Fat and satiety and anxiety and 2:1 fat to protein ratio!

(Jane Srygley) #1

I know my subject is a little convoluted.

I struggle a lot with feeling satiated, with weight loss overall and with eating out of anxiety rather than hunger–especially at work.

I have been working on a 2:1 fat to protein ratio (in grams not calories) because I’ve heard that it has been helpful for women in particular. I have also noticed that while fat alone doesn’t satiate me, high protein with low fat doesn’t either.

So this morning, I was sitting at my desk eating… and eating again… and eating again… just feeling anxious and unsatisfied. So then I ate some butter–3 tablespoons, to be exact. Suddenly, the anxiety dissipated and I feel full.


This makes me think that my anxiety may be more physiological than psychological. Maybe sometimes “emotional eating” is triggered by nutritional deficiency and the body makes one feel anxious because it’s missing something.

Any thoughts?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

Maybe not directly applicable because of sex and individual variation, but my macros of the past year are:

fat/protein grams: 2.00
fat/protein kcals: 4.50

I’m quite satisfied and find these ratios quite easy to hit daily and meal to meal. I’m not particularly bothered by hunger and/or satiety. I can under eat by several hundred calories one day and still feel like I’ve eaten enough - either I just run out of time for another meal or forget to do it. The next morning I’m no more nor less hungry than if I had eaten my total the previous day. Even if I feel hungry during the day - for instance at work when my meal break is still a few hours away - it passes quickly.

I interpret all this to mean simply that I am pretty well fat-adapted. My metabolism switches quite effortlessly from ingested energy to stored energy. It does so even though I am overall quite thin - BF about 15% (I’m 75 in 2 weeks). I don’t ‘anxiety eat’. My attitude to food is that it’s fuel (and other required nutrients). Although I have preferred and fave foods, I have no food cravings - I would not run out to the grocery because I just discovered I have no Boursin Bouquet of Basil, for example, even though I love that stuff.

I suspect that if you’re eating a fairly well-formulated ketogenic diet with some degree of variation, you’re likely not experiencing any physiological deficiencies.

(Vic) #3

What I think Helped me in y 1st month I tried to implement a no snacking rule, It took be the whole month to really accomplish this as I was a habitual grazer and was used to reaching for food over anxiety, and need for energy boost just about anything

Also in the 1st month, I started to ask myself am I really hungry or is it something else, I didn’t really know at first but the more I did this the clearer it was though it was still hard to not eat when not hungry, It kind of felt like going through withdrawals and it might have been suger withdrawals IDK

This in itself was only enough to get me going straight, But still felt like it would be easy to fall back into old habits Till I started IF, I started to eat in a 4 to 8 hour period each day mostly 6 hours and I try to eat 2MD sometimes one

I will only eat a 3rd if I am very hungry and it really doesn’t happen often

Also, I only IF Monday through Friday, On Weekends I can do 3 or 4 meals, but not 4 big meals, It gives me something to look forward to relaxing the rules, I stay keto under 20 carbs but it still feels like I am on a cheat day so I go into Monday with enthusiasm

(Bob M) #4

What do you think butter provides that you are missing?

Butter is also high in stearic and palmitic acids, both of which can cause your fat cells to be insulin resistant, meaning you eat less. It at least that’s the theory.

(Jane Srygley) #5

I thought insulin resistant was a problem… My thinking was that adding the extra saturated fat satisfied me and I actually felt full.

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #6

There are a number of issues going on here. First, you might not be getting enough protein. Protein is a primary need, and if the protein-leveraging hypothesis (first propounded by Raubenheimer and Simpson) is correct, we will not be satisfied by any number of calories until our protein need is met.

Second, some people find fat relatively more satisfying to their hunger than protein, while others find they need relatively more protein and a bit less fat. You might consider ditching your rule for the proportion of what to eat and just consider eating to satisfy your hunger.

Third, when people recommend 2:1 fat to protein, they are generally talking about the ratio in terms of calories. This is pretty easy to achieve, since an equal amount of fat and protein by weight is 69% fat and 31% protein by caloric value. Remember that a gram of fat contains more or less 9 calories, while a gram of protein contains more or less 4 (and remember that even the “precise” numbers are still averages, not to mention that we when we talk about food the “calories” we are speaking of are what physicists call kilocalories).

Fourth, while we need protein daily, and are programmed to instinctively get pretty much the right amount each day, the body does not generally use protein as fuel, generally preferring it for structural purposes (muscles are pretty much all proteins, and even bone is calcium in a protein matrix). Because of the lower ATP yield from proteolysis, the body prefers to metabolise glucose (glycolysis, which is a fairly fast reaction with a decent ATP yield) or fat (fatty acid metabolism, which is slower, but which yields the most ATP). The body will, however, metabolise protein (muscles, organs, etc.) during starvation, in order to preserve its fat store for later in the process.

Fifth, the best fat for energy is monunsaturated. Since butter is about 51% monounsaturated fat (plus about 47-48% saturated fat, and the rest various polyunsaturates), that may be why the butter satisfied you. (A very high percentage of the walls of every cell in your body is either saturated fat or cholesterol, by the way.)

Sixth, despite all the propaganda put out by the American Heart Association in favour of “vegetable” oils (remember that the organisation was put on the map in the late 1940’s by a large donation from Crisco Oil and they have stayed loyal ever since), the best fats, even for heart health, are saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fat raises your HDL number much better than any drug on the market, and the monounsaturates are good for stable endurance energy. This is not to mention the fact that polyunsaturates, especially the ω-6 fatty acids, can cause systemic inflammation when consumed in quantity and most of the “vegetable” oils on the market (actually, they are seed oils) contain a startlingly high percentage of ω-6 fatty acids. This is why we recommend cooking with butter/ghee, tallow, lard, and bacon grease, and making your mayonnaise and salad dressing with one of the fruit oils (avocado, coconut, or olive).