Feeling full vs feeling satiated

We’ve all seen a picture or commercial of the satisfied eater with the bloated belly and unbuttoned pants. The idea of feeling full after a meal conjures up this image.

When a meal is tasty or during the holidays such as thanksgiving and the upcoming barbecue holiday the 4th of July, we tend to eat until we have no room left. The feeling of fullness after eating is normalized as how we should feel after eating a meal.

But is that feeling of fullness after eating really healthy?

As someone who struggles with binge eating, I am aware of how feeling full or stuffed after a meal effects me physically emotionally and mentally.

Physically, feeling full after a meal is comfortable like a hug and relaxing. After filing up on a meal I want to take a nap.

Emotionally I feel a high. The endorphins released as a result of a full stomach cause a brief moment of happiness and contentment.

Mentally I acknowledge that I am grateful that I have food to eat and that I’ve been taught that it is wasteful to leave food behind.

A few minutes after stuffing myself the high from happy hugs turn to sickness and self loathing. My stomach hurts, I’m depressed that I ate so much and beating up on myself mentally that I didn’t stop eating when I was no longer hungry.

Feeling satiated is having more awareness of feeling satisfied after eating a meal instead of feeling full or stuffed. It’s knowing what true fullness feels like and not feeling any guilt or shame about leaving food on your plate.

What is the difference between feeling full and feeling satiated?

When you are full you may experience

  • Tightness and pain
  • Feeling tired and sluggish
  • Feeling bloated
  • Constipation and gas
  • Depression

When you are satiated you may experience

  • Less bloating
  • Feeling of satisfaction and calmness
  • Energy
  • Better moods
  • Less gas and easier digestion

Pay attention to how you approach eating your meals. Do you eat until stuffed or until satisfied. What factors play into how you eat. Are you an emotional eater? Have you been raised to clean your plate?

Does approaching meals this way help or hurt your healthy lifestyle journey?

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