When you’re wondering “Why am I feeling full all the time?” your gut is telling you something is wrong.
These are two separate cases. The first case deals with food. Either you are feeling bloated, overly full, or your stomach simply is never satisfied.
The second case deals with an undiagnosed medical condition. Like even just a few bites of food make you full.
Here are 4 reasons you may be feeling full all the time. The first 3 points are for food. The last point is for an undiagnosed medical condition:
1 – Carbs and Salt Catch 22 – Carbs and salt put you an unhealthy eating cycle where you are full but not satisfied and need to eat more cabs and salt to feel satisfied. See the Catch 22?
2 – Food Intolerance – You may have a food intolerance that you need to get tested for
3 – Too Much Air – Soda and a particularly bad habit of gulping air when you eat may make you feel bloated. Cut out the soda and slow down!
4 – Undiagnosed Medical Condition – Do a full day of healthy eating without any snacks. If you still feel like something is wrong then see a doctor.
Below at the bottom of this post I also created a video of me in my kitchen talking about these points. So read for more info and then if you’re visually inclined, take a peak below.
First things first – do you have an undiagnosed condition?
So there are a variety of medical conditions related to feeling full all the time.
The tell-tale sign of an undiagnosed medical condition is eating a few bites and then getting full very quickly.
- Parkinson’s disease
- irritable bowel syndrome
- multiple sclerosis
- intestinal surgeries
- some medications
This is different than eating too much and getting uncomfortably full. This is different than eating lots of food but your stomach is never ‘satisfied’. This is different than bloating.
For example, in Gastroparesis people may report eating just a few bites of food but then getting too full to continue eating. Imagine a day where you eat just a few bites of food for breakfast, and then a few bites of food for lunch and dinner. Maybe a total of 600 calories.
For most people this would be extremely unpleasant. Your belly would be growling on 600 calories. Yet for people with Gastroparesis they get full. So they wonder, “Why am I feeling full all the time?”
But this type of fullness the person knows something is wrong.
Perhaps the person is also experiencing other side symptoms like:
- stomach pain
If you have irritable bowel syndrome you may also experience:
- stomach cramping
So in essence just ask yourself, “am I getting full very quickly despite not eating anything?” AND “If I am eating hardly anything, do I also have some symptoms like bloating, stomach pain, heartburn, or constipation?”
If you are feeling bad and hardly eating anything but feel full, you need to go visit your doctor.
Again, just to drill this point in, if you are asking yourself “Why am I feeling full all the time?” and you also are experiencing other symptoms please go check in with your doctor.
The other types of situation where you feel too full all the time
So if you are eating food and have a problem with feeling full all the time, continue reading.
This type of feeling full is more of a continuous bloatedness.
You eat food, but the fullness doesn’t go away. And the fullness is uncomfortable. You know there’s something wrong… but you’ve read the above section and are thankful it’s not an undiagnosed medical condition!
So what’s up? You are not hungry all the time, it’s the opposite
Carb and Salt Catch 22
Let’s use French fries as an example. French fries are a simple carbohydrate and they are salty.
You could also substitute bagels, chips, pizza, most restaurant food especially if any form of fast-food.
But let’s keep things simple with French fries. Let’s say you eat a big bag of French fries. A few hundred calories later, you’re feeling full. Yay!
Full, nice. But no. Not nice. This type of fullness doesn’t feel good. It’s maybe a little queasy.
So you’re in this weird twilight zone. You’re full, but not satisfied. Your brain is pulling tricks on you.
Then a short while later the uncomfortable feeling in your belly becomes too much. So you pull out more snacks, or visit another food place.
Yet the feeling in your belly is still there! Those French fries are still sitting in your digestive track!
So you begin to eat this new snack food, but you’re not even hungry!
And then you ask the question, ““Why am I feeling full all the time?” This question has annoyed you enough to search online, click through various sites, and now you’re here.
Do you see the catch22?
Fries lead to more fries. More fries > fake fullness > fries > fake fullness. An endless cycle.
Now how do you stop the catch 22?
Rather than giving you the answer, I want to give you something practical to do. That’s my job as an Eating Disorder Therapist. I give you practical exercises.
It’s your job to do them! So let’s run an experiment.
For one day I want you to get good, clean, healthy food prepared.
For one day you are going to cook all your meals at home and do a little experiment.
- Eat 3 BIG meals.
- Maybe a snack.
- Don’t eat between meals.
- Wait at least 3 hours between meals
See if you get hungry in between meals. This is experiment works for most people. They get comfortable full by eating the healthy foods.
Then they take a break from eating because they don’t feel like eating anymore! They got comfortably full! No need, or at least not as much desire, to snack on French fries if you are ‘comfortably’ full.
Instead of fries being abused as a way to AVOID feeling uncomfortably full, now you are comfortably full.
And you are comfortably full because you got out of the carb and salt catch 22. Instead of fueling your body with crap, and then dehydrating your body with tons of salt, you did something healthy instead.
You broke the carb and salt catch 22! So no more asking “Why am I feeling full all the time?”!
I have a friend who has a food intolerance to gluten.
I’m talking a real intolerance, not a gluten free person. She has celiacs.
Now she also has other food intolerances, but she’s not sure what. She’s currently being tested. And she’s telling me the process about they test for food intolerances.
First they tested for gluten because they wanted to double check. So they gave her a small amount of gluten to eat.
They measured her lips, skin, and asked her to rate how she felt. My friends lips swolled, her skin got a rash, and she said she felt bloated.
My friend also found out that she was allergic to shellfish. Same thing. Just a little bit of food and she became bloated and felt full, uncomfortably full.
So this is pretty explanatory. Get food tested if this seems like you!
Too Much Air
This last situation is more rare, but can contribute.
Basically you need to slow down and stop multitasking!
You are eating or drinking too fast!
When you eat or drink too fast, you usually also consume more oxygen that gets into your belly, instead of your lunges.
Plus, if you are chugging sodas then the carbonation will also get into your blood stream!
Now why are you eating so fast?
I don’t know. But I get it. You can read about my Mindful Eating journey here. Trust me, I get it.
Emails, shows to watch, friends to txt, you’re on your phone! Or driving in your car!
So again, experiment. Try to slow down. Cut out the sodas for a day. Put down the phone for an entire day while you eat. See what happens.
Don’t just mindlessly cry out in despair asking “Why am I feeling full all the time?”. Instead be proactive and test these 4 ideas out to see if you can get to the bottom of your stomach (and fullness issues) to feel better about yourself.