Saturing nutrition Choose your cutting foods wisely

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Is cutting often accompanied by hunger? Then you may need to rethink your food choices. Because by choosing healthy foods with relatively few calories but a high degree of saturation, you make dieting a lot easier. Or less heavy.

Key points:

1.   While cutting, you can reduce your feeling of hunger by eating a lot of foods with a high degree of satiety.

2.   How satiating a food is is mainly determined by its energy density (calories: volume), the amount of fiber and to a lesser extent by the amount of protein.

3.   In the cut, especially choose foods that are healthy, satiating and relatively low in calories, such as: potatoes, oatmeal porridge, chicken breast, fish, eggs, boiled rice, legumes and most fruits and vegetables.

4.   Although oatmeal still contains relatively many calories, it is very healthy and gives you a long-lasting feeling of fullness. Therefore, in our opinion, it’s also in the cut your best option for breakfast.


You will simply have to accept that cutting is not always easy, especially if you have been busy for a long time. The fact that your hard-earned muscle mass finally comes out from under that layer of fat will hopefully motivate you sufficiently.

However, you should not make it unnecessarily difficult for yourself. Our strategies for fat loss plateaus, for example, can help you immensely.

In addition, there are all kinds of tools, ‘hacks’ if you will, that can make dieting easier. For example, use smaller plates. Or red signs. Eat more slowly. Put a mirror in your kitchen. And also: take into account the satiety level of foods. The latter partly determines how hungry you are, regardless of the number of calories you work in (for which you use a calorie app). And that’s what this article is about.


Our body works on the basis of survival mechanisms and hunger is one of them: it helps to ensure that you take in enough energy. But like metabolic adaptation, another survival mechanism, it can work against you tremendously when you’re cutting.

Unfortunately, a feeling of hunger is inevitable with a long-term calorie-restricted diet. But by choosing foods with relatively few calories on the one hand and a high degree of saturation on the other, you can limit it somewhat.


The saturation level of food is primarily determined by its volume. If food contains a lot of water or air, it will also contain more volume without extra calories. The fewer calories a food contains per 100 grams, the more satiating it is, according to multiple studies ( 1 , 2 ). The amount of calories per unit volume is also called energy density. A visual presentation of this can be found on this website. You’ll be amazed at how many different ways 200 kcal can look like!

One 200 kcal is not the other. Source:

Foods with a high density of fiber also satiate a lot better and make you feel full for longer, research shows.

Finally, compared to carbohydrates and fats, protein is a relatively satiating macronutrient, but according to coach Menno Henselmans this should not be exaggerated. According to him, it should in any case not be a reason to eat more protein than is strictly necessary during the cut, namely 1.8 to 2.2 grams per kilogram per day. If you do eat a lot more proteins, this will come at the expense of your carbohydrate intake, which is already a lot lower than normal in the cut. And that while you need carbohydrates so badly in the cut, including as a primary source of energy for your training.

In any case, according to Henselmans, energy and fiber density are by far the most important factors determining the satiety level of food.


Which foods give you the most ‘filled’ feeling? To answer that question, we look at two ‘saturation meters’: the Saturation Index (Satiety Index) and Fullness Factor respectively.


The Satiety Index is based on a major study by Holt et al. at the University of Sydney, the results of which were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in September 1995.

During the study, subjects were given 38 different foods, which were divided into six categories. The portions were adjusted so that each food contained the same number of calories, ie 240 kcal. Thereafter, each food product was checked for satiety for two hours. The participants were allowed to decide for themselves during that period whether they wanted to eat some more. That could also be something else. The satiating effect of white bread was used as a reference frame (saturation index 100%).

The results of the research can be seen below. We have added the number of kcal per 100 grams for each food. Note how big the difference is between the most satiating product, namely boiled potatoes (382% against 82 kcal/100 g), and the worst scoring product, namely the croissant (47% against 478 kcal/100 g).

Bakery products
croissant 47% (478 kcal)
cake 65% (384 kcal)
donut 68% (400 kcal)
biscuit 120% (421 kcal)
cracker 127% (276 kcal)

Mars 70% (448 kcal)
peanuts 84% ​​(625 kcal)
yogurt 88% (49 kcal)
chips 91% (554 kcal)
ice cream 96% (257 kcal)
candy 118% (380 kcal)
popcorn 154% (376 kcal)

Breakfast cereal
muesli 100% (369 kcal)
Kellogg’s Sustain 112% (368 kcal)
Kellogg’s Special K 116% (385 kcal)
Kellogg’s Cornflakes 118% (378 kcal)
Kellogg’s Honeysmacks 132% (383 kcal)
Kellogg’s All-Bran 151% (335 kcal) )
oatmeal porridge 209% (375 kcal)

High-carbohydrate food
white bread 100% (255 kcal)
French fries 116% (264 kcal)
white pasta 119% (359 kcal)
cooked brown rice 132% (111 kcal)
boiled white rice 138% (96 kcal)
grain bread 154% (262 kcal)
whole wheat bread 157% (264 kcal)
brown pasta 188% (352 kcal)
boiled potatoes 323% (82 kcal)

Protein foods
lentils 133% (105 kcal)
cheese 146% (380 kcal)
eggs 150% (144 kcal)
baked beans 168% (105 kcal)
beef 176% (288 kcal)
fish 225% (120 kcal)

bananas 118% (86 kcal)
grapes 162% (72 kcal)
apples 197% (54 kcal)
oranges 202% (44 kcal)

The researchers noted that there is a strong relationship between satiety and the weight (volume) of the product: the greater the weight, the higher the score on the satiety index. They also found a relationship between the satiety index and the amount of fiber, protein and water in a food.

No relationship was observed between the degree of saturation and the taste of a product. The amount of fat was also not found to be a determining factor for the satiating effect.


A second scale on which we can read the degree of satiefy of food is the Fullness Factor (FF) of the American food analysis company Nutrition Data.

On the basis of several studies, they formulated a formula that can be used to predict the satiety level of food. This formula is based on the amount of calories, protein, fiber and fat per 100 grams of product. When applied to the foods on the Satiety Index, the results appear to match remarkably well. This allows us to determine the satiety factor of even more foods with some precision.

The most satiating foods according to the FF (descending), with the number of kcal per 100 grams of product in brackets:

bean sprouts (75 kcal)
watermelon (37 kcal)
grapefruit (45 kcal)
carrots (33 kcal)
oranges (44 kcal)
fish, roasted (120 kcal)
chicken breast, roasted (165 kcal)
apples (54 kcal)
sirloin steak, roasted (165 kcal) )
porridge (375 kcal)
popcorn (376 kcal)
baked potatoes (122 kcal)
low-fat yogurt (39 kcal)
bananas (86 kcal)
brown rice (111 kcal)
spaghetti (350 kcal)
white rice (96 kcal)
pizza (275 kcal)
peanuts (625 kcal)
ice cream (257 kcal)
white bread (255 kcal)
raisins (291 kcal)
Snickers (484 kcal)
honey (308 kcal)
table sugar (400 kcal)
dextrose (367 kcal)
potato chips (545 kcal)
butter (343 kcal)

Nutrition Data concludes: the more foods you choose with a high Fullness Factor, the fewer calories you consume while still limiting your hunger pangs.


If we translate the foregoing to the interests of a cutting bodybuilder, then the following foods are the ideal components of your diet. They are healthy, satiating and in most cases quite low in calories:

  • potatoes;
  • Oatmeal Porridge;
  • chicken breast;
  • fish;
  • eggs;
  • cooked rice (white or brown);
  • legumes (bean sprouts in particular);
  • fruits (especially watermelon, grapefruit, apples, and oranges)
  • vegetables (basically all vegetables; carrots in particular).

Of course you can also eat a lot of other things, but most bakery products and snacks are better left during the cut. After all, they contain a lot of calories, a lot of sugars and fats, and they score relatively low on the satiety index, usually lower than white bread.


Also avoid sugary breakfast foods such as Kellogg’s and Quaker Cruesli. In the bulk you can really enjoy such fun breakfasts. A much better choice for your breakfast is oatmeal porridge though .

Although relatively high in calories, in our opinion oatmeal also belongs in a cut diet. This is because of its healthy properties and the high degree of saturation. If you prepare your oatmeal in a pan and not in the microwave, you will see that the oat flakes become full of moisture. That is why oatmeal is so powerful and you are already chock full after a bowl. The complex carbohydrates ensure that the energy from oatmeal is released slowly and the dietary fibers contribute to the feeling of satiety. Research confirms that.


Well, now you know which foods you can take to make you feel ‘full’ – to a certain extent. Finally, some tips on how to use some of these and some other foods in your diet in a smart way to satisfy your hunger pangs.

  • Eat an apple half an hour before a meal . The fiber and juice make you feel full so you eat less. The apple scores no less than 197% on the satiety index.
  • Legumes are protein-rich superfoods that are full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin B and iron. A meta-analysis in Obesity shows that subjects feel 31% more full after eating legumes.
  • If you’re craving a snack to quell your hunger pangs without causing a spike in your blood sugar, broccoli is a great choice. Broccoli is full of fiber, contains vitamins A, C and E, and phytochemicals that fight inflammation and boost your immune system.
  • According to a study , half an avocado at lunch reduces hunger in the afternoon. Women who took this test felt 22% more full than if they ate the same lunch without avocado. In addition, they had 24% less need to eat something three hours later.
  • Pickles , sauerkraut , kimchi and other fermented foods contain short-chain fatty acids. Research from The New York Academy of Sciences reports that these fatty acids strengthen the connection between the stomach feeling and the brain and produce hormones that dampen the hunger signal.
  • According to research by Maastricht University in Appetite, a spicy meal reduces appetite. Add ¼ teaspoon of chili powder to increase the feeling of satiety.
  • Fancy sweets? Then take dark chocolate . Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure and is good for the heart and brain. Nutrition & Diabetes reports that the pure version is more nutritious than milk chocolate and that it calms the appetite for snacks. Subjects ate 17% fewer calories during their meal after consuming dark chocolate.
  • Instead of a snack, have a large glass of water and wait ten minutes. There is a good chance that the feeling of hunger will be gone without you having consumed calories.


While cutting, you can reduce your feeling of hunger by eating a lot of foods with a high degree of satiety.

How satiating a food is is mainly determined by its energy density (calories: volume), the amount of fiber and to a lesser extent by the amount of protein.

In the cut, especially choose foods that are healthy, satiating and relatively low in calories, such as: potatoes, oatmeal porridge, chicken breast, fish, eggs, boiled rice, legumes and most fruits and vegetables.

Although oatmeal still contains a relatively high number of calories, it is very healthy and gives you a long-lasting feeling of fullness. Therefore, in our opinion, the cut is also your best option for breakfast.

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