“Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.”, a saying that my parents have been telling my siblings and I since we were younger. Being a petite girl who is only 5 ft. and 115 pounds it is evident that my stomach can’t hold much; however, I can imagine I’m not the only person who enjoys pigging out and eating more than I know my stomach is capable of handling. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for my fifteen years of competitively dancing and spending five days a week in the dance studio, I would be completely out of shape. Although I am aware of that my petite body can’t handle a lot of food, I seem to not be aware of when I am actually full and satisfied.
So how does our stomach signal our brain that we are in fact, full and it’s time to stop eating? Satiety is the main thing that allows our brains to realize that we don’t have any more room in our stomach to consume anything else at the time. This has to do with our hormonal and neurological signals basically sending a message to our brain from our stomach allowing it to tell us (our brains) we are full. The stomach walls functions accordingly to one’s states of hunger, and as a meal is being eaten, it stretches to provide sufficient space for our meals. “Stretch receptors” within the nerves of our stomachs deliver signals to our brains, informing it to stretch and to eventually stop eating as a result of being full. Simultaneously, the hormone “ghrelin,” which is primarily triggered when our bodies are hungry, slowly starts to reduce. As a result, an excessive number of impulses signal our brains to stop eating.
It’s not only the mechanisms that tell us we are full but also timing helps us be alarmed of when should stop eating. Eating at a quick speed is presumed to be less beneficial than eating slower, as eating at a moderate pace allows us to thoroughly enjoy the taste and richness of our food were eating and bettering our digestive systems. It is suggested to test your fullness by standing up in the middle of a meal and observing how your stomach feels. The state of comfortability notes that your body has eaten enough; this technique will help avoid the heavy feeling of being full, uncomfortable, and bloated. So, next time you’re preparing to make a second plate of food for yourself, stand up for a second and make sure you are actually still hungry!