The definition of satiety is closely linked to that of hunger. Distinct from appetite, which is the desire to eat, the feeling of hunger signals a physiological need. Our bodies alert us to a lack of energy and it’s only once this need is satisfied that we register the sensation of satiety. In other words, the feeling of satiety follows that of hunger and tells us we have eaten enough.
In signalling to us that we have consumed enough, the feeling of satiety prevents us from over-eating and gaining weight. And it’s possible to encourage weight loss by stimulating and prolonging this feeling of satiety with the aid of certain dietary supplements such as the slimming product Zero Craving. This is often a favourite with those on weight-loss diets, accompanied by a natural fat-burner.
The feeling of satiety can be compared with a signalling of satisfaction. However, this should not be confused with other signals, especially that of fullness which occurs some time after the sensation of satiety. Having a full or bloated stomach is often a sign of having over-eaten or of digestion problems.
As you might imagine, recognising the sensation of satiety is not as easy as it might seem. ‘Listen to your body’ is often the advice given by nutritionists and dieticians who recommend, where possible, sitting down to eat at the table in a calm setting, these being the ideal conditions in which to focus on the signals your body is sending.
A calm environment is not the only important factor in learning how to recognise satiety. It requires patience as the brain needs time to transmit the satisfaction signal. Specialists generally advise that it takes at least 20 minutes after starting a meal before the satiety signal is registered. Suffice to say then that it’s important to take your time over food.
If calm is conducive to recognising satiety, the stresses of everyday life make it much harder. If anything, they tend to increase the urge to eat compulsively, which significantly reduces the chances of perceiving the sensation of satiety. That is why dietitians and nutritionists also recommend using mealtimes as an opportunity to reflect, de-stress and enjoy the moment. Banishing the day’s worries and stresses makes it much easier to detect the feeling of satiety.
Certain foods are more satisfying than others, inducing the feeling of satiety more rapidly. Some are even termed ‘appetite-suppressants’. They include, for example, sources of dietary fibre such as apples, oat bran and almonds. Others, such as carob gum and Hoodia gordonii powder, are also recognised for their natural appetite-curbing effect. They are often used to prevent cravings and the uncontrollable desire to snack.
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