This Is What Is Stopping You From Feeling Full

There are a few factors that contribute to a feeling of fullness after a meal. After all, you don’t just eat with your mouth — eating should be an sensory experience that uses not only your mouth but also your eyes, ears, and nose. A good dish can bring back memories, and bring an almost indescribable joy to those who share in it.

In this article, we’ll talk about the ways that your body processes food, and why sometimes you don’t feel full, even after indulging in a huge three-course meal. There are plenty of factors involved — and its not just about the type of food you eat.

Your glucagon levels are low

Hunger is a result of many different chemical impulses in your body that pass between the stomach, intestines, brain, pancreas, and bloodstream. It’s not that difficult to disrupt the flow of messages on that circuit and cause your body to believe that it’s full even when it isn’t.

There has been research showing that the hormone glucagon, which regulates our feeling of fullness, may be lower in some people with obesity issues. This causes people with low glucagon levels to overeat, even if they’ve already gotten enough food to physically satisfy them.

Although scientists originally thought of glucagon as primarily a hormone controlling glucose output, it has recently been shown to also affect the levels of ghrelin, a hormone which controls the appetite. Scientists think possible future studies on glucagon could yield a workable treatment for people with chronic overeating problems.

And-One / Shutterstock.com
And-One / Shutterstock.com

You have leptin resistance

Leptin resistance is another kind of hormonal imbalance that can cause people to feel hungry even when their body is actually full. If your brain has become resistant to the hormone leptin, it loses its ability to distinguish being full from being hungry.

In a normal person, when leptin levels are low, food is rewarding and satisfying to eat (like if you’re really, really hungry), and when leptin levels are high (which happens to most people after they’ve eaten a reasonable amount of food) you cease to find enjoyment from your food. For someone who is leptin resistant, this never happens, and can cause obesity and other weight issues.

Lolostock / Shutterstock.com
Lolostock / Shutterstock.com

You’re eating foods that are low in fiber

Eating foods that are low in fiber can be rewarding and enjoyable, but usually they’re the type of foods that leave you hungry an hour later. Fiber-rich foods are easy to identify because they take a little bit more work to eat — think kale, rather than iceberg lettuce.

There’s just a little catch: a kale salad complete with nuts, seeds, and berries might look like a large meal, but could potentially lead to you not feeling as full immediately after. That’s OK! Fiber-rich food often takes a little bit longer to digest than foods that aren’t as high in fiber, and so it may take a while to process them and reach the point of feeling full. This means that you should listen to your body, and eat slowly, maybe taking a half-hour between dinner and dessert to let your body adjust. You may find you don’t need as large a serving of cake after all!

Sergey Chumakov / Shutterstock.com
Sergey Chumakov / Shutterstock.com
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