Week 8 Challenge — Stop Eating When You Are Full

OK, so you might be thinking “DUH! Of course I stop eating when I feel full.” Well, for many people this is not so easy. Whether it is the deliciousness of a meal or that their plate isn’t yet empty or maybe they eat so fast, they don’t realize they’re full until they’re stuffed, some people haven’t learned  how (or more accurately, have lost the ability) to tune in to what their belly is saying. If you are one of those people that often finds yourself rolling away from the table groaning because you are so full rather than simply content and satisfied, maybe a few tips will help.

  • Eating a healthy meal full of flavor will help you to feel more satisfied than a pile of monotonous junk. More nutrition for your body will leave your belly happy, more flavor from a variety of healthy ingredients and herbs will make your tongue and mind happy.
  • Using a smaller plate can kind of trick your mind into feeling like you have eaten more. My eyes see an empty plate, must mean I’m finished. We only use the giant 10″ dinner plates for special occasions, when we have company. We use 8″ plates for nearly all of our regular meals.
  • Serve appropriately sized portions. Put any leftovers away immediately so you are less tempted to go back for seconds.
  • Slowing down while you eat will give your body time to recognize that your stomach is full. It can take 20 minutes for this message to get from your stomach to your brain. Please check out this interesting article to better understand the effect of the hormone leptin on appetite.
  • Since you’re slowing down anyhow, have a seat at the table with your family and reconnect each day. Studies that show the positive impact that daily family mealtime can have on kids I imagine, it has little to do with the sitting. I’m sure it’s more about the strengthening of relationships. People in many countries will spend hours together around the table for a meal, eating small portions and enjoying each other’s company. I think that also contributes to leaving the table content and satisfied.
  • Many people have grown accustomed to snacking all day and are confusing hunger for what is actually thirst. If you are hungry between filling meals, try drinking some water first, before having a snack. This is not to imply that snacking is bad. It might very well be good to have healthy snacks. But drinking a glass of water will help you to better listen to your body’s messages. Are you really hungry or just low on fluids?

This challenge is all about moderation. A tough challenge for some of us. Do you have any ideas you employ to practice moderation?

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