Why do we still feel hungry after a big meal?

As the saying goes, “Three pounds of fat every holiday.” Every holiday, we are always too good for the big meal. But by noon the next day, he could eat and drink as usual. Think about it, it’s really strange. Why do we still feel hungry after a big meal? Is it because eating too much will “hold up” the stomach?

Why do we still feel hungry after a big meal?

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In fact, for most people, the truth is not that “despite eating a big meal, you will still be hungry”, but “it is because of a large meal that you feel hungry”.

But first it is clear where this hunger comes from. The impulse to make you feel like you want to eat is actually the result of a variety of physiological changes in your body.

The size of the stomach does vary when it is hungry and when it is full. As food is digested, the stomach shrinks, promoting food into the intestines. And in the process of food and air churning in the stomach and entering the intestines, the stomach rumbles, the so-called “abdominal chirping” phenomenon. Because we can hear and perceive this phenomenon, we tend to think of it as the first sign of being hungry. After the abdominal sound, the stomach will be under the action of hormones to re-expand, ready to eat again.

But eating doesn’t really hold up the stomach. The stomach is very elastic, so it will shrink back to its previous size (about 1 to 2 liters) after a big meal. In fact, most people have very close stomach capacity and are not affected by height or weight.

Compared to the abdominal chirping, hormone secretion is difficult to notice. The hypothalamus produces neuropeptides Y and AgRP, as well as the stomach-secreted stomach hunger hormone that causes us to feel full, and makes us hungry.

Slim people tend to have higher levels of stomach hunger, while obese people tend to have lower levels. This may be counterintuitive. You might think that the hormone levels responsible for stimulating hunger must be higher in eating more people. But this contradiction reflects just how complex our endocrine system is.

Although only three hormones are primarily responsible for creating hunger, there are more than a dozen hormones responsible for creating a sense of satiety. GIP and GLP-1 are responsible for stimulating insulin production, which regulates carbohydrate metabolism. Several hormones are responsible for slowing the flow of food through the stomach and giving the body more time to digest it. Some people are obese and have lower levels of stomach hunger, perhaps because they need to secrete more insulin to metabolize carbohydrate-rich meals, and high levels of insulin inhibit the secretion of stomach hunger.

Both CKK and PYY hormones are key to reducing hunger. In people who have had gastric contraction surgery, PYY levels are always particularly high, leading to loss of appetite.

In addition, while the stomach tells the brain through a hormonal system whether it is “empty in the stomach”, over the years we have been accustomed to eating at certain times of the day, which also increases our hunger. So even if we had a big meal at lunch, we might still be hungry at dinner.

“If you always sit on the couch after dinner and snack while watching TV, your body will associate ‘sitting on the couch’, ‘watching TV’ and ‘eating delicious’, causing you to have a desire to eat as long as you sit on the couch.” Karolien van den Akker, a researcher at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, points out that “this happens even when you have enough to eat and run full.” “

Van den Akol points out that eating too much is not bad in itself. Unlike bulimia, overeating is not associated with nausea, guilt and shame, but is a bad habit. But this acquired, food yearning can make dieting very difficult.

When we associate the delicacy of food (especially high-sugar foods) with specific times, smells, sights, and behaviors, once we begin to crave it, we immediately recall what it’s like to enjoy it. This can not help but stimulate psychological reactions, but also stimulate drooling and other physiological responses.

You may have heard of the “Pavlov’s dog” experiment. Pavlov would ring a bell while feeding the dog. Eventually, as soon as the dog hears the bell, it begins to drool. And humans are no better than dogs in this regard. In another experiment, the researchers showed the subjects simple graphics, such as circles and squares. When the subjects saw the block, they were given a piece of chocolate. Then every time they see a block graphic, they start wanting to eat chocolate. Like dogs, humans can also expect food through training the day after day and receiving simple tips.

“This association will soon form, and a small piece of chocolate can be done. Vanden Akol said, “It seems easy to have this desire, but it’s hard to get rid of it.” Your body will remember to eat a piece of chocolate at a certain point in time, and for a few days, the craving becomes a daily habit. “

Sometimes even emotions can become the organ that stimulates appetite. Many people say that when they are in a bad mood or physically tired, self-control tends to decrease. “In this case, emotions are directly linked to delicious food. So whenever you’re in a bad mood, you’re craving food. “

In theory, any emotion can stimulate appetite, even if it is positive, as long as it is eaten immediately after a particular emotion is generated. And there’s plenty of evidence that we always eat more when we’re with our friends. Even if you quit drinking, in specific situations, for how long you spend at the table, and many other factors, it can cause us to eat more socially. Perhaps the pleasure of having dinner with friends makes it harder for us to focus on controlling the amount we eat. Experiments have shown that as long as someone talks to you, even if you’re just eating a bowl of simple pasta, you’ll eat more.

This fact has some implications for the removal of bad eating habits. “When we help people on a diet, we always focus on getting them to ‘forget’ their food cravings, ” says Mr Vanden Acar. We also want to make sure they understand that eating something doesn’t mean eating it again the next day. “This is important because other studies have shown that once good eating habits are broken, they are likely to get back into the mire of bad habits.

To sum up, you should understand why you still feel hungry after a big meal. It’s not that our stomachs are growing up, it’s that we’re used to eating too much on specific occasions as we grow up. On the second day of the holiday meal, whenever the brain receives food-related cues such as smells, sights, and sounds, it is ready to start a second round of eating and drinking.