Weight Loss
Moderators: Mollybygolly, coach_k, spoiled_candy, devilish_patsy, nycgirl


What causes us to no longer feel hungry?


Quote  |  Reply

I've been confused about something for awhile and hopefully i'll be able to explain it well enough to be answered here.

What causes us to be "satisfied", the amount of calories consumed or the volume? Like in other words, do we start feeling hungry when our bodies have used up the calories we've given it for the day or just when there isn't any volume left in our stomach?

This confuses me. If it is calories, then would that mean that if we eat a larger calorie meal (but no bigger volume) compared to a smaller calorie meal, would it take longer to feel hungry again?

Hopefully someone gets what i'm asking and i'm not just blabbering on and making no sense.. :)

10 Replies (last)

I don't know the science or mechanics of it (and would love to, if someone else could jump in), but I believe it has to do with how your body uses the food as fuel.  Protein and high fiber, complex carbs will leave you full longer than high sugar or high fat foods.

I get what you're asking and its a good question!

I only have a guess...

the bulkier-but-less-calorie food makes you feel full.. but the feeling doesn't last long because there's not much calories in it. I'm guessing that it doesn't take long to digest out of your stomach.

the less-bulky-higher-calorie food takes more to feel full.. but if you stop at the portion size, you'll feel satisfied... and for longer, because it takes longer to digest in your stomach.

ALL GUESSWORK.. I'm staying tuned in here to see what some of the experts say!

From what I understand, it's volume - when your stomach reaches a certain fullness,  signals are sent to your brain stopping the hunger feeling so you're satisfied. Takes about 20 minutes for you to feel full though. Certain things keep us fuller for longer, as they take longer to empty from our stomach.

Equally we feel hungry when our stomachs are empty. Of course we can also feel hungry when we have a lack of energy, or are dehydrated, or a few other things I think as well.

If you drink enough water, you'll feel full - and that has 0 calories. As it passes through quickly you'd have to drink a lot and keep it up (so you're full for the 20 minute thing), but you will feel it. But of course people can eat a large amount of chocolate and not feel full, or the fullness not last for long, which is high in calories.

 

I think that makes sense :D

I've heard that it is related to volume, but certain food breaks down faster than others.  For examples carbs break down very fast, thus decreasing the volume in your stomach and making you feel hungry sooner.  Proteins digest the second fastest, and fats digest the slowest.  So the more fat you eat, you will feel full longer.  Unfortunately the foods that digest the slowest and make you feel more full for longer are also the most calorie dense!

It's good to get a combination of all of these at each meal for maximizing the "full" feeling.

I don't think calories have anything to do with it. For me, it's a mental state that makes me feel truly 'satisfied'. I can be full after eating one bowl of cereal, but to be satisfied I have to eat 3. I can be full after eating a big meal, but once dessert rolls around I can't just have a sliver of cake, I have to have a piece to feel satisfied.

*shrugs* I guess that's me.

But when it comes to feeling full, gram weight is the only factor. Eat your veggies!

I agree with x17, for me, "full" is physical, "satisfied" is mental.  If I eat a balanced meal (half a plate of vegies, 1/4 plate whole grains, 1/4 plate lean meat, 1/2 serving fat) I tend to feel both "full" and "satisfied" for a moderate amount of calories.  If I chose to eat a piece of "crisco" cake at a company function for the same amount of calories I would feel neither full nor satisfied.  If I chose to eat a Bic Mac meal it would take many more calories to make me feel full and satisfied.

Also, for me, when I started controlling my portions back in February, I usually wasn't full or satisfied for about 20 minutes after eating.  Now, that portion size has become a habit for me, and I now seem to feel both full and satisifed immediately after finishing my meal.  I have retrained myself to smaller portions of moderate calorie-dense foods.

I think I have a slightly different take (but only slight).  I can't be satisfied unless I'm full.  That is, I have to feel that my meal is at least somewhat pressing against my stomach. 

It's an annoying hangover from the bad old days of overeating a lot.

I haven't been able to break the habit, and tend to finish meals, especially dinner, with a big bowl of salad to get to the full place.

hm, interesting to here different peoples opinions. Thank you all for responding, that definitely helped me get a better understanding on the subject.

Hunger, fullness and appetite are affected by lots of different things.

The main hormones that stimulate hunger and fullness are ghrelin (hunger) and leptin (fullness). Ghrelin is produced by the stomach and leptin is produced by fat cells. Because of this, obese people actually usually have higher levels of leptin... but this can lead to leptin insensitivity. On the flip side, underweight people often have high levels of ghrelin but become supersensitive to ghrelin fluctuations.

But what you eat makes a big difference too.

- fiber and bulk make you initially fuller than small, low fiber meals

- protein and fat keep you fuller for longer than carbohydrates. This is because they are digested more slowly, and also because eating protein sparks glucose production in the small intestine. The glucose is sensed in the liver and relayed to the brain, which causes leptin to be produced.

- eating sugar or unrefined carbohydrates can make your blood sugar spike and dip, which will result in more ghrelin being released and you feeling hungrier.

Calories in themselves have little to do with satiety although of course the fat/protein/carbohydrate content of a meal will affect the calorie count.

Exercise can decrease hunger levels, as does adrenaline in your system.

There is also a difference between hunger (physical need to eat) and appetite (desire to eat) just as there is a difference between fullness (no physical need to eat) and satisfaction (feeling content, no desire to eat more).

Original Post by adolphs:

I've heard that it is related to volume, but certain food breaks down faster than others.  For examples carbs break down very fast, thus decreasing the volume in your stomach and making you feel hungry sooner.  Proteins digest the second fastest, and fats digest the slowest.  So the more fat you eat, you will feel full longer.  Unfortunately the foods that digest the slowest and make you feel more full for longer are also the most calorie dense!

It's good to get a combination of all of these at each meal for maximizing the "full" feeling.

 This... ^^^

'Hunger' is more often than not a sign that blood-sugars have dropped than stomach capacity.  Sugary starchy carbohydrates turn to sugar in the bloodstream very, very quickly, burn through dast and are notorious for leaving people feeling hungry quite quickly afterwards.  Viz the 'chinese restaurant effect'... where a biig, calorie-packed meal of starchy rice, starchy noodles and sugary sauces leaves the diner feeling hungry again an hour or two later.   Wholegrains and complex carbohydrates (wholemeal foods, vegetables, pulses/legumes etc.) digest more slowly as do protein and fats.

Calories do have an effect as well..  If you eat less than you need it's like filling a petrol tank only half-way... at some point your body will have burned up the energy and you'll need some more.  Again, it's when blood-sugars get low this happens.   If you space your meals evenly and enjoy light snacks to 'put you on' then this can be kept to a minimum

10 Replies
Advertisement
Advertisement
Allergy Remedies
Is It Possible to Go Natural?
The side effects of allergy medications keep some people from using them. Natural remedies can be a great alternative, but some are more effective than others.