A doctor told me to eat my meal only until I feel 3/4th full. The logic being that the stomach takes time to absorb the food and the brain takes time to register that fact and the signal that I have eaten enough, is registered 10 to 20 minutes late.

Somehow, my stomach doesn't really seem to agree. While it is true that if I eat only until 3/4th of until I feel full, after a while I don't feel like eating. But it is also true that around half an hour after the meal I feel hungry again. At least to me, it doesn't make sense to stop eating early. In the first sitting itself if I eat until I feel full, then I don't feel hungry for another two or three hours.

So is it just a myth or is it worth stopping to eat when one feels 3/4th full?


1 Answer 1


The mechanisms of hunger and satiation are regulated by the endocrine system, not through the much faster nervous system.

The specific hormone that regulates appetite is ghrelin. When the stomach is empty, it gets produced, when the stomach wall gets stretched, production stops.

Highly technical and well-sourced wikipedia entry for Ghrelin

A nutritional sites put the time lag at about 15 to 20 minutes, as your doctor mentioned.

Healthy eating general info site

Nutrition.org.uk site

Harvard University health blog

This is the basis of recommendations that people eat slowly and savor their food, to help control their diets.

I'm not sure how one would measure "feeling 3/4 full," but if you tend to wolf down your food, stop well before you feel full, or, as recommended, slow down and enjoy the sensation of the food.

  • 2
    So it's more about eating at a 'normal' pace, savoring the food and eating until one feels satiated, rather than eating until 3/4th full.
    – Nav
    Oct 1, 2016 at 13:31
  • 2
    @Nav - Yes. It's about allowing the body to recognize the amount of stomach stretching closer to real time. Oct 3, 2016 at 13:34

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