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What My FitnessPal data tells us about satiety and overeating (from Optimising Nutrition)


Marty Kendall is an engineer and nutrition nerd. He uses his exceptional analytical skills and logic to discover really useful information about nutrition science, and what actually works for health and fat loss.

Once recent series I find exceptionally fascinating and useful is analysis into satiety and overeating from My Fitness Pal data.

Discovering the effect food had on satiety back in 1996, allowed me for the first time in my life to stop fearing eating. When I discovered the magic of satiety, appetite regulation, and blood sugar control and how food managed this – I had freedom from fear of putting on weight. I also gained freedom from hunger and freedom from reactive hypoglycemia and its unpleasant effects.

Due to my own experience I’ve taken a great interest in satiety and appetite regulation, and how food choices affect this.

Marty has taken a close look at data from MyFitnessPal and analysed the patterns that stop people from overconsuming calories. I hope there are more posts to come, however head over to Optimising Nutrition and read the full posts yourself.

Here is a very brief overview of the posts from this analysis:

How to you optimise your protein, fat, and carbohydrates to minimise hunger?

Looking at the My Fitness Pal (MFP) data:

  • Protein improves satiety
  • Unprocessed carbohydrates are beneficial
  • Satiety is worst with very high levels of fat, if on a low carb diet, satiety is best with carbs btween 20 – 30% calories and protein greater than 20% calories, and fat less than 60%.
  • Less fat reduces energy density so you get more food with less calories – this fills you up.
  • Satiety also improves with high levels of carbohydrates; 60% carbs, and protein above 20% calories
  • moderate fat combined with moderate carbohydrates together with low protein is where the most overeating happens (think about ultra-processed food – donuts, chips, etc – they are tasty and a carb/fat, low protein combo). this combination also has a high energy density – more calories in a small volume of food.

Read the details here: How to optimise your protein, fat and carbohydrates to minmise hunger.

For much more detail on the concept of weight gain with teh carbohydrate/ fat formula read this post: Don’t Eat for Winter!


How much protein do you need for breakfast for satiety? Is 30 grams as recommended by Tim Ferris enough? 

  • 11% of daily calories as protein looks to be optimal. The “typical female” would need to consume 45g of protein at breakfast to get the minimum effective dose for satiety while the “typical male” would need to consume 55g of protein for breakfast to reach their minimum effective dose of protein to optimise for maximum satiety.

Will Tim Ferriss’ 30g of protein at breakfast help you lose weight? 

What are the optimal macros for fat loss without hunger?

There is much debate about diets. Should I eat keto, low carb, high fat, low fat, high protein or high carb?  Consciously restricting calories is not easy, so if we can eat to satiety and restrict calories enough to lose fat and maintain that loss, life becomes so much easier.

Marty looked at all the ranges of macros in peoples diets in MyFitnessPal, and the associated calorie intake. What he found:

  • People following a low protein, high fat approach consistanly exceeded calorie target
  • Prioritising protein increases satiety

Optimising macros for fat loss with less hunger

Which leads to the next question? How much protein do you need to eat to reduce hunger for fat loss?

The data from MyFitnessPal shows that people who eat more protein tend to spontaneously eat less, and those that ate less protein tended to eat more and were less likely to achieve their goals.

  • The protein intake linked with greater satiety is 2.4g/kg lean body mass (LBM) per day. This corresponds to a 15% spontaneous reduction in calories.

You can calculate your LBM by taking the percentage of fat off your total body weight. E.g. if you weigh 80 kg and your body fat is 35%, your LBM will be 65% of 80kg which is 52kg.

How much protein do you need to reduce hunger for weight loss?

How many meals a day do you need to lose weight?

Will eating 6 times a day or twice a day give better results?

The MFP data shows:

  • Those who ate more than three meals a day were likely to consume more calories than average, around 220 calories more.
  • Limiting  meal numbers is linked with eating less food, 100 calories a day less for 3 meals, and 266 calories per day with 2 meals

For more detail and which meals per day were more effective – go to the original article: How many times should you eat a day to lose weight?

What about breakfast – do people eat more or less if they skip breakfast?

The data set shows breakfast skippers tend to eat more. If you eat more or your calories early in the day, you eat less over the entire day.

Why breakfast is the most important meal of a day





  1. Hello,

    Have you seen any of Dr. Darren Schmidt’s videos on YouTube? Especially the ones from the past 6-to-12 months. If so, I’d appreciate hearing your feedback.


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