easy. Relaxation is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Don’t wait till you are on vacation. Creating moments throughout your day, will pay enormous health benefits. Best of all, it will allow you to “Feel Fabulous Now!”

The Single Most Important Step to Lose Weight

Mindful Eating What We Think

Creating a Restorative Lunch Break

5 Steps to Lose Weight

Rejuvenating Lifestyle

Diana-Liz Gallego, Rejuvenating Lifestyle & Rejuvenating Dance

Rejuvenating Lifestyle™ website and blog are dedicated to easy, no cost/ low cost and comfortable lifestyle changes that promote health and longevity. Diana-Liz Gallego, founder, is a Functional Medicine Health Coach and a lifelong dancer with a Master of Art Degree in Dance. In addition to blogging on a healthy lifestyle, she leads Rejuvenating Dance™ sessions and teaches meditation in Dallas, Texas.

2 Responses to “5 Secrets to Satiety and Weight Loss

  • HOw do you know if a food is a low density food?

    • I am so sorry that I just found your question. Energy density is the number of calories (energy) in a given amount (volume) of food. By choosing foods that are low in calories, but high in volume, you can eat more and feel fuller on fewer calories. Fruits and vegetables are good choices because they tend to be low in energy density and high in volume. Foods that contain water such as cucumber, lettuce, berries, celery as less dense because they have more water. Watch out for foods that are high in calories such as yellow bananas and orange juice. When in doubt I go to http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2493/2/ I hope this helps. Thank you for your question.