Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How Do You Know When To Stop Eating?

This is a post for the newbies.  I haven't seen any blog posts about soft stops vs hard stops lately and thought that I'd do a little PSA:

How do I know when I am satisfied and not overstuffed when eating a meal?

I listen and feel for the "soft stops."  What do I mean by a soft stop?

A soft stop is a signal that by my body and/or my band gives me to tell me that I have eaten enough and I am satisfied (not stuffed!)  I think that these soft stops can be different for each bandster.  Figuring out my soft stops when I was early in my journey was tough.  It was a trial and error thing.

For me, my SOFT stops include:

  • A sigh or deep breath
  • Runny nose
  • I lean back in my chair and to sit farther away from my plate of food.
These are my quiet little signals that I need to listen to and STOP eating.

When I was in my loosing phase, I would sit down to eat my weighed/measured portion of food and about 90% of the time, I would never get to my soft stop.  But do you know what? I was still satisfied and wouldn't get hungry for over 3-4 hours.

I REALLY depend on my soft stop signals when I eat out at restaurants or at people's houses.  This is when the portions served are usually GINORMOUS.  It's hard to judge what's an appropriate portion and it's not like I carry my food scale or a measuring cup in my purse wherever I go.

Sometimes, like last night when eating out, I totally ignored my soft stop signals.  When I ignore the soft stops, I get to experience my hard stop signals.  That's when things start getting painful.

For me, my HARD stops include:
  • Left shoulder pain
  • Stomach pain (below the band) - If you catch me rubbing my belly like Santa Claus, I have eaten way too much.
So I ask you, what are your soft soft and hard stop signals?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I am still trying to learn mine. So far I notice that when I am thirsty is a good time to stop, I also feel like I need to burp and usually stop then. I find that when I stop and wait, I am usually satisfied.

  3. Can I copy and paste this one? LOL. I never realized until you said the sigh/deep breath.. but I do that. And have at times ignored it knowing that was me ready to stop eating.

    This is a good post... basically what you mention for soft stop is mainly the sigh/deep breath and my husband has even noticed that. Hard stops is the shoulder pain and this weird pain on the lower left side of my stomach.

  4. I too get the runny nose and ocassionally hiccups.

    Good post.

  5. What is up with the runny nose thing? I get that too and I know that at that point either i need to stop or one more bite and then I'm done. Hiccups are another clue I've hit the near danger zone. :)

  6. My soft stops are similar to yours minus the runny nose! I definately get the big sigh or deep breath. Also, while I didn't realize it before you mentioned it, but I push myself back from the table too.

    Hard stop is usually an uncomfortable flutter beneath my left breast and sometimes an ache in my tummy. I used to think this was my band until my doc at the clinic said that my band was in the center of my chest between my breasts. Now I know that the flutter isn't my band, but its still a signal. I definately used my soft stops of the sigh while on my cruise last week. Worked like a charm.

    Interesting post, thanks for this topic!

  7. Very very helpful for this not-yet-almost-there bandster. Thanks for this post!!

  8. I get little, itty, bitty, lady-like hic-cups! Then a runny nose.. Funny thing this band!

  9. Yeah I definitely get the hiccups and when I'm completely full I definitely have a burp. Good post!

  10. I love this post, and am SO glad you posted it! I was just thinking about how I will know. Right now I'm on pureed/mushy food, and won't be getting my first fill for about 3 weeks, and this has definitely been a question on my mind.

  11. you get shoulder pain too? How did I miss this piece of knowledge? I obviously was a good little eater until lately! Just started happening in the last month or so.

    This shoulder pain thing is a new one on me. I wish I had known. I would have wasted a lot less time blaming it on anything and everything else including an oncoming heart attack :)


  12. Love this post. Yes I too get the runny nose and hiccups. I have learned you have to pay attention or pain and losing ALL of my food is the price I will pay. That is too a high a price, since continual PB'ing is really really bad for the Band.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  13. Thanks for this post ... I used to burp (which I liked because there was no guessing) but the wierd feeling below the left breast was a new piece of info and DOES happen on occassion ... so thanks for this PSA .. really appreciated !

  14. I don't know my soft stops... but I am going to start to try to 'listen' to my body and learn.
    I think I get hard stops such as SNEEZING (not runny nose!) and left shoulder pain.
    Very interesting-- feels a bit like I need a 'do over' starting today.

  15. This is so cool! I will be sure to look out for these little signs after I'm banded! I have to say it again- you are such a great inspiration!

  16. Thanks for the advice, very helpful to us new bandsters!!

  17. I never feel my soft spot and that may be my issue. One of my hard stops is when the area under my eyes begin to sweat.

  18. Hmm, I noticed the left shoulder pain, but I need to learn to look for and stop eating when I feel the soft stop. I measure, but I want to eat all that I measured instead of stopping. Leaving food on the plate is HARD.

  19. I'm only 10 days out but I have noticed that I feel the need to burp I am full. I was hardly ever burped before the band.

  20. Great post!

    My soft spots: runny nose, sneezing, little burps (not the painful ones), taking deep breaths to try to pass the food along, pushing back away from the food.

    My hard spots: Burps necessary to move the food along, pain in my upper tummy, really deep breathing, eyes watering, need to get up and walk around (sometimes I'll kind of sway back and forth in my chair).


  21. I sigh first then when i keep eating I get a runny nose and then my last soft stop before it is too late is a hiccup. Sad that I have to go through all three sometimes but there they are.

  22. Great post! It took me a while to figure out what my stops were...My soft stop is a little silent burp or sometimes a hiccup. My hard stop is pain in my upper stomach or chest.

  23. this is a problem i am dealing with...when to stop. pushing the envelope lately and gaining a little. I've had the band for 6 years and I really need to get a grip...glad I round your blog. I need to re-aquaint myself with the WLS community and find support and motivation. thank you for posting this blog!

  24. This is a great post. I'm so glad I can pull from your experience by reading these old posts. This is helpful. :) Thank you.