Monday Challenge: Stop Eating Before You Feel Full

Monday Challenge: Stop Eating When You’re Full                                                                                   (October 23rd)


Most people believe that they stop eating when they are full, but it’s actually not true most of the time!

Don’t believe me? Think of the last thing you ate. Did you stop eating because your gut told you so or because you ran out of food?

We tend to let our external, visual cues determine how much to eat instead of listening to our bodies.

Based on Michael Pollan’s research: “… It takes twenty minutes before the brain gets the word that the belly is full; unfortunately most of us take considerably less than twenty minutes to finish a meal …”

So what should you do?

First of all, start with less food on your plate. It’s just really hard for most of us to stop ourselves from finishing those last few bites. I know this is true for me, if I really like the food I’m eating!

Second, try to rest for a few moments between the bites. Chew more, and allow yourself to really enjoy each bite. Put down your fork or spoon in between bites and take smaller bites that your brain may want you to take. My brain like BIG bites when I’m hungry!

Third, eat more REAL food. It’s a lot more difficult to overeat on real, whole foods than highly processed, calorie-soaked junk food. Think like this, could you eat a whole bag of apples? NO WAY! It’s because of the fiber in apples. A whole bag of apples could be somewhere around 1000 calories. But you could easily finish a whole MacDonald’s hamburger, large fries and a soda, which all together would come to 1000 calories or more. AND, I guarantee you’d still be hungry soon after that. The reason for this is because MacDonald’s food is highly processed and doesn’t contain much “whole” food, no fiber, no nutrients and what you eat surpasses your brain’s satiety centers. This means your body isn’t even sure if you really ate because it didn’t receive any nutrients that it can use. This is confusing to your body because you feel full but you have not nutrients available for your body to use!

Fourth, eat with your “opposite” hand! It’ll force you to slow down when you eat.

A bit more advice from Pollan’s book Food Rules:

  • Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Serve a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds.
  • Leave something on your plate.

This week, your challenge is to slow it down and stop eating when you’re full at EVERY meal!

Are you up for it? Let me know below!



Picture of Amanda Mittleman

Amanda Mittleman

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