Best Foods to Maximise Satiety (and How Much of Each)

How can you simultaneously:

  • feel fuller for longer,
  • consume less energy (i.e., fewer calories) while
  • eating foods you enjoy? 

What foods should you eat, and how much do you need to eat of each of them? 

In this article, we’ll use some of the most popular foods of our Optimisers to show you which foods you could eat and how much of each to maximise satiety. 

What Is Satiety?

Simply put, satiety is the absence of hunger.  Hence, high-satiety foods enable us to feel full and lack the desire to eat again for longer. 

Although a box of doughnuts or family pizza may be the quickest way to experience satiety, we consume a lot of energy in the process!  Doughnuts also don’t provide many nutrients, leaving us hungry shortly after.

So, instead of just satiety, we must consider satiety per calorie.  Foods that provide higher satiety per calorie enable us to minimise hunger with less energy. 

Our Satiety Algorithm

Our analysis of 316,836 days of data from people living and eating in the real world showed several quantifiable parameters statistically correlated with eating less. 

When we look at all the data, we see that protein %, energy density, calcium, potassium, iron, fibre, and vitamin C all play a role to different degrees. 

In line with protein leverage—the understanding that we consume more calories until we hit our protein requirements—protein % has the most dominant influence on how much energy we consume.  However, it’s not the only factor.  Foods with a lower energy density and getting enough calcium, potassium, iron, fibre, sodium and vitamin C also play a role.   

We divided the data into low-protein, lower-carb, and lower-fat subsets for greater accuracy.  While there are common macronutrient and micronutrient factors specifically influencing each diet category, they’re weighted differently.

In this analysis, we’ll use popular foods from our Optimisers.  Typically, they tend to eat a lower-carb diet, so we’ll use the lower-carb satiety algorithm, which considers the following:

  1. Protein %,
  2. Energy density,
  3. Calcium,
  4. Potassium,
  5. Iron,
  6. Fibre,
  7. Sodium, and
  8. Selenium. 

Foods with more of these nutrients per calorie align with eating less. 

Our satiety algorithm has enabled us to reverse engineer a diet that aligns with eating the fewest calories.  The figure below compares our Satiety Index Score with protein %, showing we achieve much greater accuracy when we consider the other factors. 

Maximum Satiety Day

Over the past five years, we’ve collected a lot of data to learn how Optimisers eat, so we know how much people eat of a range of popular foods.

We recently created a Your Perfect Day algorithm that we’ll incorporate into the Macros Masterclass to help people fine-tune their diet to maximise satiety. 

The table below shows how we could combine some popular foods to achieve a perfect 100% satiety index score with portions sized for someone targeting 2000 calories per day. 

Note how chicken, beef, and salmon provide most of the energy and protein.  However, we need dairy to satisfy our calcium goal and some non-starchy vegetables to get potassium and magnesium.  Finally, the seafood also boosts selenium, a satiety factor on a low-carb diet. 

The bulky, plant-based foods double the weight but only contribute 13% of the energy, much of which is indigestible fibre.


The table below shows the macronutrient breakdown of this food selection. 

With 59% protein and plenty of fibre, these foods would be tough to overeat!  Thus, this food selection would be ideal for someone looking to lose weight rapidly on a protein-sparing modified fast-style (PSMF) diet.  While it wouldn’t guarantee you’d be free of a little hunger, you’d definitely achieve better satiation with fewer calories. 

In practice, most people would struggle to eat all this food.  And, as a general rule, we don’t recommend people lose weight faster than 1.0% per week.  Because this specific food combination is so extreme, most people could dilute it by adding more energy from fat and (or) carbs.   


The micronutrient fingerprint chart below shows the nutrients provided by our Optimisers’ 450 most popular foods.  Here, we see they provide us with a Satiety Score of 54% and 32% protein.  We also exceeded our Optimal Nutrient Intakes (ONIs) for nutrients listed towards the bottom of the chart, like selenium, copper, phosphorus, B12, and vitamin A. 

In converse, we struggled to get optimal amounts of nutrients like vitamin D, folate, omega-3, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamine, and other nutrients whose blue bars have not hit the red line listed at the top of the chart. 

The following micronutrient fingerprint chart shows the nutrients the 18 highest-satiety foods provide.  Not only do we get more of the highest-satiety nutrients mentioned above, but we also get more of the harder-to-find nutrients accompanying these whole foods. 

Nutrient density and satiety are related.  Whether we prioritise one or the other, we end up in similar places.  In the following article, we’ll look at the shortlist of foods that maximise nutrient density and, thus, satiety.   

Do You Need to Maximise Satiety? 

No!  You don’t need to maximise your Satiety Score.  But if you want to dodge hunger and eat fewer calories, moving toward an increased Satiety Score is helpful. 

The chart below shows the distribution of Satiety Scores from the 316,836 days of data used to design this score.  As we can see, the average was 42%.   

If you’re an American with a 34% Satiety Score, incorporating a few higher-satiety foods and meals will be helpful to increase it to 45%.  From there, you can see if you start losing weight at a rate between 0.5 and 1.0% per week.  You can dial up your Satiety Score slightly more if you’re not. 

Create Your Perfect Day

In our Macros Masterclass, we guide Optimisers to balance their protein, carb, fat, and protein intakes to increase satiety and expedite weight loss. 

However, this doesn’t require someone to eat a ton of new foods like most ‘diet plans’ recommend.  Instead, the best way to lose weight, enjoy your food, and adhere to your eating style long-term is to eat more of the higher-satiety foods and meals you currently eat and less of those that don’t! 

In our Macros Masterclass, Optimisers use the first week to track their normal diet.  From there, we show them how to create their ‘perfect day’ using their favourite foods to increase their satiety score. 

They can then use this as a template to guide their daily meal choices, understanding which foods to emphasise and which to moderate. 

Action Steps

You don’t need to make drastic changes.  Adding more high-satiety foods and meals to your current repertoire and moving towards Your Perfect Day is the simplest way to increase your Satiety Score and feel satisfied while eating less. 

To get started, you can download printable versions of our high-satiety food lists in our Optimising Nutrition community here

We also have a range of higher-satiety NutriBooster recipe books designed to your goals and preferences.  You can download samples here.

If you’re interested in learning how to combine your current foods and meals to increase or even maximise your satiety, we’d love you to join our next Macros Masterclass!  Here, you can try out our Your Perfect Day software and take a leap towards Nutritional Optimisation.