"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.