What is “full?”

(Tim) #1

Before starting keto if I ate a steak or a box of cookies. I would eat until I was so bloated and saying “OMG, I need to unbutton the button on my pants so I can finish this meal”, is that full or satiated. When is full? that’s a big question I have. Is full when you can’t eat anymore or you’re gonna be sick or is full when a couple of slices of bacon and a couple eggs and you can eat more but you don’t need to?


Aslong as we have insulin rushing through our blood we can never know when full is. Thats the crux. Get rid of the influence of carbs and we can finally listen to our own inner voice which tells us “Ok I am full now” With carbs I could eat a toast for breakfast and was then set up to be hungry for the rest of the day - just because of the insulin which was released after a carb rich breakfast.

(Aimee) #3

Full for me is when I literally cannot eat another bite. Yes, it happened tonight. Chicken drumsticks (shudder). I decided to have a bigger meal because I was only eating 900 cals a day. But afterwards I was like in a food coma. Couldn’t eat it all. I get full so very easily now.


I am a bottomless pit mostly.

I can eat til very full and I never call it overeating. I do know there is that last bite I wish I didn’t take sometimes :slight_smile: cause it does push me into uncomfortable for a bit. But it never lasts long at all cause I am a carnivore plan person. So my meat does not ‘set and rot’ in my gut like my old eating of bread/taters/and junk like before…so I have to say, I eat til very full and happy but never worry truly about going past a point to terrible. I just never get there. A bit uncomfortable, yea, but not for long cause my body processes my food kinda quickly for me personally and I feel pretty darn good pretty fast when I went a bit too far and ate that 1 bite more than my tummy probably wanted.

hey that is how I explain it for me LOL

(Aimee) #5

That’s exactly what happened to me tonight. I was a bit uncomfy and moaning and Groaning for 10 mins but now I’m just full and comfy again. I swear to god though I am avoiding sour cream like the plague for a few days. Sooooo sick of it.:joy:

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #6

For me “full” is when it doesn’t taste like the first bite anymore. When I’m hungry dirt would be delicious but as I become full, it would not taste good. Same with actual food like broccoli. Sure I could over eat bacon because it’s hyperpalatable but I couldn’t get stuffed on a chicken breast by accident.

Full is when you’re not ravenous anymore, or when you begin to slow down. When you can feel food stretching your stomach. (At that point it’s a good idea to give it a minute and reassess your hunger).

Stuffed is when you REALLY feel full, when you’re uncomfortable, when you’re eating because your brain says to finish what you prepared and don’t waste those last three bites, when you need a drink of water because it’s stacked up into your esophagus.

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #7

There are many of us who don’t have ‘hunger’ and ‘satiety’ signals like others… I was going to say ‘normals’. But what’s normal?

For example. I seldom feel ‘hungry’ and when I do, which is primarily first thing in the morning, it’s just a very weak ‘you ought to eat something’ sort of faraway voice. And it goes away very soon afterwards. I often forget to eat simply because that little voice goes away and I get involved in something that distracts me.

A more reliable signal during winter is when I feel cold. That tells me I’m running out of gas and need to refuel. In the warmer months, when I feel weak I know it’s time to eat. ‘Dizzy’ means EAT NOW.

I can also eat to the point of not being able to stuff anything more down my gullet. I did this all my life on SAD. I basically ate all day long. Yet I maintained my weight of last year of high school until maybe 10 years ago, when I started to gain very slowly. Of course, by then I was 65 years old!

So I weigh/measure food. Simple as that. By trial and error I have determined how much I need to eat to maintain my weight and my level of activity. When I start to lose weight, I eat more. When I start to gain, I eat less. This has worked well for me for my 3 years on keto so far. I expect it will continue to work. So ‘empty’ and ‘full’ mean little to me. I start each day anew with my blank spreadsheet and the daily targets. No, I don’t find this onerous at all. In fact, I feel a great deal of satisfaction doing it every day.

(John) #8

I went from my default states being “full” and “not full” - meaning when not full, that meant it was OK to eat again.

Now I try to go from “empty” to “not empty” - where being completely empty is my green-light for eating (if it fits my goals). I don’t have to eat when empty, but I can if I so choose.

I try to stop when I have achieved “not empty” even though I could probably keep eating. This aligns with a Japanese phrase “hara hachi bu” - eat until 8 tenths full.

As such, I really never get to where I feel full. And I have taught myself that it is OK to feel empty, and not do anything about it other than observe it, until the next planned meal time.

(Susan) #9

For those of us that rarely get hunger pains anymore, we just have to try to make sure to eat. I often forget to eat, and those days end up being an OMAD instead of a TMAD -and my metabolism suffers, because I have a hard time eating even 1000 calories on those days. It is important to remember to eat, because I don’t want a big stall again, where my body thought it was starving…

I am doing a 92 hour fast atm though, so hoping that this will jump start my body into losing again =).

(Aimee) #10

Wow, 92 hours!! I did the 40 hour famine when I was 12 and i thought that was long :joy:. I’m trying SO hard to not worry about bloody calories. It’s been drummed into my head ALL my life as it has for most of us. I only ate 900 the other day and yesterday I ate 1350 which seems like a lot for me. It dosent help with the carb app saying I must eat less than 1450 cals a day. And if I eat more of anything it flashes red and says “over the limit”. My tummy is rumbling right now but I just woke up and don’t wanna prepare food right now. I’ll just have a coffee. That takes it away. My biggest meal of the day is dinner so I can sleep with a full belly. God I was full last night, but for some reason it digests quickly and the uncomfy feeling passed. I’m still learning. I have a lot to learn. I’m taking a break from weighing myself because I was starting to get disordered thinking and base my moods on whether it had gone down or not.xxx

(Susan) #11

I try to only weigh on Sunday’s at noon, before eating or drinking anything, sometimes a bit earlier in the day, but then sometimes I weigh myself an extra time or two during the week…


I am babbling today, more than usual I fear, I warn you. I wrote a lot about my own experiences, maybe it’s interesting for someone, I love to read about these, we are so amazingly different! Too bad I can’t do it more concise.

It’s a good question and we surely experience this very differently.
On simple keto, I am a tad confused myself. On carnivore, it’s way easier especially if I eat meat towards the end of my meal. I just feel it’s enough and I have perfect satiation, I love it! (But I am a newbie, we will see if this blessed thing continues.)
But I am often okay on keto, on low-carb and even on a carbier diet. It gets trickier if I add more and more carbs as they tend to interfere with my hunger and satiation signs (they makes me hungry even if I was nicely satiated 5 minutes ago). But it’s me, many people don’t have that.
And we ourselves aren’t the same all the time, there are odd times. Food choices matter a lot. Timing may be important… What if I overate but my macros aren’t good enough for satiation or I ate one meal too many or at the wrong time and I am hungry? Some of us need some “order”, specific conditions to be okay and satiated. It usually comes naturally to me but sometimes something is off and chaos ensues though it’s nothing compared to a chaos due to carbs. But a too carby keto is problematic for me sometimes. That’s one reason why I do carnivore now. And I still could choose my food not well.

I am sure we all have different states. I don’t have an empty state, I never feel empty, I think. If I focus, I can tell if my stomach if empty, I think but it doesn’t matter at all.
On the hunger/satiation line, I have… Strong hunger, hunger, neutral, nicely satiated (I like to stop here), completely satiated (I stop here), a bit too full (mistakes happen). It takes a lot (and carbs) to eat myself really unwell so that’s not a concern. When I am lucky, nicely and completely satiated blends into perfect satiation. I automatically stop but I am not very full, just perfect. My favorite state is this and being well-fasted when I don’t need fuel yet and don’t feel hunger either (they are different), both are perfect.

There are odd times when I stay hungry, no matter what but it’s usually wrong food choice, even on keto. It’s not a good idea to run out of some of my good, satiating protein sources. Fat helps little if I am hungry or not at all. It’s a good ally for protein but protein has a key role.

At one point, when my hunger and satiation signs were horribly unrealiable, I ate according to my plan, more or less, I never am too inflexible. Was I already satiated after a few bites? I kept eat until I was physically able to. Was I hungry after my meal? It will pass. It worked well enough because I know what my body needs on a normal day (it’s horribly fixated on numbers, especially calories but macros are very important too for my satiation, I don’t even understand) and if it was a special day, I felt it and ate accordingly. I only stopped if my hunger was the “slightly annoying but it will pass if I ate enough” type. It was so unnatural, I had to track and especially look at my calorie intake to see if it’s a good idea to ignore my hunger. But I do this if I did a drastic change lately and my body is confused and its signs go wild. It’s always very temporal.

I usually eat when it’s time. It works, more or less but I had to change my mealtime I used since ages. I wrote already I am flexible… Waiting for hunger isn’t necessarily good in my case, sometimes it’s very bad and it’s especially dangerous for people who simply never get hungry. I do but I should wait for very long and sometimes I start to break down (just weakness but my body likes its temper tantrums if the food doesn’t come) before it happens.

So it’s complicated and it’s just hunger. It’s totally personal from here, just interesting. My appetite (it’s the desire part if not clear. maybe if it’s super strong, it’s called craving) has total control if it’s strong or negative and it has little to do with my hunger. Oh and my stomach state has little to do with my hunger or appetite too. When they are quite opposite at the same time, that’s not fun. It’s actually quite interesting how I work, it’s not like I can consciously choose if I have strong signs though I consciously don’t do hunger under normal circumstances. But I have no power against the two extremes of my appetite. It’s not a problem, usually. Too strong appetite towards wrong food without reason turns off on a good diet and negative appetite with strong hunger is super rare and while annoying, can’t last for long. And I never fill my stomach completely with not satiating food/drink again if possible but it’s just a few minutes anyway (too much time for suffering if you ask me).

So it’s a bit tiring sometimes but as I am fine until 6-7pm nowadays (it was 3pm before) because I am nicely satiated until then, zero/negative appetite, zero hunger, zero need to refuel so I don’t eat, it could be worse :smiley: And a good diet when I get used to it and no need to tweak things helps tremendously.


We are so very different, it’s interesting :). Taste is affected by appetite and hunger/fullness in my case (nothing tastes good when I am starved, I need normal hunger, that’s often quite effective as it’s normal) but I realize taste anyway, at least on some cold observation level and it always has a big effect if the taste is very good or very bad, I just can’t not notice or ignore it. I have standards even when hungry but if it’s still at the beginning of a meal, my food has better chances even if my hunger lower then. There is no boring food among my usual ones when I really need food so my first dish is usually some simple eggs. The first, rarely the last, the latter requires a serious, true hunger, maybe some extra desire for eggs but definitely not living mostly on eggs in the previous several days.

Ravenous usually means I neglected eating for way too long or I eat the wrong food or maybe I have one of my rare Super Hungry Days. Not good.

Do you feel food is stretching your stomach? Wow, you must be sensitive or is it normal for people? Or do you mean when it’s close to maximal capacity? I feel that too if it’s very, very close but that’s lots of food or water. The organ starts streching way earlier, maybe some people feel that too. I barely feel if it’s empty, I need to focus for that. I usually eat dense food with not too big volume so my stomach state is usually under the radar.

(Paulene ) #14

Same. It’s so nice not to have the carbmonster screaming at me all the time now.

(Paulene ) #15

I like this definition :ok_hand:

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #16

I feel stretching, but to me I just call it getting full. It’s kind of like when you drink a glass of cold water on a hot day. You can feel the cold in your stomach. But it’s like pressure with a bunch of food. If I eat a piece of cake, it feels bad instantly, like it’s being scratched and I get heartburn immediately (good thing I don’t eat cake! :wink:)

I honestly think I’m sensitive from years of starving myself and paying way too close attention to these types of things. The feeling of “full” used to give me immense feelings of guilt and shame. I don’t have that problem now, but I still REALLY notice the feeling of food in my stomach even after all these years.


Thank you, I think I understand now. As much as someone like me can, with very different past and sensitivity.
I suspected attention might be a reason. I mostly ignore my stomach, I focus on other signs so my sensitivity lies elsewhere.

(I never realized the cold in my stomach so I tried. Indeed, I feel it!)


About 3 years in to ketogenic eating (TMAD, not constant), I was eating a dinner and I just stopped eating. The fork was on its way to my mouth, and I just put it down. I sat and reflected that it was the first time in many years I had not “finished” (as in, eaten everything) a meal. It was profound. It was more than not feeling hungry, it was a hard stop.

I was not “full”. It was more the recognition of a new finish line. I had finished eating when I had had enough. It wasn’t even I didn’t need to eat more, or that I couldn’t eat more. It was more that eating as a concept did not exist. It was like I had slipped into a universe where eating did not exist and I was free to go and do other stuff.

I now understand the previously alien concept of “leftovers”. The food, the things that were on the plate were transferred to a storage container and into the fridge. It felt bizarre.

It happens every meal now, except if I have alcohol, or if there are carbohydrate rich foods (social) that I have eaten. In those cases I usually eat until I feel full.

Finished not full.

(Troy) #19

Have no idea really anymore
Just go by my body I guess
If I even come close to that onset bloated :nauseated_face: feeling coming on…I just :stop_sign: eating

That’s my highly sensitive trigger :slightly_smiling_face:


I’d say when you can happily walk away and not want to come back for more. However, that has always been an issue for me even after years of keto. If there’s food on my plate… I want to eat it. Breaking the sugar addiction didn’t stop that for me, only changed the food on the plate.