I have heard a time or two that some people can eat some enormous amounts of food yet never feel full. If you are one of these people, it is likely that you have struggled with mindless overeating for a long time. Why don’t you ever feel full? It’s probably because you have eaten past the point of feeling satiated on several occasions. You probably aren’t sure how to even feel full anymore. In a sense, maybe your body has said, “You know what, if Holly isn’t going to listen to the signals that I am full, I am just not going to tell her anymore, and she can fend for herself.” It has stopped sending you messages because you have stopped responding.
Overeating can be be hard on the body and even dangerous at times. Competitors in eating contests can put themselves at risk of damaging their stomach lining or esophagus, and they do this by training their bodies to ignore the full feeling.
If you have stopped responding to your body’s messages and aren’t sure how to feel full, what can you do to change this condition and get some normalcy back? It is possible. However, it is a matter of retraining yourself to listen very closely to your body’s cues. At first, you may not know when you are hungry or full. You may need the help of a nutritionist to create a food plan for you. A nutritionist would be able to show you the amount of food that would make the typical body begin to feel full. Eventually, after eating this way for awhile, your body would start to send you the correct signals again.
Or many this is something you can work on yourself without the help of a professional. Let’s try a new approach. If you have troubles feeling the full signals from your body, maybe you could decide before you even start eating when you are going to stop. Look at your plate and decide how much might make you feel completely full. Once you have decided, estimate what 80 percent of that amount would look like; maybe two thirds of what’s on your plate.
Slowly eat this amount. I say slowly because your body takes a full 2o minutes to actually digest your food. Slow down and give your body time to register how much you have eaten. If you eat quickly and stop at what you think is 80 percent full, you may actually be 100 percent full and not know it, since your body has not caught up with your mind yet.
The 80 percent rule is also a good tool for those who may under eat as well, who may feel too full when trying to eat a large meal. Feeling too full is a significant trigger or discomfort and negative feelings. Aiming for the 80 percent rule should help to avoid feeling the “too full” reaction.
Do you ever feel like you could just keep on eating and never feel full?
If you are just beginning this journey with me, please check out the other parts of my mindful series. There are a few articles you may find helpful: