Ever just keep on eating and eating because your body isn’t shouting at you and telling you that it’s full? Believe me, I’ve been there too!
I have to share something with you. One of the most common questions I get in my inbox is this:
“What if I just can’t stop eating? I never feel full, and I think I could just keep piling the food in.”
There are many factors that could lead to us eating and eating without feeling full:
- lack of desire to listen to your body
- stress and emotional eating
- years and years of ignoring hunger and satiation signals
Often, this all turns into those signals just not working the way they’re supposed to. This is a real issue and a major cause for why we’re having trouble stopping when we’re full.
I used to be one of those people too. My signals just didn’t work because I had ignored them for so long. I ignored the hunger ones, so my body stopped telling me anything. And at times I ignored the satisfied/full ones, so they stopped telling me too.
If you struggle with not being able to stop eating, it’s very possible that you’ve ignored these physical sensations one too many times that they just don’t work anymore. You probably aren’t sure how to even feel full anymore.
In a sense, maybe your body has said, “You know what, if she 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 correctly.
So today, I really want to talk about how we can get you back to LISTENING to those signals and on the path to eating when, and only when, your body truly needs to eat.
KEY POINTS TO LISTENING TO YOUR BODY:
1. Eat Without Distraction: No TV, computer, smart phone, e-reader, etc. Just you and your food. I know these days, it’s all about finding the time to get everything done in less time, so we’re often eating at our desks to work through lunch, or trying to fit in a tv show while eating dinner, or catching up on the latest facebook drama while snacking. Sounds pretty harmless, right?
Unfortunately, for someone who is trying to work on eating the right amount of food, distracted eating can be detrimental. You won’t be able to hear those physical signals your body is trying to tell you over all the chaos your mind is going through by processing tv, work, social media or whatever else you’ve got it working on.
2. Eat Slowly: This is another super important one. It takes your body a whole TWENTY MINUTES to realize it’s full. So if you eat a ton of food super fast, your body isn’t going to be able to tell you before you are way past the satisfied point.
So this is what I do. I take a bite, place my fork down, chew it completely, and take a drink of water. And repeat. Every few bites I stop to mentally ask myself, “Are you really still hungry?” Often, my first thought is, “DUH, I’m still hungry, there’s food on my plate still!” So then I ask again. “No REALLY. Are you SURE you’re still hungry?” Listen carefully. Does your stomach still feel hollow? Is it still growling at you? Do you feel like you could stop and be okay with that decision?
Take your time with this. Learn to recognize your SATISFIED feeling, not your FULL feeling. You’ll only get to hear it if you eat slow.
3. Eat The Foods You WANT To Eat: This is another big one. If you don’t like kale, then don’t eat it. Because if you try to feed yourself foods that you don’t really like, what’s gonna eventually happen? You’ll snap.
That’s right – the time will come when you’re sick of eating all the foods you think you’re supposed to be eating and then go crazy and eat all the foods that you actually wanted in the first place! If you would’ve just chosen what you wanted in the first place, eating slowly and without distraction, you would’ve been in a much better situation all around.
I hope this will help you learn to pay more attention to your body and it’s physical needs. Remember that it’s often a mind game. Once your mind is more in sync with your body and it’s needs, life tends to become a bit easier.