How Do You Know When You Are Full??
When you are out of touch with your digestion then you maybe in touch with your stress and because you have to be relaxed in order to be able to digest your food appropriately, when being out of touch with your digestion, you won’t be able to get the nutrients that you need from your food. Digestion breaks down food so that the nutrients contained in your food (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water, vitamins and minerals) can be absorbed into the blood stream in order to support your body.
The process of digestion releases these nutrients for your body to use them. This process of transforming food supports your emotional and cognitive life. However, when under stress you may not be in touch with your emotional and cognitive life, perhaps gulping down food, choosing unhealthy food, not chewing your food, and not being able to pay attention to your satiety (fullness/satisfaction) causing distress in the digestive system. When you have too much of too little of the different kinds of nutrients from the foods you consume, this can create imbalances and a negative impact on mood and cognitive function. For example, drinking coffee increases dopamine release making you feel awake, alive, active, and improves focus! However, if you drink too much coffee you start to release Gaba which can cause anxiety and insomnia.
Sufficient good quality food is essential for good mood. What supports good mood is good quality proteins and when you lower your protein intake you also lower your mood and it is a risk factor for poor mental health. Protein is essential during times of stress because protein supports growth, as well as repair in the body because during times of stress the body has a tendency to start to break down. Proteins and vegetables are a part of the satiety complex, signalling fulness. In order to be able to tune into your feeling states it is good to be able to identify your hunger verses your satiety level. Especially important if you experience a compulsive need to eat, night eating, or bulimia, have a look at the hunger satiety scale.
10. Very uncomfortable, maybe even painful.
9. Moving into uncomfortable
8. Not uncomfortable but definitely eating a belly full.
7. Comfortably satisfied. Hunger is definitely gone. Stop here and you might not feel hungry again for 2-3 hours.
6. No longer hungry. You sense food in your belly, but you could definitely eat more.
5. Neutral. Not hunger, but not full.
4. A little hungry, you could wait to eat but you know you will be getting hungrier soon.
3. You are hungry and the urge to eat is strong.
2. All food looks good. You maybe preoccupied with your hunger.
1. You are so hungry you want to eat anything you can.
Keep this scale with you at all times and it is good to keep yourself in that mid range between four and seven. Good to remember too, eat only when your relaxed, be mindful before it is you start to eat, chew your food until it’s almost liquid, and put your fork or spoon down while you are eating, ensuring that you are not gulping down your food but that you maintain a slow and steady pace of food consumption, which will ensure good digestion.
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