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Continuum of Fullness: 3 Stopping Points

Assuming you were hungry in the first place, the following three sensations happen after you begin eating:

  • First, the sensation of hunger goes away. This is a moment of hunger relief.  This happens almost too fast for us to have time to enjoy a meal. If you stop eating at this point, then you no longer feel the painful emptiness of hunger, but you also do not yet feel full.
  • If you keep on eating, you will next experience a moment of pleasant fullness as the food distends the lining of your stomach, but not so much as to cause pain.
  • If you keep on eating, you will eventually experience a moment of unpleasant fullness as the stomach distends to a painful degree.

The following exercise will help you tune in to the differences between pleasant fullness and unpleasant fullness through the language of fullness. Print out several copies of the word-lists below. After you finish eating, look over both lists to see which fullness-words tend to describe what you feel. Circle the words that apply. Note the trends. Draw your conclusions.

Unpleasant Fullness Word List

stuffed                        swollen            distended        full                   overfed                        blown up

ballooned        engorged         bloated                        satisfied           sated                satiated

dissatisfied      displeased       unhappy          frustrated        disappointed   uncomfortable

awkward         ill at ease         clumsy             graceless          bulky               cumbersome

difficult to maneuver              large                massive            mammoth        enormous

bursting           sated                insatiable         gluttonous       voracious         excessive

fat                    overweight      heavy   stout    plump              large                corpulent

chubby                        big       obese   portly   podgy  rotund fleshy  tubby   round   flabby  soft

unfit                sagging                        chunky                        tired     exhausted        sleepy  drowsy

fatigued           worn-out         out-of-breath   all-in    drained                        pooped            beat

done-in            gasping                        winded                        panting                        indigestion      puffy

heartburn         repulsive          bad      nasty    disgusting        hideous                        gross

sick                  queasy             nauseous          upset    sickening         irritated           annoyed

inert                 sluggish           torpid              passive             slow     lethargic          slothful

slow-moving   apathetic          gloomy                        melancholic     pessimistic       depressed

glum    sad       low-spirited     despondent     miserable         fed-up             undisciplined

out-of-control  impulsive         wanting to throw up               aching              tender  sore

burning            negative           cynical             irritable            touchy             moody  regretful

Pleasant Fullness Word List

contented        fulfilled                       pleased                        happy              comfortable     at ease

satisfied           disciplined       enjoyable         good                easy                 relaxed

laid-back         calm                 peaceful           stress-free        casual              mellow

smooth                        placid              sedate              settled             rewarded         on the ball

aware               alert                 sharp                capable                        competent       sensible

level-headed    mindful                       conscious         thoughtful       nourished        attractive

optimistic        positive                        in control         upbeat             certain             clear

confident         constructive     decisive           poised              balanced          controlled

composed        reasonable       well-adjusted  stable               together           organized

unruffled         up                    on top of things                                   proper              purposeful

reflective         social               cheerful           complete          whole              lively

active               full of life        dynamic          vibrant             free                  appropriate

Additional Mindful Eating Resources:

Motivational Booster

Meaning-Centered Eating

Eating-to-Cope Mindfully

Continuum of Fullness: 3 Stopping Points

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is and his practice website is

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).

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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2011). Continuum of Fullness: 3 Stopping Points. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from


Last updated: 9 Jul 2011
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