Fish is not that filling?

(Bob M) #1

For Lent this year, I started taking fish for lunch. Today, I ate pieces of salmon and two pieces of mahi-mahi. I got them from Costco, frozen, individually wrapped. I defrosted them then used the sous vide, the salmon in one bag and the mahi-mahi in one bag, both with butter, salt, and pepper. I did not weigh them.

I ate these for lunch. I am starving, and have been starving for a while since eating them. What’s the deal?

Now, I did not weigh them, so maybe I under-ate. I normally have beef for lunch, and lately I’ve been weighing it. About 1 pound, typically. But, I’m totally full for many hours after eating beef.

Anyone have this issue with fish?

I may have to bring eggs to work, too, if I continue to be this hungry.

(Joey) #2

Although my wife eats fish on Fridays during lent, I’m not a member of that particular tribe. So, in candor I have no firsthand direct experience. But that never stops me from having at least 2 or 3 opinions…

There’s very little fat in fish. That’s why it’s a mainstay of “low fat” diets. It’s the fat that produces the satiety sensation. Adding butter was wise. Perhaps you should add a few sides next time… avocados, eggs, cheeses, etc.

Food for thought. :vulcan_salute:

(Anthony) #3

Yes. I love fish, but it is very light and even “fatty” fish is pretty lean. Not a stick to your ribs kinda meal. Definitely more butter, eggs, olives, etc

(Bob M) #4

Thanks, all. It looks as if I’ll have to bring eggs or more with me. Too bad, because this is a really easy meal, just some time in the sous vide, then cooling down.

I have been cooking large “hunks” of beef in the sous vide, and these are generally relatively lean…for beef. Things like roasts, top round/bottom round/eye of round, whatever is on sale. I generally buy them, put them in a sous vide bag, freeze them. Then on Saturday or Sunday, I’ll pop them in the sous vide for around 10 hours, take them out, plunge them into the snow on the deck. I then cut them into chunks for lunch, maybe adding olives, pickled mushrooms, capers, whatever I happen to have on hand. Something to give them some taste.

But I wasn’t expecting this much difference in hunger.


Ounce for ounce there’s more fat in Salmon than Sirloin, and as much as a NY Strip. Like beef there’s a lot of different options, can’t generalize it. But with that said… It’s still diet meat.


My wife brought that up… I made it last week by accident, not today though. I miss the days of the 2x specials at every fast food place for a nice greasy fish burger and fries this time of year… as long as it’s not McBowels. Theirs is crap.

(Joey) #7

I didn’t know this … and I’m surprised.

I thought there is far more saturated fat in beef than in most any fish. Can you please share your sources for your comparison? Many thanks!

(bulkbiker) #8

Sorry but that’s wrong
Salmon is about 13% fat and sirloin about 22%

(Anthony) #9

Interesting, I didn’t know that, but I don’t eat sirloin without fortifying its fat content either!

(Jack Bennett) #10

One of my go-to lunches is a stir-fry / scramble with eggs, a can of salmon, and some vegetables (cauliflower rice, spinach, etc). I personally find it pretty filling, but it’s not “just” fish.


USDA Food Database. Any macro tracking program you pick will use it.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

Maybe the difference in satiety is due to the higher % PUFAs/MUFAs and lower SFAs in so-called ‘oily’ fish.

(Joey) #13

Sorry, that’s not what I’m seeing at the USDA database … e.g., beef is markedly higher in saturated fat than salmon. Didn’t check a whole bunch of different cuts/species, but apparently I’m not seeing what you’re seeing? :thinking:

We’re talking saturated fats, right?


I have the same experience with fish Bob.

Sunday nights are special. We eat iron pan fried Atlantic salmon. The rest of the week I’m eating ruminant meat and fat which my wife does not.

The volume of the meal is similar to my other meals. I like my salmon pan fried in butter, or left over pan grease that is usually tallow as compared to lard. My wife prefers her salmon cooked on a smear of olive oil.

When eating terrestrial ruminants (I don’t think there are any aquatic ruminants per se) I find a clear satiety signal.

After the salmon meal, I feel ‘peckish’ hungry within an hour or two, so usually cook some meat, or eggs to eat and switch off night time feeding.

I think it’s probably related to the satiety from the long chain saturated fatty acids from beef.

My go to first meal recently has been a 3 egg, cheesy (90g), omelette cooked in tallow with 120g of mackerel mixed in. It is delicious and filling.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #15

In addition to the PUFA/MUFA possibility I mentioned above, I wonder if there might be some degree of habit involved. The reason I suggest this is that I eat fish frequently and always count the macros and calories just the same as I do with all my other meats: beef, pork, chicken bacon, etc. I have not noticed any difference in ‘satiety’ or what passes for it with me. One possible significant thing is that I always eat lots of fat in one form or another at every meal, most of it saturated. So even when I eat fish I still eat a lot of sat fat at the same time, just not from the fish.


I typically need plenty of calories to get satiated and added fat doesn’t count, carbs count as negative…
I would need very very much salmon, lean fish would be impossible, I don’t even like that so much… I never ever tried to get satiated with fish, it was the last course of a multi-course lunch. I did try it with chicken, that doesn’t work well either. It helps but only if I have some more substantial stuff, fatty pork or ruminant meat. Probably eggs are fine too though the mentioned types of meat are more satiating to me, it seems.

I never starve, I eat more and I don’t start eating unless I have a big amount of proper food with me. I learned I must be careful, it’s the worst being hungry after a not satiating meal…

Okay, I write a proper and lately typical meal too as others did. But it has no fish in it. Fish is my last attempt to get satiated when I already ate my normal stuff and I find my other options boring. It’s for rare cases as fish is boring too, I rarely can afford my fav salmon.

6 eggs and 400g fatty pork should do the trick, often half of it is enough but I get hungry too soon (the usual 3 hours. it’s more convenient to eat once a day but it’s tricky as meat is very satiating)! I could use a can of fish instead of part of my pork but I need the substantial meat as well.

(bulkbiker) #17

There isn’t… see my message above.

(bulkbiker) #18

All fat …salmon has less than steak.


Salmon is quite fatty for a fish but if we are normal ketoers loving their fatty meats, yep, it’s very, very lean.
For me, fatty meat starts somewhere around pork shoulders now. Chuck became too lean just recently. It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a rabbit stew but I need much fat for my roasts.

But if one can buy salmon with extra skin and extra fat (or just with skin. it’s usually sold as filets here), that’s nice :slight_smile: They were sold super cheap as “scraps” for a while in a hypermarket here. 300g filets among them, I don’t know what they didn’t sell as “scraps” :smiley: And beautiful mostly skin and a little fat pieces… I grabbed them all and some heads, those had some fine meat too… Good old days. Now I would have to spend 10 times as much money for salmon and it won’t have skin. Not interested.
Salmon is way better raw anyway and getting it fresh enough is tricky far from the sea. I only had that in Japanese restaurants but I heard really fresh ones are even better…


I eat a fish regularly. I find it very filling - no more or less than meat.