How Do You Know When You're Full/Satiated?
Updated: May 27, 2020
The first thought that you may have come to your mind when you hear "eat until you're full" is probably feeling SO full that you're uncomfortable, tired or bloated. I know that this is how I used to assume it felt. But this was also back when I was eating the wrong types of foods that couldn't properly turn off hunger hormones. Therefore I was left excessively full, but weirdly not satiated.
Eating until excessively full is not the same thing as eating until full or satiated. By definition, satiated means "satisfied, as one's appetite or desire".
Eating until satiated means that your body has all that it "desires"/needs to turn off hunger hormones and have energy and nutrients to do what it needs to do! Today, I'm sharing the details behind what it means to eat until satiated and how you know when you've reached that point.
Why Should You Eat Until Satiated?
This is a lofty conversation. Eating until satiated keeps your blood glucose and insulin levels stable, aids in increasing fat burning mechanisms, balances your hormones, helps you go to the bathroom and reduces/removes bloating. It also stops you from mindlessly snacking throughout the day which can lead to a multitude of issues.
Want the science behind snacking (and why you shouldn't do it)? Check out the video below.
What You SHOULD Feel Like
Eating until satiated or "full" shouldn't make you feel tired, sluggish or like you need to unbutton your pants (like how I've felt after a few multi-coursed, fancy shmancy dinners with my boyfriend and his mom).
Instead, you should feel satisfied and energized. You also shouldn't have any cravings or urges to snack because your body has everything it needs to shut off hunger hormones.
Listen to your body
I know this sounds super "woo-woo" and not very science-y, but here's the thing: science is GREAT for explaining why things are happening and how they are happening in our body. But ultimately, we also need to utilize our bodys internal checks and balances in order to tailor our approach to our own body.
Thankfully, we have everything we need in order to know when we're full vs. when we need to eat. We just need to re-learn how to listen.
Here are three things to listen and pay attention to in order to determine if you've eaten enough or if you need MORE.
1. You're craving sugar.
Sugar is a fast source of energy. It's quickly absorbed and metabolized in the body. Our body craves sugar when we didn't get enough of the fat, protein or fiber to properly shut off the hunger hormones. If you're craving sugar throughout the day, then this is a HUGE indicator that you haven't eaten enough or enough of the right THINGS to shut off hunger hormones.
2. You feel like snacking.
If you didn't eat enough (or enough of the right things) at your previous meal, then your body will turn to snacking in order to satiate that (literal) hunger. The problem with this is that when you snack, you never eat enough at one sitting to truly turn off your hunger hormones. This leads to eating a lot more than your body actually needs - but without ever being satiated. It also means that your GI tract isn't getting a rest, which results in GI issues such as bloating, IBS and constipation.
3. You're... hungry.
Can't stop thinking about food? Is your stomach grumbling only an hour or two after your meal? Then you definitely didn't eat enough. When your hunger hormones are shut off, your body isn't being signaled to eat. That means when you ARE hungry, your body will force you to keep thinking about food until you give it what it needs.
Avoid These Tricksters
However, it's important to keep in mind that listening to these cues ONLY works when you're mainly eating foods that don't trick your body into eating more. This "trickery" can happen with:
1. daily amounts added sugar
2. loading up on carbs without including fat/protein
3. eating "fake food" like protein bars.
Any of these will bypass your natural mechanisms of shutting off hunger and keep you feeling hungry even if you have had plenty to eat.
It's Not Just the Food
Other factors such as lack of sleep, increased stress levels or imbalanced hormones can also cause you to feel hungry even if you have eaten enough. If you suspect you have any of those three things, make sure to get better sleep with THESE strategies, decrease your stress levels with THIS simple tip and balance your hormones with THESE videos.
You can also feel hungry if your cells aren't metabolically fit. The best way to quickly improve your cellular metabolic fitness is by utilizing Intermittent Fasting paired with proper Nutrient Timing.