3

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What is a 'full belly', really? It doesn't seem to be related closely to satiety

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 13, 2011 at 11:57 PM

I've noticed, especially since starting paleo and tracking my weight regularly, that having a 'full belly' has almost no relationship to how satiated I really am nor if I'm gaining or losing weight.

For instance, I might feel absolutely bloated from eating (paleo foods - not junk) several days and nights in a row - but I've lost a couple pounds on average. Or I might feel like I'm 'doing good' and not too full - but have gained a little over a few days.

It seems like it must be a hormonal signal that results in a 'full' feeling instead of actual pressure from food in the belly...

I do tend to overeat a little still - but at least not so much and not on carbs anymore (for which I could kiss the ground in gratitude!) and I rarely snack during the day...

I notice this with my wife too (who is definitely NOT paleo) - she'll say something like "I lost a few pounds on that trip" - but it's based entirely subjectively on how she feels. She's never weighed herself to check.

Today it happened with some exercise: I was hungry, and for a late lunch bought a very small amount of Chinese food to go, and carried it 10 flights up to my office to eat. I had had some coconut oil earlier to avoid temptation to overindulge. Just that little bit - after the exercise - made me feel absolutely bloated and even a little sugar-tired (this restaurant definitely puts some sugar in their sauces - just not as much as others in the area).

I've certainly had the binge-until-packed feeling and it's not too different, but clearly it can happen with a very small amount of food.

Can someone explain this? I'm sure some of you scientific wizards will know exact pathways and which hormones etc. It just seems like such a mystery that the full-belly feeling is so inaccurate (and related to how people can binge in spite of a full belly). Obviously it means something - but what?

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 14, 2011
at 03:28 PM

I'd suggest taking the chicken over the chinese any day. Just dont eat the skin or fats of that roasted chicken to be sure (if its not organic, which isnt likely, itll have more omega6's in the fats). why not look for chinese primal recipes online? i found a good one that uses cauliflower and looks great, havent tried it yet. Eating out is hard, stick to real foods, steamed fish, baked chicken, pure veggies....the coconut oil should help balance your fats...but I wonder if its making you bloated? any allergies?

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 14, 2011
at 03:17 AM

Interesting - I wonder if a lifetime of eating too much bulk to get (barely) enough nutrition has hardwired an association between bulk and satiety, that is a less meaningful link in a paleo context. It does feel like I'm getting 'duped' by my body in some way! If that's the case then likely the discrepancy should diminish over time...?

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:57 AM

It's a mystery!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:56 AM

I do have some coconut oil. Funny you mention about turning to a liquid - I had it in a box under my desk but later moved it a shelf over my LCD monitor where it got hot enough to melt entirely :-) Good point on the soybean oil. Sigh I just can't find the perfect food near me! There's a decent cafeteria in my building and they have a roast-chicken & veggies option, but I don't know where the chicken comes from - and they close early like today.

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4 Answers

1
949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

on May 14, 2011
at 12:31 AM

I have the same question, but I don't have any answers. I felt like I was overeating Paleo food for a week or so, and my stomach was huge, but I still lost a couple of pounds. I wish I had an answer for you!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:57 AM

It's a mystery!

1
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 14, 2011
at 12:03 AM

And they cook everything in soybean oil in addition to sugar and MSG. I avoid oriental restaurants altogether.

Carry a small jar of coconut oil with you and when you get hungry, a couple of tablespoons with each 117cal will stave off the ghrelin hormone til you can get some paleo food.

Make sure the jar is leak proof as it turns to a liquid at 76 degrees and above.

Can't help you with pathways. But the hormone leptin plays a role. Am reading Mastering Leptin right now and can't say I understand yet how it affects the brain and how leptin resistance plays a role in eating. We also have a hormone PYY that is a hormone at the end of the digestive track that is susposed to signal you have eaten enough. Thus eating slowly helps in not eating too much. And then there is insulin.

Maybe Dr K and provide a clear picture.


Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 14, 2011
at 01:56 AM

I do have some coconut oil. Funny you mention about turning to a liquid - I had it in a box under my desk but later moved it a shelf over my LCD monitor where it got hot enough to melt entirely :-) Good point on the soybean oil. Sigh I just can't find the perfect food near me! There's a decent cafeteria in my building and they have a roast-chicken & veggies option, but I don't know where the chicken comes from - and they close early like today.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 14, 2011
at 03:28 PM

I'd suggest taking the chicken over the chinese any day. Just dont eat the skin or fats of that roasted chicken to be sure (if its not organic, which isnt likely, itll have more omega6's in the fats). why not look for chinese primal recipes online? i found a good one that uses cauliflower and looks great, havent tried it yet. Eating out is hard, stick to real foods, steamed fish, baked chicken, pure veggies....the coconut oil should help balance your fats...but I wonder if its making you bloated? any allergies?

0
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on May 14, 2011
at 11:51 AM

I also think that full bloated feeling can also be attributed to what you eat. I find if I eat a meal with some dense vegetables, like Brussels sprouts or cauliflower I feel very full right after the meal. However, if im just eating a salad or something i just have a feeling of satiety. Also when I eat foods with a high salt content I notice that bloated feeling as well.

Maybe concentrate on how you feel after you eat and make note of what you just consumed. The problem I have when I feel full as opposed to satisfied I am usually hungry a couple hours later.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 14, 2011
at 03:07 AM

Stomach fullness(ie.volume/bulk in stomach) does intitiate hormonal changfes that stave off hunger which is why a ball is often inserted in patients' stomachs during surgery to combat obesity. I have expereienced this myself ahving made the PALEO switch and dropping vegetables-and therefore bulk matter-from the diet for a time. Without the vegetables the small sized meals(proetin and fat only) left me feeling very hungry as also when I consume liquid as opposed to solid fats in the same amount and in the same form(eg. melted as opposed to solid room-temperature butter). I am also very interested in the hormonal relationship between ingested foods(quantity/quality, etc.) and satiety. Also how to minimize food consumed while preserving body composition(see my most recent post on 'Leangains' and 'intermittent fasting').

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 14, 2011
at 03:17 AM

Interesting - I wonder if a lifetime of eating too much bulk to get (barely) enough nutrition has hardwired an association between bulk and satiety, that is a less meaningful link in a paleo context. It does feel like I'm getting 'duped' by my body in some way! If that's the case then likely the discrepancy should diminish over time...?

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