Healthier food is so much more filling
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
I read once that our stomach doesn't get hungry/full by how much volume it's holding; it gets hungry/full based on these sensors that tell us whether or not we've gotten enough nutrients. I don't know how sound the science behind that is but it sounds right.
I grew up binging on junk food, something my own mother encouraged-- and provided in abundance without limits (I suffered abuse by food; that's another story though). As an adult I always fell back on bad habits and it feels like when I eat junk food like fast food, chips, sweets, or even home-cooked meals if they include a lot of simple carbs with gobs of butter or cheese, etc. It's like a switch flips on in my head and makes me hungrier and hungrier no matter how much I eat, I feel like I can't stop till I am physically uncomfortable, and even then it's like, "Aww, damn. I can't eat anymore, it's making me sick." On some level, I still want more, I don't want to stop.
But as I've aged I've tried to shift my diet to healthier and healthier choices. Oh it has taken years and I've backslid a bunch, but I keep working at getting there/staying there.
With healthy food though, even if it's good, it's so much more satiating. When I track my food I'm shocked that it's only 900 or 1100 calories and I have to add more, because it's so much more filling and satisfying and my body can run on it for so much longer without getting hungry again. Sometimes I feel like I don't even want to eat but I have to have something because my blood sugar is low and I have to take meds and I didn't eat enough for the day.
The healthy food doesn't flick on that same switch. And I'm not even super-healthy with all that "pure living" and "eat clean," etc... I mean reasonably healthy and balanced meals. Give me the junk and it's like a drug, and I'm high on it... till I crash and feel terrible; not just physically-- I feel guilty and worried and all kinds of frustrated. But give me a healthy meal and I feel like I can eat like a normal person.
As I get older I get more and more scared of slipping back into terrible old habits and addictions. I just did it again this past year & a half, and my Dr check-up in June with all kinds of bad news was yet another major wake-up call. It's scary, what some foods can do to me-- to my brain, to my self-control. It's scarier that a part of me still creeps up every now and then, a part that wants them so much.
Anyway, I'm getting off track; but it's always just so surprising how eating a reasonably healthy meal can make you feel so content, even at smaller quantities. Tracking and planning meals is really important for me right now because I always feel like it's too much, but when I account for every little bit it's often way lower than I thought and I find myself shocked a lot.
Does that happen to anyone else when eating healthier foods, where the problem becomes more unintentional under-eating than unintentional over-eating?