When I first started losing weight I read that it takes approximately 20 minutes for your stomach to notify your brain that you are full. So I started concentrating on eating slowly.
This was and is a huge challenge for me because I have always inhaled my food. I'm not the only one - in my family we tend to eat extremely fast - even thin family members chow down quickly.
So now when I eat I actually watch the clock. I chew my food much more and even take mini breaks during my meals.
And guess what - it really doesn't help that much. I'm still hungry after eating a full meal.
I've said a lot that my "hunger switch" is broken. But as I lay in bed Saturday night feeling so full from having overeaten during the reunion I realized that I CAN feel full and not want to eat - but that my body does not respond to the cues in a normal amount of time.
No, you see, I had eaten so much that I believe I must have been full hours earlier. BUT I had no feeling of being full until like 8 at night.
I realized that this happens on occasions like Thanksgiving as well. I don't feel that "stuffed" feeling until HOURS later.
I have read posts by people - usually binge eaters - who talk about feeling almost sick from eating so much and yet they continue to eat. That's not the case with me. The problem is that I just don't have any physical cues to stop in any sort of reasonable time.
There is still so much of the brain that we don't understand. And I've told my clients that I believe some day we'll find "addiction" in the brain. And once we pinpoint that we might be able to go a long way to curing addiction. I wonder if some day we'll find the exact "hunger cue" in the brain as well and be able to fix it.
It's not an excuse for obesity, but I think that it explains a lot of how some people end up consuming so much more and getting fat. And it must be hard for people who have normal brains to understand how people can eat a ton of food and not feel full.
So this means that I – along with others who might have a broken switch – have to stop eating based on non-instinctive cues… Just another challenge we face.