100 lb. Club - Being "hungry" when you are stuffed to the gills?

Pacifica Bee
08-26-2010, 02:26 PM
I have done a LOT of self examination over the past 8 months about my relationship with food, past and present. I've thought about how I got to the weight I was, my upbringing around food, and my family's food history. This has been quite a lot of introspection and I have figured out so much about myself which allowed me to get to my current successes.

That said, there is one thing that for the life of me I cannot figure out: How can I eat a TON of food, until my stomach LITERALLY hurts, but there is a part of me that still physically feels hungry??? The feeling kind of starts at the base of my throat and ends at where I think the top of the stomach is.

Have any of you had this feeling? Have you pinned down what might trigger it? I'm pretty sure it is mental, but I suppose there could be something physical going on too. I dunno.. just figured I would ask people that might have a clue what I was talking about :)

08-26-2010, 03:49 PM
I'm not sure about what you're feeling--I do know that the feeling of "full" that I have now is really different from the feeling of "full" that I had before. "Full" on my previous way of eating usually involved slight queasiness and definite burpiness, and a sense of being sort of "logey," sluggish, heavy. Being full now feels solid in the stomach but without the associated icky feelings from before.

Have you ever noted symptoms of reflux? I'm wondering if the back of your throat is sort of irritated from nighttime or postprandial reflux.

08-26-2010, 04:16 PM
I can so relate, and always thought it had to be mental - but I don't think so anymore, because I discovered a couple purely physiological causes.

The first one was bc. PMS/TOM week was always ****-week for me, with hunger. I was absolutely stark, raving, mad ravenously hungry. Getting on a birth control pill actually stabilized my weight (when it had been climbing before hand) and got rid of most of my PMS/TOM hunger.

Then I discovered (after my doctor recommended low-carb) that on low-carb eating that "hungry all-the-time, even when I'm stuffed" hunger disappeared entirely. It didn't just get better - it completely disappeared (so long as I eat low-carb. When I go off low-carb eating the constant hunger returns).

08-26-2010, 05:28 PM
Just a few months ago, I used to feel like this a lot. I'd just finish eating and be very full, then not an hour later, I'd feel hungry. But, it's weird, it wasn't a true hungry feeling. It was more of an urge to eat. It's like I got used to the overly full, stuffed, bloated feeling and if I didn't feel like that, then I felt 'hungry'. It was definitely mental for me.

08-27-2010, 12:51 AM
Oh yeah... I totally get this. I used to feel that way a lot....for me, it's definitely mental.

The "feeling" that I used to associate with hunger felt very real to me. But real hunger, I've now realized is completely different. Now, if I get genuinely hungry between meals, one cheese stick is enogh for me to feel better.

The other kind of "hunger" could not be addressed by a cheese stick.


08-27-2010, 12:52 AM
I think you'd be suprised how often that feeling is heart burn.

08-27-2010, 06:52 AM
I have had the same feeling! At first I thought maybe I was misinterpreting a feeling of thirst for a feeling of hunger, and I would drink water which made it a little better. Then I thought I wasn't eating enough and I increased my calories here and there - one time I actually ate an 800 calorie meal and no joke - 30 minutes later I felt like I hadn't eaten anything in ages!!

For me, drinking a lot of water and increasing my protein made huge improvements on that feeling!

08-27-2010, 07:04 AM
For me, I've found that it really depends on what it is that I'm eating. Like Kaplods I've finally found that a lower-carb eating plan works best for me. My doc described insulin-resistant me eating carbs as "your body starving even though you're eating a lot". My body just can't process the energy from carbs very well, so even after eating a lot of food, I'd be always hungry.

I basically self-medicated myself with food to the tune of 300 pounds. I'd get a blood sugar spike, but then drop too fast from over-compensation due to insulin sensitivity, and I'd "need" more food to bring my mood and sugars onto an even keel.

Now that I eat lower-carb, I'm eating foods that satisfy me longer because I don't have the big sugar spike and drop. Hunger is not a matter of "I need to eat something or I'll end up being *itchy and mean to my daughter and husband", it's a matter of "it's been about five hours and I'm beginning to feel actual body hunger, maybe I should think about my next meal". It's very, very different now, and much more controllable.

Pacifica Bee
08-27-2010, 11:59 AM
I guess it might be heartburn. I'll have to pay more attention to what I ate when it happens next (I had had 5oz of bbq'd tuna and a veggie salad [no fats in it] so I'm not sure what would have caused heartburn there). I do eat fairly low carb already. I am glad to see at least a couple of you have chalked it up to a mental thing too; now I don't feel as much of a freak hehehe

08-27-2010, 12:19 PM
Like, right now, i'm feeling full, but I want to eat something. But I know the reason why I want to eat something, because I feel bored and nothing I've done (listening to music, reading books, etc) make me feel excited and fun so I want to eat...just for the sake of having something to do so I don't feel bored.

I guess the way to solve it is knowing what makes you want to eat, why, and how to solve it. But it's not always easy to do :)

Good luck, and know that you're not alone.

08-27-2010, 12:33 PM
For me, like Kaplods, #1 its the Carbs. Particularly grains, and particularly if I don't have enough protein and fat to slow down the absorption. #2 Boredom with what I am eating- mostly texture related. 3. Seeing something sweet that I "crave", it will create a type of hunger that will be the first part of a slippery slope if I give in. (This is happening less and less.)

Whether it is mental or physical or both, for me there are certain triggers....and I can tell if there are hidden sugars in something if I get hungrier after eating it.

08-27-2010, 12:34 PM
I have it all the time... And doesn't matter what I eat... Low carb, low fat, sugar free, fiber, protein, whatever....
I always have the "hungry" feeling, which I not even know if it is really hunger or just a urge to eat. I can't really recognize hunger because I want to eat ALL THE TIME.
The only time I can tell I have a real hunger is when it is at the point I can feel it physically, like stomach pain or stomach growling.
I know this feeling of hunger right after I eat is mental because I cant still hungry right after I had tons of food...
But unfortunately I can only stop eating when I feel so full at to the point of feeling pain.
How can I fix it??? I still looking for this answer... Hope I can find it soon!

08-27-2010, 01:15 PM
For me this type of feeling is definitely mental. I am glad that some others have had the same feelings.

I have noticed that when I am full~full feeling in my stomach~I would feel (in my mind) that I needed more food. I think that I have associated the full feeling as my own personal "hunger feeling".

The same thing with my "stuffing", as I call it. Taking two or three bites and often swallowing before tasting the bite. This may have started in my young teen years (maybe even earlier) because I would sneak food and have to eat quickly so no one would see me.

These are two habits that I have been trying to break. The third major habit was eating when stressed. Still, to this date, if something "stresses" me out, my first instinct is to grab something to put in my mouth.

Through this journey, I have become more aware of the emotions that I have associated with food. And often when I think about it, I get sad about the relationship that I have had with food for most of my life. But, I am happy that I am making changes :)

08-27-2010, 03:43 PM
I think the line between mental and physiological can be very blurry. There are many physiological processes and factors that cause or impact on mental events - there's no way to know for sure that there isn't a physiological cause.

Twenty years or so ago, I would have sworn (and ofted did - to doctors, friends, family... anyone who would listen) with deep conviction that my weight and my hunger were "mental." Because it couldn't be physical if my stomach was full, Right?

But if fake hunger is a mental problem, then it doesn't make sense that there would be such a dramatic physiological "cure."

There are mental health experts who believe that all mental problems are actually physiological ones. I don't believe that, but I have to say that I think I underestimated the physiological factors involved in what seemed to be purely "mental" issues.

I've tried unsuccessfully to control my weight most of my life. I strongly believe that the main reason I was so unsuccessful is that I was looking for mental solutions to a physiological problem. I assumed my weight and hunger issues were mental, so I never looked for a physiological solution. If I had considered the possibility of physiological factors, it's likely that I would have found the solution much earlier.

On one hand I suspected the hormonal issue long before I acted upon it. For almost as long as I've been menstruating, I realized that TOM increased hunger. Until I was in my twenties, doctors told me there was nothing I could do about it, except "try harder" to eat sensibly during TOM. When I was in my twenties, doctors told me that I could try birth control, but that most women gain weight on birth control - not wanting to take that chance, I didn't take birth control until I became desperate (the menstrual cramps were getting so bad that I was missing more work than I could afford to).

The reduction in menstrual cramps and in TOM hunger were nothing short of miraculous. It made me wish that I had been on birth control since my first period. Since that occured when I was 9 or 10, I doubt any doctor would have been willing to prescribe it, but I'm still convinced it would have drastically transformed my life. From the very very first period I had a 23 to 25 day cycle with very heavy 8 to 9 day periods and severe cramping. So 1/3 of my life was pretty miserable (and I'd estimate that about 1/4 of my life was spent in extremely intense hunger and food obsession).

Of course I wonder what would have happened if I had been prescribed birth control in my early teens. I wasn't sexually active until my 30's, so I didn't "need" birth control for it's intended purpose, but to me (even now) I do not use birth control primarily for birth control, I use it because I have poor quality of life without it (although with the other medications I am on, not conceiving a mutant child is a side benefit).

I think "mind over matter" is still the primary focus of weight loss - and I think that's misguided. I think that more effort has to be directed at understanding the physiological factors that can appear to be mental. I think both mental and physiological have to be addressed, and which is most important is probably going to vary from person to person - but I don't think it's ever entirely one-sided. Mental and physiological not only are always both present, sometimes it's very difficult for even the experts to differentiate. They're so entwined, it's difficult to separate.

On one hand, who cares what the cause is, if you can successfully address the problem, but I think we're more likely to successfully address the problem when we understand the underlying issues.

One interesting effect of finding low-carb for example, is that I'm much less emotional on a low-carb diet. I don't experience nearly as many or as severe of moodswings as when I'm on a low-carb diet - so a low-carb is an effective "treatment" for my moodswings. Does that mean that there was a physiological not a psychological cause to the moodswings? I think it does, but only now that I see the low-carb connection. Before I learned that (actually hubby noticed long before I did - it did seem a little weird that my husband seems to be less of a jerk when I eat low-carb), but before he noticed and made me notice - I would have laughed at anyone who told me that low-carb eating, or any diet for that matter, could improve emotional stability. I'm much more convinced that diet, exercise, and other physiological factors play a huge role in mental as well as physical health. The distinction between mental and physical may be almost meaningless.

08-27-2010, 04:37 PM
Its interesting what people have said about insulin resistance. I have PCOS and those go hand in hand. I have felt what your describing, especially after eating carbs. Last weeek I had a nugget meal from McDonald's. I was STUFFED, too full, but about 30 minutes later I was hungry for more so it sounds like maybe I have insulin resistance. I have never been told for sure if I do or not. But since I eat no refined carbs 90% of the time, that feeling doesn't come too often.
Also I agree with the bored syndrome. Sometimes when I am having what I call a restless day, where nothing is interesting and I'm just bored the desire to eat gets stronger. I used to just chew a strong flavored piece of gum. But I can't right now because of dental work being done. So I sometimes will suck on a sugar free mint, or drink some ice cold water, or just realize I'm not truly hungry and try to distract myself.
That is one of the problems with addictions. There are SO many mental components too. Especially when you use food to soothe yourself.