Feeling full and being satisfied are often used to mean the same thing, but in fact they are two very different things. Feeling full is a physical sensation relayed to your brain that provides information about how much food is in your stomach. It usually takes around 20 minutes from the time you start eating until your brain begins to register your level of physical fullness. For this reason it’s wise to avoid rushing your food so your brain has time to catch up.
Fullness however is a physical sensation and can be ignored. It’s entirely possible to be physically full whilst still maintaining a desire for food. I’m sure you’ve experienced the feeling of being full to the brim yet still somehow finding room for dessert!
What is satisfaction?
More than just a physical sensation from your stomach, satisfaction is a whole body experience that encompasses both mind and body. Satisfaction is far more powerful at reducing desire for food than fullness alone. Can you remember a time when even your most favorite food didn’t appeal? This is an example of the power satisfaction can have!
How to attain satisfaction from food
Patience is key. It can take considerable time from finishing your meal until you feel satisfied. From experience anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes is not unusual, depending on a few factors discussed below. Now you can see why letting food sit is so important! Think about all the food its possible to consume in 90 minutes, and all those extra calories that your body may not need.
So how can you take full advantage of satisfaction without overindulging? Following are some useful tips that will increase satisfaction and help reduce daily intake…
Take your time: As mum used to say, eating food is not a race! Take time eating your meal and remind yourself to stay connected to food. Being connected means paying attention to the taste and texture or every single mouthful.
Don’t get over-hungry: The hungrier you are the longer it takes for food to satisfy you. Also the hungrier you are the quicker the tendency to eat. This usually equals substantially more food eaten in a shorter space of time. On a scale from 1-10 (1 being starving and 10 being stuffed full) try and aim for 3-4 prior to a meal.
Eat what you feel like: Are steamed greens really going to satisfy you when all you can think about is a juicy lamb chop? Do you ever stop to consider what you actually “feel” like eating? Or do you mostly settle for what you “should” eat? You know, the low carb, low calorie option. Eating what you feel like is important and can help you reach a greater level of satisfaction for a longer period of time. It’s even ok to eat the odd slice of chocolate cake if you really feel like it!
The 60 minute rule: After finishing a meal try not to snack for at least 60 minutes to allow yourself time to feel satisfied. After 60 minutes feel free to have a small snack if you feel the need. Otherwise enjoy the feeling of thorough contentment without the need to graze.
Information can be powerful but only when it’s put into action. Give these tips a go and enjoy eating just the amount your body needs. No more, and certainly no less!