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When Satiation Fails: Calorie Density, Oral Processing Time, and Rice Cakes vs. Prime Rib (Why Are We Hungry, Part V)
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September 3, 2011
11:14 pm
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Stipetic:

Yes, I eat Greek yogurt reasonably regularly.  I don't have a problem eating it quickly...but I don't want very much of it, either.

I don't take the macronutrient cycling as a primary driver of anything, because the effect is small.  Mainly I'm trying to demonstrate that satiety is relative to our current nutritional state.  That being said, candy and soda will never be satiating, because they contain no nutrients.

Interestingly, now that you mention it, I definitely eat more monotonously now that I'm eating very nutrient-dense food (see: the Paleo Scramble and its variants).  It's back when I was still eating the SAD that I'd get cravings for random foods and go through "phases" of eating lots of one thing, probably because I was cycling between foods that were deficient in one thing or another.  Now I'm happy to eat basically the same things week-to-week.  I hadn't thought about this before, but it definitely supports the theory that satiety is primarily nutrient-driven.

Good to see you here!  I hope you'll stay and keep contributing.

Kit Perkins:

Absolutely.  This is especially important if you're trying to lose weight, because you're eating less food but your body still needs nutrients...so the nutrient density must increase.

As I've said before, the problem isn't that food is rewarding: it's rewarding taste without the nutrition that has accompanied it through evolutionary time.  Our taste buds are not trying to make us fat: they're trying to make us eat right.  Over the millions of years of human and pre-human evolution, anyone whose tastes did not correspond with healthy eating would be outcompeted by those whose tastes drove them to eat the most healthy food possible.

fredt:

Exactly!  That's a great way of thinking about "should I eat this food"...what's the nutrition to calories ratio?  The worst foods (like gluten grains) actually decrease the nutrition of what you eat with them by disrupting digestion and containing antinutrients.

Fmgd:

Definitely...you ought to be able to store food and retrieve it later.  That's what IFing is about: eating big meals and then letting yourself run on the stored energy.  The problem is, as I explained in Part IV, obesity generally comes with mitochondrial dysfunction -- an inability to access the energy we've stored.

As far as cooking, you're about right: the earliest solid evidence for control of fire is about 250,000 years ago (earlier dates are sometimes claimed, but the evidence is ambiguous and not widely accepted AFAIK), and its effect on our evolution is a whole article in itself!

"...even if a certain food has more calories per gram than another one, even
after accounting for water intake or chewing time, such food might
still not take as much longer as one might predict to get you to
satiation, through other mechanisms."

Recall that satiation is driven by satiety.  If you've already eaten a bunch of steak that day, steak will most likely satiate you more quickly at dinner because your body doesn't need more...whereas if you've been stuck eating noodles and bento for two weeks, as I was in Japan, meat was not satiating until I couldn't physically cram any more into my stomach.

I appreciate your thoughts.

Txomin:

I'm honored.

If you want to tip me, the best way is to buy a copy of The Gnoll Credo from the links on the right sidebar...and to buy direct from the publisher if you're in the USA.  (Already have one?  Gift one to a friend!)  You can also make your Amazon purchases through the link in the right sidebar, which gives me a referral spiff without increasing your cost at all.

JS

September 4, 2011
12:48 am
Franco
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@Fmgd,

yep, I'm the same with barbecues and such things. First eat the fatty cuts, then the lean.
Also, fatty sauces are much more appealing at the start.

September 5, 2011
5:06 pm
Michael Byrnes
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What is your take on Seth Roberts' flavorless calories stuff?

September 7, 2011
3:10 pm
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Michael:

I started writing a response...but it got longer and longer, and I realized it really needs to be part of the upcoming articles in which I address liking and wanting.  So you'll have to wait for it.

However, its effect is indeed explainable in terms of the four hunger motivations, as we should expect.  It is important to note that I am NOT attempting to advance a new theory of hunger or weight loss with this series!  I'm explaining the current state of scientific knowledge as best I can, with an aim towards using that knowledge to answer some important questions.

JS

September 13, 2011
7:38 am
Kris
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"I'm not sure the two habits are causally related: people who eat Cheetos are probably more likely to drink soda than water, but I doubt that eating Cheetos causes you to choose soda over water."

Soft drinks are buffers. I always used to want a Coke with my pizza or other snacky processed foods. Without the buffer, the acid builds up causing heartburn. Eating bad (corn chips and ice cream are my usual cheats), is usually followed by a soft drink later to settle everything down. Otherwise, I don't want them at all.

September 14, 2011
3:38 am
Franco
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hey JS,

looks like Jamie Scott found something very interesting about what we did discuss above (SAFA vs. PUFA and satiation):
http://thatpaleoguy.blogspot.com/2011/09/fatty-acid-signal-transduction-why-your.html#comments

September 14, 2011
1:53 pm
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Kris:

I wanted a Coke just to keep me awake...otherwise pizza made me fall asleep.  I think there are a lot of different motivations involved.

Definitely the dehydrated foods require more liquids...and if you're in a situation where you're buying Cheetos, you're also likely to buy a Coke, considering that at most convenience stores soda costs less than water.  Note the synergistic effect: dehydrated, salty foods make you thirsty, and sodas contain so much sugar that they don't quench thirst very well...

Franco:

Thanks for reminding me!  Jamie put up a bunch of posts recently, and as I was out of town, I managed to skim right over that one.

That's a very interesting lead, and it definitely confirms my anecdotal experience: SAFA is more satiating than PUFA.  Maybe I'll describe the experiment I did someday.

JS

 

September 21, 2011
5:50 am
JL
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This series is brilliant, the last two articles I’ve found particularly interesting. Of course, with “prime rib” in the title I was sold before even reading the article. I was always a person that enjoyed, prided myself upon even, eating anything and everything. Food was entertainment, reward, variety and probably a host of other things I’d rather not admit to myself. Now on functional paleo I also eat very monotonously yet there is absolutely no sensation of something lacking. My wife asks me if I ever get tired of eating the same things over and over. But the ribeyes and lamb chops seem to taste just as delicious every time I eat them even though that’s pretty much daily. Reading these articles I think I now understand why that is.

Franco – Living in Russia I occasionally enjoy the indulgence of salo, which is something of an acquired taste. It’s actually on offer in the ski lodges in the Caucuses where I spend much of the winter and is great on a cold day on the mountain. I tend to forgo the vodka, however, as it doesn’t mix too well with skiing.

September 21, 2011
4:22 pm
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JL:

I find the same thing...prime rib never becomes tiresome!

You imply a good point:  I think the drive for novelty in food is a result of nutritional incompleteness.  Our bodies are signaling "Hey, we're short on some important nutrients here, better find something different than you've been eating."  Of course none of the processed "foods" on offer satisfy those nutritional needs, so we bounce around from novelty to novelty, gaining weight yet never being satiated.

JS

September 23, 2011
8:26 am
Jozseph Schultz
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Great stuff all around. Of course, what can you expect from someone with the initials "JS"

October 3, 2011
2:42 am
majkinetor
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Re Eating on the run, I must say your conclusion is wrong - people eat fixed portions on the run so its not important how fast they eat they will marely feel satiated with latency. The fattening effect is due to junk food which is what is typicaly used 'on the run', loaded with trans fats and carbs.

The same argument goes for the fast eaters in the restoraunt - that means that size is fixed and food is not chewed well and not absorbed good enough. This will reduce sugar spike reducing hyperinsulinemia. See "Swallowing food without chewing; a simple way to reduce postprandial glycaemia" paper.

So, the problem is apperent when you have non fixed food supply and you eat fast. In my country there is a proverb to "stop eating when its a most delicious". I always thought that is some religious boolshit, but now I see its to account for satiety latency. In my experience, this latency could be as long as 1 hour.

BTW, I really think people need to change their view of fiber as "indigestible carbohydrate". Since microbiota is now considered separate organ, its anything but not indigestible.

About your "Speculative Hypothesis About Water Intake", its not only about salt, its about buffering property of the water to HCL so there will be less acid and food will take longer to digest (given that protein is dominant). This may or may not be good thing - lots of water, particularly cold one may stall the digestion for longer time making food to stay in stomach and rot and giving oportunity to stomach bacteria to metabolise it.

October 7, 2011
11:59 pm
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majkinetor:

Speed of eating and distracted eating are certainly not the only factors -- I'm saying that they're contributing factors.  The fact that fast food is generally made of junk is probably the largest contributor...but eating more of it than you might otherwise doesn't help.

I've seen the "Swallowing food without chewing" paper, and it's quite true...but, as this series establishes, there are several competing motivations.  Lower GI = more sating, but eating faster = less satiating.  If the solution were simple ("don't eat fat", "eat bulky food", "eat bland food") we'd have already found it and there would be no obesity crisis.

As far as fiber, there's soluble and insoluble fiber.  Soluble fiber indeed converts to nutrients: insoluble fiber doesn't to any significant extent, by definition.

You raise a good point about water reducing stomach pH and thereby increasing digestion time.  Yet another factor to take into account!

Thanks for contributing: if everyone agreed with me on everything, I'd never learn anything.

JS

July 27, 2012
5:53 pm
Eva
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Why worry about satiation at one meal when research shows you make up for it in other meals. So I was distracted at dinner and ate more? At breakfast I'll likely be less hungry. The body has a set point and maintains it. You can't fool it long term with tricks like more or less water, watching tv or whatever. So why worry about it? Eat the way that makes you happy and relaxes you. Could be that cortisol might effect set point so don't get all stressed out LOL!

July 31, 2012
7:32 pm
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Eva:

Actually, the research seems to say that while lean people typically compensate for overeating by later undereating, obese people usually don't.

And there's no such thing as a "set point", or we'd find gaining weight just as hard as losing it!  The body is an incredibly complex web of interacting homeostases.  What people call a "set point" is just the fact that we can't usually just change one tiny element for a short period of time and cause the entire system to reconfigure.

JS

April 21, 2018
6:16 am
Daniel Antinora
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J,

This series, especially this piece in the series, inspired my new YouTube video.

Just wanted to thank you for the work you've done which has been a big inspiration for me generally.

Regards,
Daniel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FnxTPjT1Uc

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