31 August 2010

Full vs. Satsified

"I eat less than 2000 calories a day and I am full"
"I  cut out carbs and I'm still full"
"Whenever try to control myself, I never feel full"
"I'm so full and all I ate was watermelon"

These are just a few of the comments I've heard over about fullness. I want to suggest to all of you out there in blogville, that having a "full" stomach should not be on your list of goals if you are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle - especially if that lifestyle includes weight control.  I have come to the realization that having a full stomach leads to a full figure.

When your stomach feels "full," it's a reaction to being stretched. This happens when too much food is put into it. Filling one's stomach can lead to discomfort, indegestion, and lethargy. There are recommendations against activity on a full stomach because when your stomach is full, it is easy to induce vomitting, cause diarhea, or cause muscle cramps due to circulation being diverted to the stomach in order to handle this overstuffed state.

Pay attention to your body. If it's hungry, feed it. When it's not hungry any more, stop feeding it. Full is not the goal. Satisfied is the goal. Absence of hunger is the goal. You should still be able to wear the same pants compfortably after a meal as when you sat down. If you can't, you've overeaten. You should still be able to do normal activity after a meal. Do you rub your belly and sigh/groan when you get up from the table? If you have to unbutton your pants and go lay down after a meal, that's not satisfaction. That's gluttony, over-doing it, and being sick. It's your body telling you "don't do this to me! I can't function like this!" 

Just because the food may taste good doesn't mean you have to eat every bit of it. Just because you are on a 2,000 calorie diet doesn't mean that should be your daily intake goal. That is your upper limit, not the amount you want to achieve. Weight Watchers, 45 points (for example) is your daily limit. They give you extra in the week because they know you'll want to cheat. They've been at this a long time and know how it works, after all! Your body has built-in mechanisms to tell you when and how much to eat. Points and calories are excellent guidelines, but your body was either built through thousands of years of evolution or designed my an all-knowing god(ess).  It's okay to be less than full, to be satisfied, to be nourished, to be comfortable.

Americans seem to have an obsession with being full, not just dieters. People think if they aren't full, they are in danger of starving. People don't realize that it is okay to be hungry once in a while. Our dear Allan posted a wonderfully perspective-inducing picture of what starving looks like on his blog today. In that spirit, I'm going to post for a you picture of what "full" looks like.

Doesn't he look uncomfortable? I think he's having a hard time doing his job. He's overworked! Poor guy.

I'd much rather have a satisfied tummy than a full tummy at this point. It's taken me some mental conditioning to get here. I don't want a full tummy. I don't want the full figure that comes with it. I want to be satisfied with my figure, and with my life - which is already quite full, thank you.


  1. Funny (or not) how I used to not think Iwas satisfied until i ate enough to be FULL. Like it was some sort of mission to pack it in or else I failed. Well, I succeeded allot at that mission, and ballooned up to 320 for my efforts. So yes, you nailed it, "Pay attention to your body. If it's hungry, feed it." Don't pat attention to the Hungry-Demon inside of you that would have you think that every tummy rumble is a need to feed. Think before you eat.

    Nice Post!

  2. Wow does this speak to me tonight. I had an awesome day of eating, i went on an hours bike ride and now i'm sitting here watching a movie.
    I had an urge to go to the kitchen and grab a small bite of something but the more i thought of it the more i realized i'm really not hungry, in fact i feel very satisfied. So i won't be eating anything more tonight and i'm sure i'll wake up feeling a lot better than if i had stuffed myself.

  3. The favorite comment of my two skinny kids is, "But that won't fill me up!" Hmm, we must change the vocabulary!

  4. I am hungry right now...but at 10:30 pm, not going to go eat now! So, I will take a big sip of water, and try to ignore it. Great post!

  5. I agree. But knowing and doing are not always the same thing for me. I have certainly eaten to the point of fullness lately.

  6. This is the hardest lesson I have had to learn.

    And I have to re-learn it more times than I care to admit.

    And I suppose that I'll keep relearning it...Forever.

  7. Yes, I also love that magic pill of exercise. And I thought I could never fit it in, nor that I would like it, But, than I discovered my bike. If I skip a day because if weather or whatever, I am tortured. Good for you making such a great lifestyle change and commitment.

    BTW: I liked your post about full. Full used to be reserved for Thanksgiving and such. Now, it is all the time. Being satisfied just feel physically so much better.


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