Most days I get asked questions such as, ‘Can I have oats for breakfast?”… “Are rice cakes a good choice?”… “Can I eat x?”…. “What about y?”…
The answer is often the same question: How long does it keep you full for?
Satiety | sa-ti-ety | noun: a feeling or condition of being full after eating food.
Here’s why you need to use satiety as your biggest indicator:
- When your meal provides five or more hours of energy, the composition is ideal. When you build your plate from predominately non-starchy vegetables, quality protein and good fats you are optimising nutrient density and opening up a fantastic fat burning opportunity meal-to-meal as your blood sugar is stable and your insulin remains low.
- Satiety allows for digestive ease and energy to be used elsewhere, rather than to constant digestion which is a significantly large energy requiring process. Many people with poor digestion experience significant improvements by decreasing their meal frequency.
- You learn how to eat intuitively rather than by the clock, force feeding yourself because you have been told you must eat frequently. You may be surprised to hear this, but you do not need to eat every two hours to speed up your metabolism – a good metabolism is a function of hormonal control and satiety, created by managing your carbohydrate intake (and controlling your stress). Yes, it is actually possible to not to need to snack, when you are in control your physiology, rather than it being in control of you.
So if you want oats for breakfast (and feel they work for you), add nuts, seeds and berries to increase the nutrient density and blood sugar control. They’re still not the perfect choice as you’re missing vegetables and a full serve of protein, but you could also be doing far worse. Rice cakes on occasions are fine, but add tuna, avocado and tomato rather than simply vegemite or jam.
If any of your current choices do not allow for five or more hours of satiety, please adjust slightly by adding non-starchy vegetables and good fats first. The best choices always come off a tree, out of the ground or from an animal.
For meal ideas, including to find out how easy it is to include vegetables for breakfast, please visit our recipes page.