There's a question on satiety regarding this matter, but my question is somewhat different.
After I bought my crockpot, I've been having huge postworkout meals with about a pound of meat/chicken and 3 pounds of potato/sweetpotato, and I dump this into a crockpot with a some crushed tomatoes, broth and water mixed with some onions, carrots and celery (for taste). There's quite a large amount of (delicious) sauce, with of course fills me up nicely and DOES bring satiety.
On off days I make a 5-quart (almost full) saucepan of fish soup, but it has only about 750-850 calories depending on what veggies i use, and finish it on one sitting. Again, brings great satiety and as a last meal of the day I do not feel hungry at all going to bed (something i hate).
Now obviously satiety is not the issue. BUt are there any other? Sometimes I feel stuffed for 15-20 minutes, sometimes I can destroy the whole crockpot/saucepan with ease, especially after working out or otherwise super hungry. Are there any issues, hormonal or relating to digestion? There was something about higher insulin spike in the other question I posted above, any thoughts? Also, using sauces and stews helps a lot if I want to tweak daily carb amounts etc.
edit: Some typos. I also wanted to clear that I do not have any digestive issues with these meals (other thatn not wanting to get up from the sofa for about 15-20 minutes after :).
Hmm. I think your question is a bit confusing, or else you probably would have had a boatload of responses. Your title is
Soups, stews & sauces vs. Food in “dry form”
If your question is "is dry food better than wet food?" then I think the answer is it depends, but probably not. But the fact that you got no answers and felt compelled to offer a bounty suggests that maybe it's a little more subtle than that.
Maybe Nance got it. But if I read your post right, your question is:
Now obviously satiety is not the issue. But are there any other?
Well, yeah, there are other issues. What is the nutrient density of your meal? Where are your fat-soluble vitamins coming from? Is your cooking method appropriate for what you're eating? (I find it interesting that Mat Lalonde is all about raw meats and cooked vegetables.) Where does your broth come from? If it's Rachael Ray out of the box then it is essentially salt+water, but if it's bone broth you make, then that's a great source of minerals etc. And there's also does your stew contain enough carbs for your workouts?
And re carbs, you seem concerned with insulin spikes, but given that you don't have weight issues and are doing leangains, I would guess that you're more than able to accommodate the carbs in your stew.
Are you asking whether or not it's a problem to pound down a gallon of stew at a time? I think it's hard to tell from what you've asked. If it feels like you're restricting for a good part of the day and you're going nuts with your soups/stews, then maybe it's better to add some more calories elsewhere in the day. Otherwise, I think in general that eating to satiety (eating when hungry, not eating when stuffed) is a pretty good rule.
A good deal of my fat-loss has been achieved following a similar regime; 2 weeks out of 3 more than half of my main meals are in stew form to get good satiety. I also start the meal with a leafy salad for the same reason.
If you are recovering fairly quickly from the "stuffed" feeling after these meals (Which I also do) then I think this is great as long as you like it. For me, more than a few days without such a "large" volume meal increases the chance of having cravings for junk. With the large meals, I have no unwelcome urges.
Another measure I use is how I feel when I get up in the morning. My stomach is always empty, of course, but if my whole GI tract feels empty and I'm high-energy (in other words, I feel like I'm in ketosis in the morning) then I'm doing everything right. If I get up and I have a sense that I'm still digesting or burning yesterday's food then I know I ate too much food and not enough salad/broth.
The third measure, for me, is that I continue to slowly lose body fat.
I can't speak to hormones, but I can speak to blood glucose. With the large volume meals, my blood glucose stays nicely low. In fact, I have higher post-meal spikes with "dry" meals than I do with the salad/stew meals. I do always eat the salad and any fruit before eating the stew. By "nicely low" I mean between 105-120s at 45 minutes. I've tracked that for several hours after the large meals and it never went higher.
When I meals without salad and broth, I sometimes need to supplement stomach acid or bile salts but I've never needed to with the salad/stew meals.
Hope that helps you in judging your intake/results.