What Does It Mean If You Don’t Feel Full After A Meal

Food and water are two important elements that help to sustain human life. We may not be able to survive more if we do not eat. Normally you eat food when you are hungry. A biological process in the body triggers your hunger that makes you eat food. So feeling hungry is not something bad.

In fact it is a signal from your body cells that they are in need of fuel to run several metabolic functions. However, even if you feel hungry after a satisfying meal, then there is something that needs to be looked into. You may consider it to be normal once in a while, but regular feeling of hunger soon after a full meal may be related to some health problem or certain of your mistakes. Normally it takes 3 to 4 hours to be hungry again after a full meal. But if you are not satiated even after a satisfying meal, these must be the reasons.

What Could be the Possible Causes?

Before knowing the reason for not feeling full after a meal, we must understand the mechanism that motivates a person to eat food.

Human body consists of several chemicals called hormones that play different roles in various bodily activities. There are two important hormones that are related with hunger and satiety. These hormones are ghrelin and leptin. Fluctuation in these hormones makes you feel hungry. When your stomach is empty, hormone ghrelin rises in the body. Your brain detects excess of ghrelin and signals the hunger center to send message to stomach for intake of food. After eating, level of ghrelin hormone lowers and leptin increases. Gradually level of leptin tapers down in 3 to 4 hours and level of ghrelin starts to rise. This in turn reinitiates the feeling of hunger. But in people who feel hungry or not full even after eating, the fault seems to occur in regular fluctuation between the two hormones. Following are some of the reasons that may make the simple physiological process go out of order.

  • Food composed of excess carbs: If you are eating excess of carbohydrates in your meal you may not feel full soon. Especially when your food consists of simple carbohydrates such as sugar, it gets quickly absorbed in the blood. This may raise the level of blood sugar instantaneously. As a result pancreas releases insulin in the circulation so that it can carry the glucose to its destination within the cells. Soon the circulating amount of glucose in blood drops triggering the brain to send message to the hunger center for food requirement. Hence eating too much of sugary food in your meals may not make you feel full.
  • Skipping breakfast: If you do not eat your breakfast, ghrelin is surely going to rise in the circulating blood. This will make you eat more throughout the day. Missing breakfast also lowers your serotonin level. Serotonin is the hormone that gives a feel goof sensation. It is secreted by brain and stomach. Besides regulating mood, serotonin also takes part in regulating appetite.
  • Reduced sleep hours: If you are suffering from insomnia or sleep only for few hours at night it may cause several changes in your hormonal pattern. Sleep has relation with hunger. When you sleep for few hours only, your body reduces production of leptin hormone and at the same time increases secretion of ghrelin which triggers hunger pangs.
  • Dehydration: If you are dehydrated, there are chances that you may eat in excess even after you are full. This is because the thirst center and hunger centre in the brain are located in the same area. Hence sometime the brain may get confused whether to stimulate the thirst center or the hunger center.
  • Stress: Stress since long time can make a person eat more even if he is full. Stress triggers release too much of adrenaline and cortisol hormone. Both the hormones have influence over ghrelin which in turn rises with rise of these two hormones.
  • Diabetes: A person with uncontrolled diabetes may suffer from ravenous hunger because of persistent high level of sugar circulating in blood.