Recognize satiety

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

It seems easier to us to say if we are hungry or not, if we can taste or not… But when we approach the question of satiety, it gets stuck… In the end, few people really know what it is. is and above all how to respect it. In any case, this is the observation that I make every day as a Dietitian specializing in eating disorders.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

To begin with, I can give you this clue: if you have the feeling of having eaten too much at the end of the meal, it means that you have had difficulty taking into account your feeling of satiety. This habit of eating a little beyond your fullness makes you gain weight, because you eat beyond your energy needs (you store when it is not necessary).

A simple tip to help you stop gaining weight: if you ate too much at a meal, wait until hunger returns before eating another meal. This will compensate for your excesses from the previous meal. So yes, this requires shifting the time, waiting and above all being patient… Without falling into the habits of “3 meals a day at fixed times”.

Come back to listening to your food sensations intuitively! Get out of the control and rigid rhythm you’ve been stuck in for so long… Let’s go for a simple and applicable explanation of this extraordinary sensation that is satiety!

What is Satiety?

It is quite simply the state of non-hunger between two meals which lasts until the reappearance of hunger signals… It seems easy said like that! But hearing and listening to it requires training, patience and perseverance.

To properly perceive satiety it is necessary to be hungry before eating, to pay attention to your tasting and your taste sensations. I’ll decode this gibberish for you:

To be hungry means to have a pit in the stomach, a tight feeling, a specific desire for a particular food or dish.

Tasting is the act of chewing your food mindfully; for this you must be seated at the table, without television or smartphone. We eat while being there, in the present moment, connected to ourselves.

Taste sensations are none other than the pleasure of eating, hunger and gustatory satiation, that is to say, when you no longer have an appetite for one or more foods on your plate:

  • If you go beyond this taste satisfaction during your meal, if you eat beyond it, you feel nausea or disgust for your plate;
  • If, on the other hand, you don’t reach it and you finish your meal while still hungry, you will feel a lack or frustration.

Body sensations: if I listen to it, I know!

Focus on the food sensation of satiety, which includes three nuances:

  • Specific appetite: it is the desire to eat a particular food. So be careful, I’m not talking here about emotional desires to eat (where some people can indulge in cakes, very fatty or very sweet foods), no, it’s a fine, sensitive desire that will allow you to choose what your meal will be. For example: the desire for chicken, banana, broccoli or egg can be specific desires! A bit like these desires of pregnant women, you all feel them every day but very few of you listen to them and respect them.
  • Taste satiation (the feeling of weariness in the mouth): when the pleasure of eating a specific food stops. You no longer want the vegetables on your plate but still, no problem finishing the piece of fish, very good… It’s normal and it can happen! Pay attention to this.
  • Overall satiation: this is when the desire to eat to meet the body’s needs stops and it is time to finish your meal. You no longer want what is presented in front of you, so you stop eating, even if there is some left on your plate.

What is satiety for?

Satiety will allow you to progress in your weight loss and maintenance. Pay attention to your satiety throughout the meal and the disappearance of hunger thanks to taste/overall satiation as explained above… That’s the key!

You can therefore eat everything, it’s all a question of quantities adjusted to your current energy needs. We no longer weigh food, we no longer calculate calories, no… We listen to our body… Quite simply!

Attention ! Feeling gustatory satiation does not mean having the will to stop eating or not giving in to temptation or emotions… And if you encounter difficulties at this level, I invite you to consult a dietician specializing in eating behaviors .

A little additional information: satiation will be all the more noticeable when the food is high in calories. Our mouth tells us that the taste pleasure brought by these foods is ending: continuing consumption would lead us to disgust… So it’s easier to know when to stop eating a pizza than a broccoli puree, yet with training, everything will become obvious to you.

A full stomach: what is this indicator?

Focusing on filling your stomach when you eat can be the result of several things:

  • The search for strong sensations in order to combat painful emotions (I eat to comfort myself, to give myself affection, love, tenderness, etc.);
  • The fear of missing out (fear of being hungry, of not having enough, fear of dying, etc.).

Either way, it leads to you eating excessively and uncomfortably. Generally speaking, it is better to trust your mouth than your stomach to identify when you need to stop eating and it is better to leave the table without having your stomach too full, in order to stay in your comfort zone. .

The fear of gaining weight by eating high-calorie foods

When you hear that you can eat anything, fear and anxiety set in. You don’t believe it… You’ve heard it so much: “good and bad foods”, “good and bad fats”, “healthy and balanced diet”,…

However, I affirm: there are no “fattening foods”! You gain weight if you eat too much, more than your needs, yes, we agree.
But if you respect your eating sensations of hunger and satiation, you will not gain weight and your weight will evolve until it reaches its balance weight. A weight at which you will stabilize, without frustration, without breakdown, without guilt, simply by being comfortable with your needs.

My goal is to allow you to eat all the foods you love, without guilt, with pleasure, in quantities that correspond to your needs, knowing how to stop when you feel full.

So you will be liberated, soothed with your plate and your body!