How Long Should Food Keep Us Full?

How many meals should I eat in a day? Is snacking bad? If I’m not hungry, should I force myself to eat? If I am hungry, should I not eat? How long should a meal keep me full after eating? I always want to go grab something else to eat, even though I just finished a meal!

Do these questions and statements sound familiar to you? I know I have thought and said them many times.

A lot of the time, individuals have a hard time understanding their hunger and fullness cues. It is frustrating when you’ve just eaten and don’t feel satisfied, so you go grab more food and end up being too stuffed. Or when you eat when you’re not hungry because you think you have to.

Being able to understand how your body is feeling and what it is telling you is very important. It allows you to understand:

  • When you are hungry
  • When you need to eat
  • How much to eat
  • When to stop eating
  • When you are full and satisfied

Therefore, let’s try to get back to the basics. Think about when you were a kid. If you didn’t want to eat, there was nothing making you eat. Food would be all over the kitchen, but not a speck in your mouth. If you wanted to eat, there was nothing stopping you! We used these simple indicators our bodies where sending us to listen and understand what our bodies were telling us we needed. So why aren’t we doing this now?

At each stage;

  1. Before eating
  2. Right after eating
  3. 1 hour after eating
  4. 2 hours after eating
  5. 3-4 hours after eating
  6. 4 or more hours after eating

Try to pause and ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I physically hungry? 
  • Are there any signs to show that I am truly hungry?
  • How full am I? am I at 80% fullness?
  • Am I satisfied or stuffed?
  • Do I need something to eat or can I push through?

By pausing and asking yourself these questions, you will begin to listen and start to recognize your bodies hunger and fullness cues. You will be able to eat the right amounts of food, feel good after eating, and more effectively reach your goals. This technique helps reduce mindless eating and snacking, and over or undereating throughout the day. By practicing this technique, you will gain a tool that allows you to understand when your body needs food for fuel and when it can push through the day!

So, follow this “How long food should keep us full” guide to see if you can start to understand your bodies fullness and hunger cues!

Need help with this task? Contact me today at for some help with your nutrition and to begin understanding what your body needs!


Free Intro

Talk with a coach about your goals, get the plan to achieve them.

fill out the form below to get started!

Take the first step towards getting the results you want!