If you’re trying to change your physique and not seeing the results you want you may be neglecting an important factor in your diet.
No, I’m not referring to counting your calories, or weighing out all of your food, and planning all of your meals five months in advance.
I’m talking about satiety.
What is satiety? For the sake of simplicity and context let me explain it like this: Satiety means to eat until you are satisfied 1) physically and 2) mentally.
Physical satiety is to eat until you are “full,” leaving you neither stuffed nor hungry. It’s a sweet spot where you feel good and well-nourished without feeling like your pants are about explode. People will neglect physical satiety by overeating or under eating. From time to time it is normal normal to go either way…but if repeated extensively you will eventually lose the ability to know when you are hungry and satisfied from your meals – which is less than ideal if trying to maintain or achieve change with your physique.
Mental satiety is to eat foods that satisfy your emotional and social needs (as much as we would like to detach from food being an emotional and social thing – that’s not going to happen.) You know and I know that showing up to family barbecue with a bag of carrot sticks to eat isn’t going to cut it when everyone else is throwing down bacon cheeseburgers. And that’s perfectly okay, you can give yourself permission to enjoy life and indulge in foods if they are worth it to you. When you give yourself permission to enjoy your food you prevent putting yourself into a mindset of “deprivation eating” which usually results in cycles of binge eating and severe restriction, and wreaks havoc on your body and your psyche.
When you eat to be satisfied and well-nourished, you allow your body to function optimally – meaning you can kill it in the gym and still have the energy to go about your daily life with vigor and enthusiasm. You can also change the composition of your body without dropping or gaining extreme amounts of weight (“recomping.”) You can also perform at a high level – getting stronger, fitter, and faster.
It’s hard to go wrong with something when it allows you to thrive physically and emotionally. So how do you implement this type of eating into your routine? No strict diet required…It’s quite moderate:
- Eat till your hunger goes away but you don’t feel overfull
- Eat at regular times
- Eat foods that meet your requirements for protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, and other micro-nutrients
- Eat foods that taste good to you
- Indulge in “play” foods occasionally
- Drink adequate amounts of water
Listening to satiety and hunger is the easiest and most moderate approach you can use for long-term maintenance of healthy bodyweight – but it’s often overlooked because it’s not “extreme” or “sexy” or “the latest thing.” However, it works and it’s the easiest thing to implement for an entire life time. Don’t be afraid of being moderate in your approach to eating and training – moderation offers sustainability.
Nobody wants to spend their life exercising 15 hours a week to the point of exhaustion while starving themselves on unseasoned fish and broccoli – only to eat an entire strawberry cheesecake in one sitting on Saturday and repeat the same cycle week after week. Your nutrition needs to work for you, not the other way around.
Rarely is extremism sustainable.
“Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.” – Democritus