It takes 20 minutes until your stomach tells your brain you’ve eaten enough. Myth or Fact?
The answer? Sort of.
A 20-minute countdown to relieve hunger pangs or achieve fullness from the time food first passes your lips isn’t the same for everyone and varies with how hungry you are when you first start to eat.
Additional factors such as your perception of how filling the food or drink should be, the size of your stomach, hormones, sleep quality the night before, and certain conditions like Diabetes or other blood sugar or nerve abnormalities can all affect the time it takes to feel full. These situations can translate to a time range resembling 15-45 minutes!
It’s important to eat regular meals throughout the day to limit the number of times you’d start to eat when you’re starving (aka hangry) or about 2 on the 1-10 graded hunger scale. At this point, you’ll likely eat quickly to try to relieve the accompanying physical pain. This is when we tend to consume more significant portions, and we can miss the body’s satiety cues, ending up at a 9 or 10.
While eating, look for these signs, which will signal an approximate 5 on a hunger scale:
- You start to slow down where you’re eating.
- A return to focus on the conversation at the table .
- Burping or belching.
Knowing your hunger cues can help you better pace yourself at meals. Consider knowing your DNA. Certain gene expressions give insight into how your body recognizes hunger and satiety cues.
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