This is a question that I am asking myself a lot these days. What does full feel like? How do I know I am full? What is the difference between full and stuffed? These are all really good questions that I am investigating.
I am learning that being full does not mean the same thing anymore for me. I am learning to listen to my body and what it is telling me over what my mind is telling me. I know I am full when I have stopped eating to fulfil my nutritional needs and keep eating to meet my mental needs. I have heard that some lap band people have a "soft stop" signal that tells them they are full and is a warning that if they keep eating they will be sick. I haven't found mine yet but I have a few suspects that I am experimenting with. I have noticed that I do a sort of belly burp type of thing (all inside not a huge burp) or other times I kind of breath deeper. Both are examples I have seen and there are a few more that I am curious about, some people get a runny nose (sinus season so this won't work) and others get the hiccups. I did get hiccups today while eating so I stopped and listened to my body and realized I was good to stop eating. I will keep you updated on "soft stops".
I am also learning that there is a huge difference between full and stuffed. Being full means being satisfied but being stuffed means eating almost to the point of pain and sickness. I have always done this as I have posted before and will probably always fight the urge to do this. I get caught up in what it tastes like that I forget to stop when I am satisfied. I will just keep eating. This has been a learning thing with my band too. I am making my plate now with the same serving size that I am giving my two youngest children. Yes, it satisfies me but I will still look longingly at my husbands plate and wonder why I am not eating more. Then I mentally feel out my body and realize it is because I am full already. I am retraining myself to recognize full as satisfied and not as stuffed. Harder than you think it is.
I am also learning that I don't eat as often either. I had a mid morning snack the other day and then on my way home from work realized that I did not eat lunch, nor did I miss it. This surprised me and I started testing myself. I am not skipping meals or anything but i am not snacking now unless my stomach is actually grumbling that it needs something. It is also the moment that proved to me that I need to start plating my dishes in smaller portions too since I no longer "needed" the larger amount. So far so good. I have not been on a diet this week but lost 3 pound and I am now back at my surgery date weight! I have a sneaking suspicion that this is from eating until I am full and not a bite more.