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Olwen Anderson's Blog

The breakfast that satisfies

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Noticed how some meals are really satisfying, and some leave you wondering when the ‘real’ course will arrive? Several decades ago I got taken in by the advertisement for a famous name slimming breakfast cereal that is still available today. Entranced by the television images of this slim, apparently successful and contented looking woman on the screen I rushed to the supermarket, and the very next day enjoyed this breakfast cereal that was going to make me slim, successful and happy too. 

What a disaster. Within just two hours my stomach was rumbling, my energy had evaporated and I was primed to leap ravenously upon any food not nailed down. These days I understand why some food is really satisfying and other foods leave you wondering where the rest of the meal is. Knowing how your stomach functions can show you how to easily shape what you eat so that you remain satisfied until the next real meal.

The first key is mechanical. I know you chew your food, but your stomach also rips apart those food particles so digestive enzymes can break it down even faster. It does this through using muscles to literally throw bits of food from one side of your stomach to another. You can’t usually feel this going on, fortunately.  But when there’s enough volume of food to begin this your stomach is more likely to feel ‘full’.

The second key is through messengers. Your brain is alerted through your nervous system when your stomach is deflated (empty) or inflated (full). Hormonal messengers also signal your brain about the contents of your stomach.
The third key is about chemistry. Special cells lining your stomach secrete strong acid and digestive enzymes to ‘melt’ food chemically. High quality protein (like in meat & eggs) is made of tough molecules that take time to break up. Fat globules and fibre also extend the time food will remain in your stomach because they simply get in the way of the chemical workings.

To create a really hunger-busting, satisfying meal include the ingredients that will slow stomach digestion: high quality animal protein, some fibre, some good fats, and enough volume.  For example, a breakfast of eggs and vegetables fried in olive oil. It includes the animal protein, good fat and fibre with enough volume to keep your stomach busy digesting and releasing the energy from that food slowly. A bowl of cereal alone just can’t achieve this for you. 

If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy 'Breakfast of Champions'

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Olwen Anderson @olwenanderson


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