How to eat and choose your meals using the satiety index (customized by me)

1% better every day at 11:11am - newsletter #070

If you want to lose weight, all you have to do is eat what your body needs. But saying this is as useless as telling an alcoholic not to have more than one drink. As long as we think we succeed because of our motivation, we will continue to fail.

When a person wants to lose weight, it (normally) means that he/she considers himself/herself to be overweight. This means that he/she has a habit of consuming more calories than needed. He/She therefore needs to learn how to "control" his/her hunger or rather how to reconnect with his/her body (in terms of nutrition).

Except that hunger is a tough opponent.

You need to eat for your energy needs which vary from around 1800 calories per day for a woman to 2000 calories for a man. Be attentive because it is now that it becomes interesting! Imagine that you have a "calorie credit" to use every day. Take me for example: last month I spent an average of 3200 calories per day (I'm unusual with my training load, but it's for exercise).

Knowing that in order to lose weight, it is recommended to aim for a calorie deficit of 20/25%, i.e. around 2700. During the 16 hours I am awake (yes, I sleep 8 hours per night!), I have 2700 credits at my disposal. I'm free to use them as I see fit, but if I want to lose weight, I'd better be a little smart!

First: practice fasting. Why should you do it? Simply to divide my 2700 credits into 2 meals (1350 per meal) and not 3 meals (900 per meal).

Second: use the satiety index to choose your meals in restaurants or what you cook.Here's how I use it on a daily basis, after having iterated and simplified it.

What is the satiety index? Resulting from work published in 1995 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the satiety index estimates the capacity of a food (or product) to stall during a meal (satiation), and to alleviate hunger over time (satiety).

Given per 100 g, it varies between 0 and 500. The closer the score of the food is to 0, the less satisfied you are with it. If it is close to 500, this indicates that it has a strong satiety effect. This complex calculation takes into account the energy value of the food or product and its nutritional composition (protein, fat, carbohydrate and fibre content).

Except that this is where I don't totally agree, and through my experience, I have modified the method to be more effective. I opted for the following calculation: weight in grams / total number of calories

If the number is greater than 1 then your meal will satisfy your appetite without using your credits and, vice versa, if the number is less than 1 then your meal will use a large part of your credits without worrying about your appetite.

Exemple 1 : Black rice (75g), Portobello mushrooms (100gr), Sweet potatoes (25gr), Broccoli (200gr), Peas (300gr), Tofu (280gr)
= 980 grammes / 1000 calories > satiety index = 1,02

Exemple 2 : Smoked tofu, peas, edamame, broccoli, red peppers, onions, bamboo shoots, couscous, black rice, garlic, ginger, chilli pepper
= 700 grammes / 800 calories > satiety index = 1,14

Now imagine the opposite. A very "tasty" meal but with a low satiety index like this breakfast I used to have!

Exemple 3 : Oat Simple Golden Syrup (200gr) + Simply Granola Honey & Almonds (100gr) + Blueberry (50gr) + Unsweetened Almond Milk (300gr)
=650 grammes / 1356 calories > satiety index = 2,08

It's still very simple mathematics and I guess you can see where I'm going with this. Even though I loved my bowl of granola at the beginning of April, I start my day using 50% of my credits! So it's far from a smart strategy to achieve a caloric deficit at the end of the day.

I'm not going to go any further into this subject. I am at your disposal if you need more information. I'll just finish with this: 4 months ago, I had no knowledge of nutrition at all, I wasn't counting my calories and I had no idea what a " satiety index " was. All this to say that, what I am trying to share with you, is easier to understand than it sounds!

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