Principle 5 ~ Discover The Satisfaction Factor

Intuitive eating principle 5, discover the satisfaction factor, is really about understanding how finding that lovely satisfaction in food is so much more than being full. It is more than simply stopping yourself from being hungry, or fuelling yourself for a busy day or something energetic. 

There’s a sensory enjoyment to be had. There’s emotional satisfaction to be had. And that is what this principle is all about. It’s helping you understand and accept that you can and should enjoy food, be satisfied by it, and get more from it than you’ve probably been getting up until now.


What makes food satisfying?

This is a very personal thing. What you find satisfying won’t be what someone else finds satisfying. 

Imagine that feeling that you get after eating a really good meal. A meal you’ve really enjoyed everything about. The flavours, the colours, the smells, the textures, the amount of food…. that’s what satisfaction is with food. That’s what you’re striving for. Obviously not every meal is going to be absolutely incredible, but you can still have these feelings when you eat in normal everyday life.

So in intuitive eating, when you are thinking about what you’d like to eat, you’re going to be thinking about how hungry you are (so how much food you want to eat) but to bring that satisfaction factor in you would also be thinking about the type of food you want. 

What do you really fancy? Something…..

  • Hot or cold?
  • Sweet or savoury?
  • Sweet or sour?
  • Crunchy, chewy or soft?
  • Mild or spicy?
  • Something adventurous and culinary, or something simple?


When you ask yourself these questions you end up with a meal that satisfies what your body needs in that moment. 

While you are eating it’s important to keep checking in too. 

  • Are you still enjoying the flavours and textures?
  • Are you still hungry, or are you starting to fill up a little now?
  • Is the temperature too hot, or is it now a little colder than you would like?


All of these things will help to guide you, and satisfy you.

You can add to this too. What about thinking about…

  • Where you are eating, and your environment – Have you got nice music on, or are you in the middle of a really noisy space?
  • Whether there are any distractions, like tired toddlers, or demanding work colleagues
  • How is the food presented – are you using your favourite plates and cutlery, or your cutest little snack boxes and lunch bag, or is it thrown onto a chipped old plate, or wrapped in aluminium foil?
  • How hungry are you? Have you left it until you are super hungry and so now you want to eat more quickly and can’ savour it?


Why is it important to discover the satisfaction factor when we eat?

The discover the satisfaction factor principle may not seem like it is a big deal, but it is so important because it helps to reduce those binge eating habits. When you aren’t satisfied by the food you are eating you often go looking for something else that will satisfy you. 

Are you an evening snacker, for example? Could that be because you aren’t being satisfied by the food through the day, so your mind and body is still looking for the enjoyment, flavours and textures that it wanted and sends you in search of it?

Or maybe you really like to have something sweet after a meal. How do you feel if you don’t have it? I’m guessing you think about it and think about it, until you get up and go and find that thing that you really wanted. You weren’t satisfied, and now your body wants you to go and find it.

Can you see now that when we have cravings, more often than not it is your body wanting you to satisfy something. If you try to ignore the craving, hoping that it will go away, it’s unlikely to work. You are better off satisfying yourself, having the amount that would satisfy the desire in the moment, and be done with it, rather than putting it off and putting it off, and then eating more than you would have liked, and often with that feeling of losing control. And then enter guilt!

Satisfaction in food ultimately reduces many of those negative behaviours, thoughts and feelings around food, which in turn helps with the other principles of intuitive eating such as making peace with food. Do you see how it’s all starting to link together now?

So have a little think – how often do you honour those cravings? How often do you allow yourself to be satisfied by the food you are eating, or do you eat purely for functional reasons?

Don't do it alone

I’m here to help, support and guide you. 

Book a free 30 minute session with me and I’ll help you to find a way to start working with the 10 principles of intuitive eating. 

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