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Confused on "feeling" hungry & full



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I'm about 3 weeks out from surgery, in the post-op phase.

A lot of guidance I've seen has been around "stop when full", or ask try to understand when you're hungry (and not just "head hungry").

Has anyone else found it a bit hard to tell if you're "feeling" hungry or full? I'm wondering if it's just me...

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most of us (not all, but most) lose our sense of hunger for awhile after surgery. It usually comes back sometime during the first year. Mine came back at five months out. Take advantage of it while it's gone - it's never going to be easier to lose weight than now when you're never hungry (and might not even give a flip about food!)

as far as full, you'll start to feel the restriction once you move to solid food. But keep in mind "full" might or might not feel the same as it did before surgery. It could take awhile to figure out your new full cue (and then again, it may feel the same to you as it did before - but for some of us, it's different). I don't feel full the way I used to. Now, I feel a discomfort in my chest -- kind of like pressure, I guess. When I feel that, I know I need to stop eating or I'm going to regret it. I've read about others whose new full cue is a runny nose - or sneezing.

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Many of us on puréed and soft food’s don’t get a strong “full” sensation, as the food slides through easier, so just go by the amounts your surgeon or nutritionist recommend. When you are on solid foods, you’ll likely feel that full feeling.

I am 14 months post-op and still don’t get a strong hungry feeling, just get a wee bit peckish. I eat 4 times/day whether I’m hungry or not, in order to get all my calories in.

Edited by Elidh
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Real hunger does feel different to me then head hunger. Actually, I didn’t know what was wrong the first time I felt hungry about 8 months after surgery. I still have days or times I don’t feel hungry - just wish it occurred more often. 😉

It’s hard to explain the difference except I feel restless with real hunger. With real hunger I don’t always know what I want to eat but with head hunger I usually know what I want to satisfy the desire. But it could be different for you.

Full usually is a general heaviness in my chest for me. If I eat too quickly, eat food that is too dry or ignore my full feeling (say if distracted) my restriction will kick in.

It will take time for you to discover your body’s cues. Being mindful about your eating will help. Don’t just mindlessly shovel food in. Think about your next bite. Do you need it or just want it? Take time between bites & never be afraid to put that next bite back on your plate. And never be concerned about not eating everything on your plate.

Congrats on your surgery.

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I feel the physical effects of real hunger especially if it’s been too long since I’ve eaten. I am easily agitated/annoyed, slight headache, brain fog, etc. I’m also not super picky what I will eat at this point, I just need something quickly. It takers many hours without food for me to get to this point.

Fullness after surgery was tricky for me. Sometime I would get the common signals (tightness in the chest, lump in the throat, hiccups, etc.) while eating. And sometimes it was delayed. If it was delayed, I ran the risk of overeating and being very very uncomfortable. I stuck with measuring my meals because it was unpredictable.

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