How to feel full while dieting - 10 Satiety Strategies

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How to feel full while dieting

In this blog post, you will learn why you feel hungrier when you diet and ten satiety-boosting strategies that will make you feel full and increase your chances of a successful body transformation. 

The most crucial factor that will determine the successfulness of your fat loss diet is your ability to adhere to a caloric deficit for an extended amount of time.

The problem is that your body only cares about survival and the ability to pass on your genes to the next generation, not what you look like on the beach.

Even if you have some body fat and don't risk starvation, the body sees dieting as an existential threat and tries to coax you out of your calorie deficit by making you feel less full and crave more calorie-rich foods than if you weren't dieting. 

Adaptations to a diet

One of the reasons you will feel hungrier is that your circulating ghrelin levels will increase when you enter a caloric deficit. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases hunger cues and cravings for sugary and fatty, calorie-dense food. 

Simultaneously leptin levels decrease. Leptin is a hormone that increases feelings of satiety and tells the body that you are well fed. 

This is a one-two punch to your ability to stick to your calorie deficit diet for long enough to see the desired changes in your physique you've dreamed of.

Some people are better than others at coping with these increased hunger signals. Others take it head on with a stoic smile on their face. Others dash straight into the pantry or a cookie jar. 

Applying these ten satiety-elevating strategies can make your next diet much more comfortable.


Ten Satiety-Boosting Strategies


1. Eat enough protein

Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and the building block for neurotransmitters and neuromodulators that play an essential role in giving you the mental and physical stress resilience required to stick to your diet plan.

Adequate protein intake is a potent signal for your body to maintain as much muscle mass as possible while you diet, which is critical if your goal is to look and feel your best. 

To keep things nice and straightforward, consuming 2 g of protein per KG of body weight is a great starting point for most individuals on a diet. 

2. Eat primarily whole foods

While you can include processed foods, you enjoy in your diet plan as long as they fit into your daily calorie budget and still hit your goals, eating mostly whole foods while you diet will make your life much easier. 

Unprocessed whole foods contain more dietary fibre, which is also very satiating, compared to processed foods. 

Eating processed foods that don't contain much fibre makes you likely feel hungrier, and it will be harder to stick to your calorie deficit. 

3. Eat more vegetables

Eating fibrous vegetables will further increase the feelings of fullness and help you to fill out your plate with a large volume of food that contains very few calories. 

4. Eat potatoes

White potatoes and their root vegetable cousins like sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, cassava and taro are the most satiating foods. Including them in your diet on a daily will curb the cravings like nothing else.

5. Reconfigure your tastebuds

When you are used to eating hyper-palatable foods, foods engineered to tickle our tastebuds with just the right proportions of sugar, fat, salt and acid, eating unprocessed whole foods can taste like cardboard. 

Luckily, you can reconfigure your tastebuds by reducing your processed food intake and becoming more skilled at making unprocessed food tasty. Learning simple but tasty recipes to nail your chicken breasts or turkey burgers can go a long way. If you'd like specific instructions, check out the 7-Day Body Transformation Kickstarter Guide, which includes ten delicious and easy everyday recipes. 

6. Stay hydrated

Ensuring you are adequately hydrated is an excellent idea because even mild dehydration can impair your cognitive and physical performance. Beyond that, paying extra attention to hydration while dieting is a great strategy because the water will add to the volume inside the stomach and make you feel less hungry. 

7. Prioritise sleep

Insufficient sleep undermines your ability to lose body fat and maintain muscle while you diet. In a high-quality experiment by Nedeltcheva and colleagues, reducing sleep from 8,5 hours per night to 5,5 hours per night reduced fat loss by 55% and increased muscle loss by 60%. (1)

Losing more muscle and less fat is terrible news if you want to look better naked. 

Furthermore, sleep loss reduces leptin signalling and increases ghrelin signalling. In other words, you will lose less fat and more muscle, and it will be harder to diet in the first place because of increased hunger cues and reduced satiety signalling. 

8. Practice mindfulness

Worrying about what has happened or may yet occur is a significant source of human suffering.

Many people's unconscious response to these thoughts is to alleviate them with food. #chocolateismedicine

Unfortunately, this often leads to even more guilt and dissatisfaction because these "self-medication calories" are unlikely to fit one's calorie budget and undermine one's fat loss results. 

Developing the skill of stillness through mindfulness meditation can help you stick to your diet because instead of becoming identified with unconscious thoughts, you learn how to break the spell of being distracted by ruminating thoughts that do not serve you.

9. Optimise your environment

Have you ever noticed that a particular smell will bring back a memory of a specific person, or hearing a song will bring back a time when you first heard that song? 

Our brains are association-making machines. Like it or not, your brain always creates connections between places, smells, objects, sights, people, thoughts, emotions and behaviours. 

In particular, at times of work from home, where the distance between people's work station and their pantry is no longer than a couple of steps, it is widespread for people to associate things like stress, emails and meetings with a rewarding trip to the pantry. 

An unconscious habit loop that ends with your hand in the cookie jar may be one of the underlying why you struggle with your body composition in the first place. 

If this sounds familiar, you should shine the light of your awareness on any cues you might have in your environment that you've associated with a trip to the pantry or the fridge. 

1. Modify the cue ( For example, if you recognise that seeing the cookies on the table is a cue to eat them, try removing them from the table and replacing them with apples or other fruits.)

2. Increase the resistance to undesired behaviour (Stop buying cookies and chocolate. Now you'll have to get out of your home and make your way to the shop, which gives you plenty of time to come to your senses and change your mind.)

10. Re-frame your relationship with hunger

At the end of the day, hunger is a byproduct of being in a calorie deficit.

Try not to label it as a bad thing. If you do, it will be a bad thing. 

You can choose your perspective and select that being hungry while you diet is a necessary part of being on a diet.

After all, if you weren't hungry, you would not be in a calorie deficit in the first place. So, instead of being something to shy away from and avoid, slight hunger between meals becomes a beacon to strive towards because it tells you that you are that much closer to your fat loss goals. 


Incorporating these ten satiety-boosting strategies while you diet can make your life much easier and increase your chances of sticking to your diet long enough to hit your fat loss goals. 

If you are ready to put this into practice and get started on your journey towards feeling and looking your best, check out the 7-Day Body Transformation Kickstarter Guide

The Free Guide includes:

- 7-Day Training Program with exercise demonstration videos

- 7-Day Meal Plan

- 7-Day Shopping List

- 10 Delicious, Easy and Nutritious Recipes

- Sleep Optimisation Strategies

In health,

Coach Pyry

PS. In case you have a friend or a family member who would benefit from this, but they prefer to listen to/watch their health and fitness information, here is the same information in video/podcast format!

(1) Nedeltcheva AV, Kilkus JM, Imperial J, Schoeller DA, Penev PD. Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Oct 5;153(7):435-41. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-7-201010050-00006. PMID: 20921542; PMCID: PMC2951287.

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