Top Meats to Keep You Full and Satisfied

Ever wondered why you feel more satisfied after eating a steak than a salad?

There are plenty of reasons many people experience greater satiety and effortlessly lose weight with a meat-based carnivore diet.  

Understanding why certain foods keep us full longer is key to effective weight management.

In this article, we delve into why meat, particularly lean protein sources, is effective at curbing appetite and promoting satiety.

Listed below are some of the most popular lean protein sources and their satiety score:

  1. chicken breast (skinless) – 66%
  2. liver – 65%
  3. sirloin steak (fat trimmed) – 60%
  4. ground beef (95% lean) – 48%          
  5. lamb roast (fat not eaten)- 49%
  6. pork chops –  43%
  7. drumstick – 43%
  8. fillet mignon – 39%
  9. pork steak – 34%
  10. ribeye steak (fat eaten) – 33%
  11. ground beef (70% lean) – 30%
  12. T-bone (fat eaten) – 30%

As you can see, there is quite a range of satiety scores for meat-based foods.  Protein percentage is the dominant satiety factor for lower-carb foods, so lean protein sources with less fat tend to score higher.  Lean protein sources like chicken breast and sirloin steak are particularly effective in promoting satiety and weight loss.

When considering the best meats for satiety per calorie and weight loss, leaner cuts of meat like chicken breast and sirloin steak are particularly effective.  These lean meat options for weight loss help control appetite and reduce overall calorie intake.  However, if you’re lean and active, with no weight to lose, the fattier cuts with a lower satiety score are great options, too. 

What is Satiety?

Satiety is simply the absence of hunger.  A higher satiety food or meal makes you feel full in the short term and gives you the nutrients you need to crush your long-term cravings with less energy.  

The satiety score does not make a food ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ It’s just a tool that you can use to help you make more informed choices to help you eat more or less without exerting unsustainable willpower and fighting hunger.  

The Bliss Point and Nutrient Leverage Explained

The bliss point is the concentration of any nutrient that aligns with maximum energy intake. 

Our analysis of 619,301 days of macronutrient and micronutrient data shows that we eat more when our food aligns with these nutrient bliss points

Since the 1970s, processed food companies have been engineering their products to hit our bliss points, or the concentration that we eat and buy more.  Companies are happy to oblige since this is where they maximise profit.

Beyond the big three — salt, sugar and fat — our analysis reveals that we have a bliss point for all the essential nutrients to varying degrees.  Considering other nutrients empowers us to more accurately predict how much of a particular food we will eat based on its nutritional properties. 

We don’t binge on nutrient-poor foods like pure oil, sugar or flour.  Instead, the foods we can’t stop eating contain the perfect blend of nutrients and energy to seduce us but never fully satisfy our cravings. 

Meanwhile, nutrient-dense foods like liver and spinach have a much stronger taste.  This signals to our bodies that we don’t need much of them to get the essential nutrients from these foods (McCrickerd & Forde. 2016).

The good news is we can use this understanding to reverse engineer our food choices for greater satiety.  By packing more of all the essential nutrients per calorie, we can efficiently crush our cravings because we nourish our bodies. 

Let’s look at the bliss point charts for meat to understand what’s behind our unique satiety algorithm calculations.  As you’ll see, it’s not just protein leverage—it’s really about nutrient leverage.

Protein: Why Meat is So Satiating

While other nutrients play a more significant role on a low-fat diet, protein is the dominant satiety factor for people on a lower-carb diet. 

The protein bliss point chart below shows that we eat the most when our food contains about 12.5% protein.  This is the bare minimum we need to survive and maximise fat gain. 

To the left, the data indicates that we don’t binge on very low-protein foods like pure oil or sugar because they don’t give us the protein we need.  Our appetite gives up eating because there is not enough nutrition.  Meanwhile, we see an almost linear protein leverage response as we increase our protein %.

Moving from 15 to 50% protein aligns with a 45% reduction in energy for those on a lower-carb diet.  So there’s no need to jump from zero to hero overnight.  You only need to increase your protein % (by dialling back fat) just enough to lose weight at a sustainable rate (e.g. 0.5 to 1.0% per week)

Choosing between lean vs. fatty meats can impact your satiety and weight loss goals.  While fatty meats are tastier and easier to overeat, lean meats provide higher protein content per calorie, aiding in appetite control and making them some of the best options for weight loss.

How Low-Carb Diets Enhance Satiety

Meat has negligible carbohydrates, which keeps us out of the fat-and-carb danger zone that drives most people to overeat.

satiety response to carbohydrates in meat

When all the nutrients are considered, carbohydrates are not a statistically significant satiety factor.  However, avoiding foods that contain a similar blend of energy from fat and carbs, like pizza, is a good strategy for weight loss. 

Fat: Finding the Balance

With carbs low, meat provides most of its energy from fat.  Leaner cuts of meat will provide greater satiety PER CALORIE. 

But it’s important to note that if you dial the fat back too much, you’ll still be hungry due to the severe energy deficit, so you need to find the right balance that aligns with your context and goals.

Iron-Rich Meats: Boosting Satiety

Red meat is also a great source of iron. If you’ve ever cut yourself and tasted your blood, you’ll know it has a metallic taste, which is due to the iron. 

Leaner meats have a stronger taste, which signals to your body that they contain a high concentration of nutrients, like iron, that you need, so you don’t need to eat a lot of it.  Meanwhile, fattier cuts contain a lower concentration of iron, which makes them more appealing and easier to eat more of. 

Potassium in Meat: An Underappreciated Satiety Factor

While we don’t have a conscious craving for potassium the way we crave sodium, it’s still a significant satiety factor and a marker of minimally processed foods with intact cells. 

Pure potassium powder tastes bitter, so like protein, it acts as a brake on our appetite. While we often think of plant-based foods as high in potassium, meat contains a solid amount. 

As you can see, leaner meats contain a surprisingly high potassium concentration.

Tips for Incorporating More High-Satiety Meat

  • Breakfast: Start your day with a high-protein omelette using chicken breast or lean ground beef.
  • Lunch: Opt for a sirloin steak salad with plenty of greens and a light vinaigrette.
  • Dinner: Enjoy a lamb roast with steamed vegetables for a satisfying and nutrient-dense meal.
  • Snacks: Keep slices of turkey breast or beef jerky handy for a quick, high-protein snack.

Is Meat the Most Satiating Food?

Meat is an excellent source of many nutrients that play a statistically significant role in the satiety equation. 

However, meat is low in calcium (higher in dairy and seafood) and vitamin C (higher in plant-based foods like fruit and vegetables), so it doesn’t score as high as some non-starchy veggies. 

While meat ticks many big boxes, adding a selection of plant-based foods could give you an even better micronutrient profile and increase satiety and vitality. 

Meat: Satiety vs Nutrient Density

To explore the landscape of meat and other high-satiety nutritious foods, check out our interactive food search tool to learn more.  For greater satiety, choose foods towards the right. 

To nourish your body, choose foods towards the top of the chart.  You can also download printable high-satiety food lists in our Optimising Nutrition Community here

Meat-Based Recipes for Weight Loss

If you’re looking for high-satiety meat-based inspiration, you can download a free sample of our Meat-Based NutriBooster recipe book.  It’s full of recipes optimised for satiety and nutrient density for those who love meat. 

meat based NutriBooster recipes

Optimise Your Diet for Higher Satiety

While our satiety formula is calibrated using 619,301 days of data from people eating a range of diets all over the world, unfortunately, there is no perfect one-size-fits-all satiety algorithm.

The nutrients you need to prioritise to crush your cravings are unique to you.  To identify your priority nutrients and the foods and meals that will complete your unique nutritional fingerprint, check out our free Nutrient Clarity Challenge

Summary

Meat, particularly lean protein sources, plays a significant role in promoting satiety and aiding in weight management.  

By understanding the science behind meat’s satiating effects and incorporating high-satiety meats into your diet, you can effectively manage your hunger and achieve your nutritional goals.  

Try out the tips in this article and explore our interactive tools for more personalised recommendations.

What has been your experience with incorporating more meat into your diet?  Share your thoughts and tips for others looking to optimise their nutrient intake with meat-based meals!

Ready to Take Control of Your Hunger?

Join our community of Optimisers transforming their lives with high-satiety foods.  Start your journey to effortless weight loss today!

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