5. Respect Your Fullness. Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you're comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?Ahhh... another principle that I struggle with. This is something that I have gotten better with, but there is still much much room for improvement. I tend to be a portion-er because if I don't portion my food then I will easily over eat. I enjoy the act of eating... so much so, that I tend to do it too fast. I need to remind myself at.every.meal that I should slow down and savor my food. I do this with Matthias too. I have observed that I eat a lot slower than he does, and cueing him to slow down helps me to slow down as well.
As for hunger/fullness... because I portion and plan, fullness is more a state of "having no more left to eat" because I have already eaten what I need to. This is counterproductive to this principle. I will eat my portioned meal, and stop. Or, I will eat things that aren't part of the plan, then eat my portioned meal on top of that. I have this twisted mind frame of being a poor student. I don't like to waste any food, so if I veer off plan (ahem, often), then I try to get back on plan by eating on top of what I have already eaten. I struggle with this at least once a week. Any tips or strategies?
Here are some things I am going to try this week to recognize my fulness:
- Tell myself that I am "taking a break," not "stopping." That is a reminder that I can keep eating if I want to.
- Eat my favorite things on the plate first. I always "saved the best for last" and now I feel deprived of the things I wanted most when I get full.
- Recognize the following symptoms of fullness:
- Eating pace begins to slow.
- The taste buds begin to get 'bored' with the flavor of the meal. The food doesn't taste as good as when the meal first began.
- A sense of distraction begins to take root. Conversation with dining partners starts to pick up, or thoughts drift from the meal.
- A 'sigh' or burp is experienced at the point of full satisfaction.
- Hunger is absent. This is a place many will have to start. If you find it difficult to ascertain your full signal, try instead to tune into the point where you are no longer hungry. This may not take you to your complete full level, but you can always eat later if you find your hunger shortly returning. This will help you begin to gauge what your fullness feels like. It can be less intimidating for some than first trying to clue into feeling full.
- You subconsciously push away your plate.
- A thought runs through your head, "This is the last bite". This is a clear marker for many. Pay attention the next time you are eating. Notice if there comes a point in your meal where you instinctively know that the bite of food you are about to put in your mouth should be your last. This is a very common sign. The trick is, you have to be consciously aware to catch it. When you reach the, 'last bite threshold', put your eating utensils down and push your plate away from you as a clear indication to yourself that it is time to stop. Preserve the pleasure of your meal by ceasing to eat when your body is in this relaxed, pleasantly satisfied state.
- You begin to eat the food before you less and less; playing with it more by moving the food around on your plate with your eating utensils.
- There is a warm, satisfied feeling in the stomach.