What is it that finally makes us feel ‘full?’ As a person who likes to eat, that full feeling is no small consideration. It’s easy for me to have an overeating problem. In the Nutrition Course I took, it came out that the stomach does not have a calorie sensor. It works strictly on volume. When the stomach ‘feels’ full, we feel full.
That is good news and bad news. I use energy bars when I ride the bike. They only weigh a couple of ounces, but they are loaded with carbs and protein. I get a lift, but don’t feel too full to continue riding. A perfect fit. On the other hand, in the working world the bad news is that using an energy bar as a meal substitute because you can’t get out to lunch will help you get through the afternoon, but you probably won’t feel satisfied (full) because you only consumed a couple of ounces of food and your stomach is waiting for more.
What to do to get rid of that hungry feeling at meal times? Try to include high volume foods like fruits, vegetables, yogurt and soup in your meals. A lot of liquid in the food gives the stomach the needed volume to signal to us that we are full.
When sitting down to a regular meal, it also helps to take your time eating. There is an old wives’ tale that the stomach takes 15 minutes to catch up with how much you have eaten.
The New York Times reported, “In a study last month, scientists found that when a group of subjects were given an identical serving of ice cream on different occasions, they released more hormones that made them feel full when they ate it in 30 minutes instead of 5 . The scientists took blood samples and measured insulin and gut hormones before, during and after eating. They found that two hormones that signal feelings of satiety, or fullness — glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide YY — showed a more pronounced response in the slow condition.”
This suggests to me that the volume sensor in our stomach takes a while to register. So slowing down the pace of your eating will also help bring about that full feeling.