Author: Troy Theodosiou
I realize that not everyone is down for counting calories and or tracking macros. I fully believe it’s a skill that we all need to develop, but developing skills takes time.
Thankfully, there is more than one way to skin a cat and you can drop fat without counting a single calorie.
The satiety index is a list of foods, ranked from least to most satiating (that is, how satisfied you’re likely to feel after consuming them), based on research performed by Suzanna Holt et al. at the University of Sydney in 1995.
Since then, Nutrition Data has taken that research and created a similar metric known as the Fullness Factor which can be determined for almost any food in existence (unlike the study which was limited to 38 different foods).
From a high level, whether a food actually satisfies you is a function of the following:
- food volume (size)
- fiber content
- protein content
It should come as no surprise that things like fish, chicken and beef sirloin are very filling while things like honey, potato chips, and Snickers Bars are the least filling.
There is a lot of evidence that protein can increase fat burning and reduce hunger, helping you lose weight naturally. In fact, studies show that protein boosts metabolism more than any other macronutrient.
This is because the body spends more calories digesting and making use of protein than it does fat and carbs. Protein also increases satiety, leading to significantly reduced hunger.
Protein can also help you gain more muscle, especially if you also lift weights. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning that it burns a small number of calories, even at rest.
I would recommend that you create a meal plan for when you’re going to eat and how much you’re going to have at each meal. For instance, you might plan on having three meals per day that are each about 700 calories, plus a small snack. That would be about 2,200 to 2,300 calories.
This will give you a framework that you can use to hit your calorie and macronutrient targets without tracking. If, however, you find that you can reach your goals without a meal plan, go for it. Meal plans are just training wheels and you don’t need to follow them indefinitely.
Sleep and stress levels often get ignored when discussing health and weight. Both are incredibly important for the optimal function of your body and hormones. Poor sleep and excess stress can mess up important metabolic hormones like ghrelin, leptin, and cortisol. Getting these hormones under control should reduce appetite and unnatural cravings.