Feeling full as a diabetic

Posted by bulgebattler @bulgebattler, May 8, 2019

I am a Type 2 diabetic on Metformin, short and long acting insulin currently working on improving my lifestyle including nutrition, physical activity and mindset. I notice “intuitive eating” in the literature which talks about eating when hungry (physiologically not emotionally) and stopping when full. For the latter I have even read about stopping at 80% full! (Is it even possible for anyone to know when they are 80% full?) I also recall reading that diabetes can affect our stomachs ability to sense when it is full, possibly due to neuropathy. I like the idea of intuitive eating but maybe I need to stick with other methods such as portions or tracking. Does anyone have any information on the ability of people with diabetes being able to tell when they are full?

Hi @bulgebattler, I have been told I'm pre-diabetic but my A1C has always been around 5.8 to 6.0. I sometimes eat more than I should and I think it's because I don't feel full when I should. I ran across an interesting article that may provide some insight into feeling full.

Polyphagia: The Relationship Between Hunger And Diabetes
https://www.thediabetescouncil.com/polyphagia-the-relationship-between-hunger-and-diabetes/

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Hi, @bulgebattler – glad you connected with @johnbishop to begin some discussion on your question about ability to feel full. I also wanted to congratulate you on your work improve your lifestyle, including nutrition, physical activity and mindset.

Just to get more members involved in this discussion who have not only neuropathy, but type 2 diabetes, I put this thread in the Diabetes & Endocrine System group, in addition to the Neuropathy group where you started the conversation, bulgebattler.

I have also read about intuitive eating, and I find it intriguing and want to read the entire book I have on the subject. The concept of stopping at 80% full sounds reasonable, but I am with you on your question as to how it's possible to even know when you are 80% full. I have definitely thought that perhaps as a result of being brought up in the "clean plate club" or just my own overriding my own fullness signals for many years, my "full meter" may indeed be broken, so to speak. My husband has commented something like this about himself, as well.

The concept of what you read about diabetes affecting the stomach's ability to sense when it is full, possibly due to neuropathy, merits discussion. I personally don't have diabetes or neuropathy, but I thought that @retiredteacher @hotfooted @ihatediabetes @lizann @mary121658 might have some thoughts or information on your question about the ability of people with diabetes being able to tell when they are full.

Have you gotten to try out the intuitive eating method to see how it would work for you, @bulgebattler?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @bulgebattler – glad you connected with @johnbishop to begin some discussion on your question about ability to feel full. I also wanted to congratulate you on your work improve your lifestyle, including nutrition, physical activity and mindset.

Just to get more members involved in this discussion who have not only neuropathy, but type 2 diabetes, I put this thread in the Diabetes & Endocrine System group, in addition to the Neuropathy group where you started the conversation, bulgebattler.

I have also read about intuitive eating, and I find it intriguing and want to read the entire book I have on the subject. The concept of stopping at 80% full sounds reasonable, but I am with you on your question as to how it's possible to even know when you are 80% full. I have definitely thought that perhaps as a result of being brought up in the "clean plate club" or just my own overriding my own fullness signals for many years, my "full meter" may indeed be broken, so to speak. My husband has commented something like this about himself, as well.

The concept of what you read about diabetes affecting the stomach's ability to sense when it is full, possibly due to neuropathy, merits discussion. I personally don't have diabetes or neuropathy, but I thought that @retiredteacher @hotfooted @ihatediabetes @lizann @mary121658 might have some thoughts or information on your question about the ability of people with diabetes being able to tell when they are full.

Have you gotten to try out the intuitive eating method to see how it would work for you, @bulgebattler?

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@lisalucier, I also have diabetes 2 and am working on being healthy, I recently read about the “Pause” and it has worked well for me. In a nutshell, the concept is that as we eat, we always reach a “pause” in our eating, and we usually miss it. It is that moment during a meal when we might slow down, perhaps even put our fork down briefly. That PAUSE is our body’s signal that we have had enough — but most of us ignore it. We might even verbalize that we are getting full, or we might talk about how good the food is — but then we go back and eat the rest of our meal. The key is to listen for the pause and then honor it. I have found that by watching for the pause, I realize sooner that I have had enough food. It feels so good to know I have made a good decision and left something on my plate or asked for a doggie bag. The pause has really made a difference for me, and I encourage others to try it. And the bonus is that you don’t feel stuffed after a meal.

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@capausz I appreciate your sharing the "Pause" idea. It sounds very helpful. Most of us are used to doing everything as quickly as possible and the "Pause" is just a great way to break that "fast eating" habit.
Can I ask where you heard about the "Pause"? Was it on a website or did someone share it with you?

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@hopeful33250

@capausz I appreciate your sharing the "Pause" idea. It sounds very helpful. Most of us are used to doing everything as quickly as possible and the "Pause" is just a great way to break that "fast eating" habit.
Can I ask where you heard about the "Pause"? Was it on a website or did someone share it with you?

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@hopeful33250 and @capausz — My wife used to tell me to stop eating before you are full many years ago but I don't know where she heard it – probably from one of her nurse sisters ☺ I did see an interesting article discussing the tip here:

Hara Hachi Bu: Eat Until You Are 80% Full
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/not-overeating_n_969910

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@johnbishop

Hi @bulgebattler, I have been told I'm pre-diabetic but my A1C has always been around 5.8 to 6.0. I sometimes eat more than I should and I think it's because I don't feel full when I should. I ran across an interesting article that may provide some insight into feeling full.

Polyphagia: The Relationship Between Hunger And Diabetes
https://www.thediabetescouncil.com/polyphagia-the-relationship-between-hunger-and-diabetes/

Jump to this post

John, the article you listed is very helpful in understanding the factors related to eating for improving our diabetic issues. I have never thought about being full because to me it is a condition that makes me feel miserable, and I don't care for that at all. I quit overeating at Thanksgiving years ago because I thought feeling full was not at all enjoyable. Perhaps I am talking about being stuffed. It is no fun.
I only know that for years I get nauseated and have pain if I go for long periods of not eating, so after four hours I plan to eat, mostly a balanced meal. If I eat a light dinner, I feel better but sometimes am hungry during the night and can't sleep. Eating by the clock helps me in many ways, so I stick to that plan. I did it for hypoglycemia and now I do it for diabetes. Being very full does not seem to help me go longer between meals and I don't know why. Perhaps it is the stress of thinking about the pain that comes if I don't eat at regular times. I have spent years working on eliminating emotional eating, and have learned that eating less is not deprivation to my body.
I have learned to not eat because someone else did something bad.
I know my main problem is lack of exercise and the resulting lack of energy. It is getting worse, not better at age 83. I am stuck.
Don't tell me to ask my doctor. I can't stay awake during the day. My life is too good to call it depression. I have chosen another church to avoid stress and that seems to be solving some emotional issues. It was a difficult decision, however. I think getting a roommate to live in my huge home with me would help immensely. Old people were not meant to live alone, I do not believe. Dorisena

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Hello and welcome, @bulgebattler. This is a good topic to make us think about overeating. I found early on after i was diagnosed as having Diabetes 2 that diet was so important. In a complete lifestyle change from a Southern gal cooking Southern soul food, that rethinking almost everything was not easy. I don't like the idea of measuring 1/2 cup of this and one cup of something else. It was aggravating enough to cook foods a different way. So, I decided that my way was through portion control. To do this and make it easy, I bought some Rubbermaid divided food containers. They have one large section and two smaller sections. I usually have two leafy green vegetables, a different veggie (squash), and maybe beets or butter beans. That's it. I cook meat either chicken or a pork tenderloin and my husband has a meat and three veggies and I have four veggies. I try to stay away from meat except maybe once a week. In place of a leafy cooked veggie, we might have a salad. The sections in the dish are small, so there is no chance of overeating. That's my method to control what I eat. Knowing poirtions and eating only that is what we have for lunch. For supper we have a sandwich of some sort, and for breakfast just a piece of toast and coffee. I find this easy to do and I can cook for more that one day and store in my divided plates and be ready to go when it's lunch time—just heat and eat. I don't think this should be complicated, so I make it as simple as possible, and it works for my husband and me. I don't take any meds but have been able to control my diabetes through eating this way and exercising.
Does this sound like something you could do?
Carol

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@retiredteacher

Hello and welcome, @bulgebattler. This is a good topic to make us think about overeating. I found early on after i was diagnosed as having Diabetes 2 that diet was so important. In a complete lifestyle change from a Southern gal cooking Southern soul food, that rethinking almost everything was not easy. I don't like the idea of measuring 1/2 cup of this and one cup of something else. It was aggravating enough to cook foods a different way. So, I decided that my way was through portion control. To do this and make it easy, I bought some Rubbermaid divided food containers. They have one large section and two smaller sections. I usually have two leafy green vegetables, a different veggie (squash), and maybe beets or butter beans. That's it. I cook meat either chicken or a pork tenderloin and my husband has a meat and three veggies and I have four veggies. I try to stay away from meat except maybe once a week. In place of a leafy cooked veggie, we might have a salad. The sections in the dish are small, so there is no chance of overeating. That's my method to control what I eat. Knowing poirtions and eating only that is what we have for lunch. For supper we have a sandwich of some sort, and for breakfast just a piece of toast and coffee. I find this easy to do and I can cook for more that one day and store in my divided plates and be ready to go when it's lunch time—just heat and eat. I don't think this should be complicated, so I make it as simple as possible, and it works for my husband and me. I don't take any meds but have been able to control my diabetes through eating this way and exercising.
Does this sound like something you could do?
Carol

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Wow, Carol, you are really dedicated. After raising beef and hogs and keeping it in the freezer, I could never give up meat, however I have switched to a lot of fish, baked, and chicken which my husband never ate. I have cut down on beef and only have it once or twice a week, and it is homegrown by a neighbor and the hamburger is processed very lean. That is the best I can do. I can match you on the veggies, however, but it takes a lot of preparation for salads and takes a while to chew it all. I am working on portion control after purchasing the Mayo Clinic Diet book, as I am not active enough to be eating as much as I used to need in years past. I gave up baking except for bran muffins which I share with my nearby family. I mix up my own Balsamic vinegar dressings and skip the purchased stuff.
Yes, I do cook ahead and reheat food for fast meals, so I am not spending so much time in the kitchen. I really like leftovers. You have a husband on your team, and I never had that for fifty years. He was quite defiant and demanding, so after the children were gone it cooked two separate meals, one for me and a compromised one for him. He hated it when I stopped baking desserts and it made his eating disorder much worse. I did not want it on my conscience that I killed him cooking what he liked all the time. He died at 71.
People blamed me for my husband's weight gain, and I replied that he got that eating in restaurants. Life is much better now. Dorisena

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@dorisena

Wow, Carol, you are really dedicated. After raising beef and hogs and keeping it in the freezer, I could never give up meat, however I have switched to a lot of fish, baked, and chicken which my husband never ate. I have cut down on beef and only have it once or twice a week, and it is homegrown by a neighbor and the hamburger is processed very lean. That is the best I can do. I can match you on the veggies, however, but it takes a lot of preparation for salads and takes a while to chew it all. I am working on portion control after purchasing the Mayo Clinic Diet book, as I am not active enough to be eating as much as I used to need in years past. I gave up baking except for bran muffins which I share with my nearby family. I mix up my own Balsamic vinegar dressings and skip the purchased stuff.
Yes, I do cook ahead and reheat food for fast meals, so I am not spending so much time in the kitchen. I really like leftovers. You have a husband on your team, and I never had that for fifty years. He was quite defiant and demanding, so after the children were gone it cooked two separate meals, one for me and a compromised one for him. He hated it when I stopped baking desserts and it made his eating disorder much worse. I did not want it on my conscience that I killed him cooking what he liked all the time. He died at 71.
People blamed me for my husband's weight gain, and I replied that he got that eating in restaurants. Life is much better now. Dorisena

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@dorisena One thing we have to decide is if we want to live healthy for as long as we can or just die. This change did not start with my Diabetes diagnosis; it started with my husband's heart problems. After four catherizations and a heart attack and surgery to replace arteries and the aorta, the cardiologist and the surgeon told me that the Southern menu had to change. As a teacher, I researched everything I could find about heart disease. I tailored the menus to what he could eat. He is a wonderful man and knew he had to do what was necessary to control his heart problems. Then five years later, Diabetes came knocking on my door. So more research and checking and changing menus. My husband wanted meat and potatoes, but he found out he was going to get baked, not fried, and not beef every night or even pork. Because he is very agreeable, he started eating foods he didn't think he liked. We planned together, and if we didn't like a particular veggie, we omitted it. He has learned to eat more vegetables, but I do give him meat at every lunch. For us, it just works because we work together to keep each other as healthy as possible. We have no other family so we have to take care of each other, and eating healthy food is one way to do it. I am sorry you lost your husband, but one thing I have learned is that you cannot make anyone do something they are determined not to do whether it's food or some other part of their lifestyle. Don't blame yourself; the choices were not yours. If you want to talk, you'll find me on the Diabetes forum. Thanks for sharing your story.
Carol

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@hopeful33250

@capausz I appreciate your sharing the "Pause" idea. It sounds very helpful. Most of us are used to doing everything as quickly as possible and the "Pause" is just a great way to break that "fast eating" habit.
Can I ask where you heard about the "Pause"? Was it on a website or did someone share it with you?

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250, I learned the Pause idea from Brooke Castillo, a Life School Coach. If you search on Facebook you will find several links to her. Click on the one about wellness. Good luck.

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@retiredteacher

Hello and welcome, @bulgebattler. This is a good topic to make us think about overeating. I found early on after i was diagnosed as having Diabetes 2 that diet was so important. In a complete lifestyle change from a Southern gal cooking Southern soul food, that rethinking almost everything was not easy. I don't like the idea of measuring 1/2 cup of this and one cup of something else. It was aggravating enough to cook foods a different way. So, I decided that my way was through portion control. To do this and make it easy, I bought some Rubbermaid divided food containers. They have one large section and two smaller sections. I usually have two leafy green vegetables, a different veggie (squash), and maybe beets or butter beans. That's it. I cook meat either chicken or a pork tenderloin and my husband has a meat and three veggies and I have four veggies. I try to stay away from meat except maybe once a week. In place of a leafy cooked veggie, we might have a salad. The sections in the dish are small, so there is no chance of overeating. That's my method to control what I eat. Knowing poirtions and eating only that is what we have for lunch. For supper we have a sandwich of some sort, and for breakfast just a piece of toast and coffee. I find this easy to do and I can cook for more that one day and store in my divided plates and be ready to go when it's lunch time—just heat and eat. I don't think this should be complicated, so I make it as simple as possible, and it works for my husband and me. I don't take any meds but have been able to control my diabetes through eating this way and exercising.
Does this sound like something you could do?
Carol

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@dorisena too. When diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I was told to hold to 30 carbs per meal and 15 carbs for a snack twice a day. When I returned home the first thing I did was Google carbohydrates to find out what they were. My appointment with the dietician isn't until the end of May, more than two months after my diagnosis. I feel like a fish flopping around on the beach! The divided dish idea is good – I've never been an exact-measurement cook! Sooo, in the meantime for breakfast I have two tbsp cottage cheese, some green pepper, one-half can tuna, small slice of Italian bread wtith applesauce or cheese (brie or Swiss) Lunch is two more slices of bread, one egg, some snap peas, nuts or fruit. Dinner is whatever ending with romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a tbsp of blue cheese crumbles, which seems to help my IBS. Who knew. I also have chronic kidney disease (one kidney). An understatement would be to say I don't know what I'm doing. Husband has gotten strange about food, which I attribute to his dementia. My sympathy to all, especially dorisena. I may give up in a while and go to assisted living place. Tonight I will try again to figure out how to use my blood glucose tester. One question I do have is does everyone have to diet with diabetes? My weight has been the same for many years, but because I've lost two inches in height I've now got a BMI just over 25, a first for me at 80! Seems like every thing a diabetes diet talks about is losing weight, so I don't know if the item in question is bad for my glucose or bad for my weight! Your comments have really helped me. I wish you well.

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I hope you are reading about carbs which are actually partly a sugar in the diet and some have a higher sugar value than others. So read about glycemic values of carbs and choose the ones with the lowest glycemic value. Since the insulin in the body is not doing its job well, the sugar produced from high carb foods and sweets collects in the blood stream and you go to the bathroom trying to get rid of the excess sugar. It is not so much about dieting to lose weight but changing your food intake to eat less sugar producing nutrients. Most people lose weight on a low carb diet and in most cases this is beneficial. I must correct my typo in my last message. 10 to 12 servings of carbs and sugars each day is plenty and now nutritionists are recommending less than that which brings up the keto diet. It is really very low in carbs and works for some people. I don't intend to starve myself so I can live a year longer with stomach pain, I'll admit because I don't plan to see how long I can stay alive and be miserable. I have managed to give up most snacks but I eat meat, mostly fish, and it lasts longer between meals. Once you get advice for your diabetes situation from the nutritionist, you will not have a difficult time, I hope. Dorisena

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My experience with diabetic meals at three different nursing homes while recovering from surgery has not been good. The third time I wrote down what I needed for my diabetes and couldn't make it happen because even though the chef said she understood, a young aide made up the trays according to her instructions and it was a constant battle, even to get a cup of hot tea. Every meal they brought me lemonaid and I wouldn't drink it. I had too many carbs and not enough vegetables, mostly green beans. I managed to get my granddaughter and son to bring me food, including fresh romaine from my garden which I ate plain, just to get the food I needed. I did get a glass of milk at bedtime and that helped me get to sleep. But it was an eating nightmare. Dorisena

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@dorisena

My experience with diabetic meals at three different nursing homes while recovering from surgery has not been good. The third time I wrote down what I needed for my diabetes and couldn't make it happen because even though the chef said she understood, a young aide made up the trays according to her instructions and it was a constant battle, even to get a cup of hot tea. Every meal they brought me lemonaid and I wouldn't drink it. I had too many carbs and not enough vegetables, mostly green beans. I managed to get my granddaughter and son to bring me food, including fresh romaine from my garden which I ate plain, just to get the food I needed. I did get a glass of milk at bedtime and that helped me get to sleep. But it was an eating nightmare. Dorisena

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@dorisena Thanks for your help – I appreciate it
What is it with nursing homes and green beans, a most useless vegetable. Had to finally buy my mother a multi-vitaminmulti-mineral because she was so undernourished. If ever I have to go to a nursing home, I want a small cooler in which to keep my fresh vegetables! While not good with diets, I have a system I use for exercising, in that I can't go outside in the winter. I walk in my house – at the very minimum, I do five minutes of brisk walking six times a day. Now, it's better to walk steadily for longer periods of time, but five minutes works! What does your doctor say the pain is from? Oh, and surprise – none of my problems was causing me to be tired and "foggy" all the time – turned out I was low on Vitamin B-12, a vitamin available over-the-counter. Seems as we get older, our bodies don't retain it well! Who knew!

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@bulgebattler Not sure if you are much of an information seeker, but if you are, research Leptin. It is our satiety hormone, telling our brain that we have enough fuel in our body. Most people equate being hungry to our stomach telling us it's time to eat. From what I can tell, that's not true. The issue that many people have is that they lose their leptin sensitivity. Just like insulin, there are ways to improve leptin sensitivity. If you have time and interest, there are a number of great YouTube videos on the subject.

Over the past year or so, I have completely changed what I eat and how I eat. I don't eat any added sugars or refined grains, essentially no processed food. I eat 2-3 meals/day and don't snack. The result has been that I'm never hungry, never full, HbA1c at 4.6, and I have never felt better. I never new such a world could exist. What I do won't work for everyone. We're all at various stages of aging with various conditions. But I can guarantee that eliminating sugar and refined carbs won't hurt anyone and can only help.

An idea for you to give leptin a chance to get to your brain is to eat slower. I've always been a fast eater, but not any more, and it's not really due to a concerted effort. Instead, the food I eat simply takes a long time to eat. Maybe sprinkle in 3-4 sticks of celrery or some fresh carrots with a meal. Or an apple. Things like that are both healthy and will slow you down, as they take a while to chew. Just a thought.

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