Do you find yourself overeating? Maybe it is not all the time, but indulging a little too much a little too often. Here are some tips to guide you so that this does not happen frequently.
- Drink Water or Tea Before a Meal – Filling your stomach with water or tea before a meal can take the edge off hunger so that you do not dive straight into your meal devouring it and eating it too quickly.
- Stay Clear of Distractions – Turn off the television, put your cell on silent and get away from the computer. It is very easy to not focus in on eating when there are digital distractions. Focus on the task at hand: eating. Sit at the table with a chair and a plate surrounding yourself in a positive environment and mind-set for eating intuitively.
- Determine Your Level of Hunger Before a Meal – Before you take your first bite, rate your hunger. Be extra careful about how fast you are eating and recognize that it may be very easy to overeat if your hunger rating is high. Take it slow. You do not want to pass the satisfaction point without even noticing.
- Eat When You are Hungry – When you feel hungry, eat. Do not waiting until you are starving. If you are too hungry , it is easy to go from starving to stuffed in a matter of minutes without a feeling of satisfaction.
- Pause for a Moment – During a meal, put your fork down and pause for a moment. This will give you more time to pace yourself and gauge how full you are. During this pause engage in a conversation. If you are eating alone, take some deep breaths and drink some water. Repeat this several times during the meal. Give yourself some visual reminders. After you finish a quarter of your meal, repeat the pause.
- Engage Your Senses – There are sensual aspects of food. Does your food have visual appeal?Lots of colors? Take a bite, savor the taste, flavor and texture of the food. Make mental notes of the experience. If you are eating with someone, talk about the qualities of the food as part of conversation. You will find yourself beginning to notice fullness more easily.
- Mid-meal Satisfaction – When your plate is half empty, that is the visual trigger to recognize whether you are feeling satisfaction or not. When you are at this half way point, stop eating and rate your hunger. How many more bites will you need to satisfy your hunger?
- Rate your Post-meal Fullness – When you are finished with your meal, rate how full you are. You should feel satisfied, not so full that it is uncomfortable. If you are full to the point of discomfort, assess what happened during that meal. Were you overly hungry? Did you eat too fast? If you have finished your meal and you do not feel physically satisfied, assess the balance of the nutrients in what you have eaten. Give yourself permission to get more food if you are still hungry, as long as you are eating what the body truly needs and you are not overeating. Make sure your hunger is truly physical and not emotional.
- Be Patient, It Takes Time – Relearning to eat intuitively takes time. Recalibrating your hunger and fullness does not happen at the snap of your finger. It can take a month to several months. Distinguishing the difference between feeling satisfied and full can also take a little longer to develop and put into practice.
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