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© Martine Lemmens;

It is a known fact that you will lose weight if you consume less calories than what you expend. But how do you keep from consuming extra calories throughout the day. Diet and exercise go hand in hand for a successful weight loss. Most people do okay on a diet plan for the first few weeks; however, as time goes on, people tend to let their guard down and things like grazing and emotional eating creeps in to your day.

One way to manage this constant struggle against continuous intake of food is not getting hungry as often. That feeling of staying full is called satiety. Have you ever wondered why you could eat three donuts before you start to feel full, but you feel full and satisfied with just one egg? The reason is the comparative satiety levels of these foods.

Sensory Specific Diet Plan

According to David L. Katz, MD, MPH, who is the director of the Yale Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Conn – an abundance of different flavors at one meal over stimulates the brain’s appetite centers. This results in overeating before feeling full. His flavor point diet is based on studies of sensory-specific satiety. Research has shown that different types of flavors have their own appetite centers in the brain. According to Katz, the point at which satiety is reached is called the “flavor point”. In his diet plan, there is push to restrict the type of flavors so you will reach the flavor point without overeating. His meal plan includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

In phase one of the diet, each day’s meal plan has a flavor theme, such as pineapple, mint, pumpkin, or spinach. For example, on spinach day, the day’s menu features a spinach-feta omelet, and toast or cereal for breakfast; two snacks of seven-grain crackers or baby carrots with spinach-yogurt dip; spinach and turkey chef’s salad for lunch; and pasta fagioli with spinach marinara sauce, tossed spinach salad, and mixed berries for dinner. In phase two, each meal or snack has its own flavor theme, and by phase three you’ll know how to restrict flavors without a plan.

There are hardly any processed foods in this meal plan. Most of the foods are prepared at home, although the foods are easy enough to make. The recipes have strong French and Mediterranean influence and are family friendly.

Volumetrics Diet Plan

Energy dense foods are those foods that provide a lot of calories in a small amount. Examples include truffles or deep fried calamari. Energy density is a measure of calories per gram. The volumetrics plan is based on eating balanced meals in which most of the calories come from foods with high volume and low energy density. For example, you are full after eating 1 serving of grapes, which is 1 ¾ cups; however, you could eat more than ¼ cup of raisins. Each of these serving provides 110 kcal. But you are fuller with the fresh grapes as compared to the raisins.

Water plays a big role in volumetric diet plan. Studies have shown that drinking water with meals does not affect satiety, but consuming foods high in water such as fruits, vegetables or broth based soups influences satiety much faster.

There are four levels of energy density according to the volumetrics plan:

  • Very low. Most fruits and vegetables, skim milk, and broth-based soups. No limitation on the servings each day
  • Low. Many cooked grains; cereals with low-fat milk; low-fat meats, beans, and legumes; low-fat mixed dishes; and salads. Eat relatively large portions.
  • Medium. Includes meats; cheeses; high-fat mixed dishes; salad dressings; some snack foods. Eat in moderation.
  • High. Includes crackers; chips; chocolate candies; cookies; nuts; butter; and full-fat condiments. Control portions carefully.

One strategy for filling up faster is to have broth-based soup or a big, low-calorie density salad as a first course.

Emotional and Social Eating Triggers

Understanding satiety can help a person with emotional eating. A person can eat a larger volume of processed food, when compared to its fresh counterpart. If you surround yourself with wholesome foods, there is a better chance of controlling how much you eat when you are emotionally distressed. However, if you must seek professional help if you are inclined to eat for emotional reasons on a regular basis. Satiety can help with mindless eating, such as eating while watching television or social gatherings. Consider your hunger level when you feel the need to get something to eat. Sometimes, thirst can manifest itself as hunger. May be you just need a drink of water to satisfy.

A combination of both of the strategies can help you tackle the weight issues. Be on guard against processed foods and its easy availability. Choose foods with low energy density to fill up on. Arm yourself and have a plan in place when eating out or at a social gathering. Just small changes to the regular diet can influence weight loss.

Category : Diet Reviews

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