Fullness is a process controlled by hormones and your brain
When you are hungry, your brain signals the release of hormones that trigger the desire for food.
When you are full, the brain releases hormones that tell you that you can stop eating (1).
It takes practice to identify signals from your body that send you these messages, and to trust that your body knows what it needs. Diet culture teaches us restriction, which often results in rebound overindulgence due to extreme hunger.
The first step towards really feeling your fullness is to give yourself unconditional permission to eat.
Many of us eat according to rules or timelines (or until we clean our plate). When we allow ourselves to eat whatever we want, whenever we are hungry, we will be better able to tune into our fullness cues. And remember, fullness feels different for everyone.
Next time you are having a meal, ask yourself the following:
- Am I comfortable in my environment?
- How does the food taste?
- Am I feeling satisfied?
- Where am I on the hunger scale (2)? Continue eating until you are comfortably full.
- How does my body feel when I eat too much?
- How does my body feel when I don’t eat enough?
Do you find that you are feeling hungry often? Perhaps you need to add some different types of foods to your snacks/meals to enhance their staying power! Variety makes a meal! Include protein, fibre and carbohydrates to help you feel full longer
REMEMBER: We are not striving for perfection here! Sometimes we may eat until we are absolutely stuffed and sometimes we’ll be distracted and not pay attention to how something tastes. The goal is to connect more with our bodies and learn to recognize, trust, and respond to our hunger cues.
Check out the resources linked here, and get curious! This is a process and change doesn’t happen overnight.
BEFORE YOU GO: This program is not a replacement for eating disorder treatment. If you suspect you have an eating disorder, don't hesitate to reach out to our Dietitian (see below), or any other trusted health professional for support and guidance.
Connect with us!
UBCO’s Registered Dietitian is here to help!
And for nutrition tips, recipes, and more, visit the UBCO Food Services Nutrition Blog.
- Hunger Scale: https://www.uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/wellness-hungersatietyscale.pdf
- Intuitive Eating Book: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach, by Evelyn Tribole