Is protein more satiating than carbohydrates or fat?

“A review of 38 studies concluded protein is more satiating than carbs and fats in the 10-20% of energy intake range but not above that, indicating the average satiety sweet spot is a protein intake of 20% of energy intake, corresponding to about 1.2 g/kg/d for non-strength training individuals. The effect was far stronger for self-reported satiety than actual eating behavior: ad libitum energy intake didn’t reliably decrease even at lower protein intakes. The optimum protein intake for satiety was closely in line with the optimal protein intake for body recomposition and health (1.2 – 1.6 g/kg/d).”

Menno Henselmans

Haha, that fascinating article pretty much sums my protein percentage up!

I have no medical conditions.

Please see a dietitian if you require advice on eating to assist management of illness.

I’ve been logging everything in My Fitness Pal over 4 years, (lost 35 kg and have maintained 3 years) and never really pay any attention to trying to achieve any particular macronutrient percentage.

My macros have consistently been an average of 20% protein, 30% fat, 50% carbs the whole time. This seems to coincide with the general recommendation from most national health departments.

I love how I was about to say through most of Henselman’s article, but what about fibre? Yep, at the end, he says how fruit and veg are good at filling you up.

You can use them to bulk up your plate and stomach with volume for very few calories.

And I find now that a 300 kilojoule piece of fruit is satiating and lets me stop eating whereas an 800 kilojoule biscuit/cookie makes me want another.

Sometimes, of course, I’m happy to use my calorie limit on a couple of biscuits. That’s a form of satiation too.

Other days, too, I’ll have a 400 kilojoule choc protein bar if I can feel I need it.

I learned a good word last week:

Interoception

“Research has begun to explore how our [lack of] awareness and perception of our body signals (known as interoception) contribute to disordered eating. Interoception includes perceiving various internal sensations from the body. It means noticing things like how quickly your heart is beating, how heavily you are breathing, how hot or cold you are, and whether you are feeling hungry or full.”

Melissa Barker and Rebecca Brewer

It’s risky just following the “intuitive eating” idea if you’re trying to watch your weight – but I’ve found it helps if you have some understanding of yourself and the caloric content of food you can choose to eat.

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