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Rubystars 01-22-2012 02:59 PM

Brain/body disconnect
 
I have had this happen a few times recently, and occasionally in the past. Today has been like this. I don't know what happens exactly and I'm curious to know if other people have had this happen to them.

I will eat until my stomach feels really full, so I know I'm not really physically hungry. My stomach's not growling, etc.

At the same time, I keep having this feeling like I'm hungry, or like I want to eat.

Usually the two are in synch, I get cravings and such when I'm actually hungry, and they go away or are severely reduced once I eat something.

Now even being overfull I am still getting some kind of signal in my head that I need to eat, but I know if I eat more I'll make myself feel sick.

I tried drinking water and it helped a little, so maybe part of it was thirst, but I still feel these urges to eat that have nothing to do with actual hunger.

I wouldn't even really call it a craving. I just feel like I usually do when I'm hungry except for the sensation of my stomach being full rather than empty.

It's one of the strangest feelings and very hard to describe. Could I be deficient in something and my brain is telling me to eat and not satisfied after I eat because I didn't consume what it was seeking?

cjohnson728 01-22-2012 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rubystars (Post 69570)
Could I be deficient in something and my brain is telling me to eat and not satisfied after I eat because I didn't consume what it was seeking?

Absolutely. There is a difference between being full and being sated. I can eat a huge salad and feel full, but I won't have satiety (and my body physically won't be satisfied) unless I've had some protein and/or healthy fat. It is a hard thing to learn, what, exactly, your body needs right there and then, and it's frustrating when what you think should do the trick does not.

RunbikeSki 01-22-2012 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cjohnson728 (Post 69573)
Absolutely. There is a difference between being full and being sated. I can eat a huge salad and feel full, but I won't have satiety (and my body physically won't be satisfied) unless I've had some protein and/or healthy fat. It is a hard thing to learn, what, exactly, your body needs right there and then, and it's frustrating when what you think should do the trick does not.

I agree. It takes a lot of trial and error, but keep exploring what might work for you Ruby. When I experience this (and I do from time to time) sometimes water works (usually my first line of defence) sometimes a hot beverage, herbal teas in the evening, or coffee during the day. And sometimes gum works. Everyonce in a while I just tough it out until the next meal or snack, or bedtime. And in the spirit of full disclosure sometimes I give in.

Like lots of people have said before, a particularly high %of carbs in a meal most often triggers this sensation for me. It is one of the reasons that I avoid breads, muffins and pastrys for breakfast. But lordy, I do miss them;)

Rubystars 01-23-2012 12:54 AM

Thanks guys for the information. I was hoping I wasn't the only one this was happening to. It almost made me feel a little bit nuts to be full but still feel the same sort of hunger feelings.

I'll try to get more protein and see if that helps!

I also thought it was interesting how there's a difference between fullness and satiety, usually the two go hand in hand for me but sometimes they don't and I always feel like that's a really strange sensation. I didn't really think about the fact that they COULD be separate except that I was feeling that way.

Kay_in_PA 01-23-2012 02:15 AM

Hi Rubystars, I just took a semester of biopsychology and we did a chapter on hunger, appetite and saiety, so this is an intresting question to me. I'd have to find my textbook and look it up to give a technical answer, but basically there are gauges in the body that measure the available nutrients in the blood. When levels are sufficient they trigger a release of hormones that produce the sense of satiety. You can be full, and still not have enough nutrients in your blood to trigger the hormones that tell you to stop eating.

It is probably a good idea to keep track of what you are eating that is causing this and see if you can maybe make it more balanced in terms of carb, protein and fat. I know I've experienced this, a lot of times it happens with salads. They are bulky and make me feel full, but I'm still hungry. Usually a few almonds will make me feel better.

Rubystars 01-27-2012 01:53 PM

I think I needed more protein and fat. Thanks for the insight.

taubele 01-27-2012 03:22 PM

Hi Ruby,

You've gotten awesome advice here :) Ingestive behavior is more complex than we ever think it is. It might be that you're experiencing spikes in glucose or insulin which can trigger different kinds of "hunger" or "craving" sensations. You might have eaten a low-protein meal, are in the process of digesting it (even though you still feel full) and are having ghrelin spikes. Could be anything!

There can be environmental triggers which say "You should be eating" - anything from the clock on the wall to where you're sitting, or who you're talking to, even if you just ate (A big one for me is time. I tend to eat at the same time every day, and if it gets thrown off, I'm out of whack for the next 24 hours).

Anyway, water is my first line of defense, same as Pam -- and then if that doesn't work, I'll try to snack, though sometimes I'll give in and eat a big meal even when I just ate >.<

Rubystars 01-29-2012 03:45 AM

Taubele thanks for the information. It's interesting how complex hunger and satiety are. I also thought it was interesting that someone's stomach can feel full but the person can be un-sated.

When I used to eat my old, unhealthy way, I would eat more fat in my diet and this never really happened to me very often. Now since most of what I eat is low fat, I have to consciously choose certain foods to include fat in my diet and this seems to help. I was eating avocados on a regular basis before but when the weather got colder I didn't really want them anymore. I've been using some 90 calorie almond butter packs and that seems to help. Plus I've been trying to eat a little more meat and that has also helped.

I've tried to go vegetarian a couple of times in the past (partly because most vegetarians I've seen are thin) but it never worked out for me. I'd do fine for a couple of months but then I would sort of fail to thrive and end up having to go back to meat.

Rubystars 01-30-2012 09:27 AM

One of the things that I also noticed is that even when I'm full AND sated, my mind often is on food. If I finish my breakfast my immediate thought is that I'm sorry there's not more, and I think about when I can eat again.

When I'm at work before lunch I constantly think that I can't wait until it's lunch time, so I can eat. After lunch I keep yearning to get home to have that next meal and every bad craving food in the world dances through my head.

I thought after losing over 80 lbs this would get better, but even though I feel so many physical benefits of being smaller I still have this almost constant feeling of wondering when I get to eat again.

I don't think food should be that important to me. I have other things in my life that I enjoy. I have interests outside of food and fun things I can do and good friends to talk to. Yet a part of my mind is always urging me to eat or think about when I get to eat next. What the heck is wrong with me and how do I stop it? I'm tired of having this dominate my mind.

I can feel completely full and sated and yet still be THINKING about food on an almost constant basis.

almeeker 01-30-2012 11:08 AM

I'm with you, my mind is on food a whole lot more often than necessary, or even what is a healthy amount of time to spend on the topic. What I've been trying to do is plan out the whole week on Sunday and Monday, which seems to help. I write it out in my calendar, then when I get to wondering about food I just look it up, pull whatever I need out of the deep freezer and hopefully that gets it off my mind. The other thing I've found is that the 35 calorie Laughing Cow cheese wedges are a pretty good snack, the calories are fairly well split 30/30/30 and if I drink a great big glass of ice water along with the cheese wedge (and eat it slowly), then about 75% of the time that feeling goes away. Although admittedly there are days when it doesn't even touch it and I end up face down in the carb bucket. Like Pam I've had to give up my morning carb foods, I try and hold off on those until dinner time.


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