The Science of Satiety

Our bodies are magical creations – the good Lord perfectly designed us to operate like well oiled machines. They are wholly connected – one system is connected to the next and this creates a beautiful chain of chemical reactions that make us who we are.

Take for example, satiety: the sensation of feeling full.

Did you know that our stomachs have a unique way of signaling our brain that we are satisfied, and to stop eating? I certainly didn’t until about 36 hours ago. We are armed with stretch receptors, and nutrient receptors. Until both of these receptors have been triggered, our brains will not receive the signal that we are full.

That means we stay hungry.

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Stretch Receptors + Nutrient Receptors: What are they?

Stretch receptors signal our brain that the volume of food we have eaten is sufficient – think of the difference you would feel in hunger between a half sandwich and a whole sandwich. Thank your stretch receptors for that.

Nutrient receptors are just what they sound like. They measure the caloric value and nutrition content of our food. When they sense we have received enough, they’ll say “hey! They’ve eaten enough calories and nutrients for this meal and don’t need anymore!”

The typical SAD (Standard American Diet) is full of highly processed food products that have had a lot of the nutrients removed and replaced with fat, salt and sugar meaning they are calorie dense with little to zero nutrition. This means, neither sensors are touched so although we’ve had a thousand calorie meal, our hunger is quick to return. Check out the image below, it perfectly illustrates the importance of the quality in the food we choose.

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Most whole, plant based foods are loaded with fiber but are low on calories which is why it’s so, so important to eat as much of it as possible. It literally fills our bellies with all the nutrients we need, until we’re ready to eat again.

The best tip I’ve learned on activating both receptors is to eat a big salad or bowl full of vegetable soup before each meal.

I started doing just that and am very pleased with the results. Join me in filling your belly with all the vegetables and fiber!

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