One of the most effective ways to learn to stop eating before feelings of discomfort arise is to eat with attention. When we dedicate our mind to one task at a time, such as eating a meal or snack, the satiety signals arrive earlier, because the feeling of fullness and satifaction and the signal to stop eating is emotional as well as physical.
The feeling of being satisfied by a meal is about much more than the actual food we choose. If we eat what we think we "should" instead of what we really fancy, we can be left strangley wanting more, because we ate "around" the craving. We need to pay attention to what our bodies really need, on any given day. Once the choice is made, then its important to pay attention to the smell, the taste, the texture and the satiety factor, in order to get the signal to stop eating.
For example, if we eat a cup of popcorn versus and wedge of cheese or hard boiled egg, the satiety effect is totally different. We can easily eat and eat popcorn, as we often do at the movies, yet it's less easy to eat and eat hard boiled eggs, due to the protein, fat content and therefore the satiety factor. Also, because these foods stop hunger in it's tracks, when we are paying attention, we naturally don't have the need to keep mindlessly munching. Therefore food choices help us out and make it easy to eat less and experience increased satisfaction.
This is good to know. For example, full fat Greek yoghurt also cuts hunger. In fact it's my "go too" when I'm still a little hungry at the end of a meal. After a small serve of Greek yoghurt, I feel completely satisfied and get the signal that I am done with the meal. So next time you eat, think about how you want to feel after eating and make choices based on the feeling you want to have, post meal or snack.
Sometimes we have salt cravings, but do we need to eat an entire bag of potato chips to satiate the craving for salt? Or can we just put some good quality sea salt on a spoon and eat it? Same effect, yet a lot healthier. Or, sometimes we may want the chips.And that's OK.
Having the chips is fine too, however, there is a caveat. The mindful way is to serve yourself is in a dish (as opposed to eating straight from a giant bag), take a seat, turn off all distractions, and dedicate yourself to savoring every single potato chip. Don't do anything else. Open all your senses as you eat. Look at the shape, the texture, notice the salt on each chip. Notice the flavors in your mouth. Listen to the sound of the crunch. It is very satisfying to eat this way. to eek out every last bit of pleasure from every. Single. Chip.
Now, I'm not saying we can never allow ourselves popcorn while watching a movie. Personally I enjoy cooking popcorn at home with in coconut oil (healthy fat) and good salt, and enjoy it with my husband and kids while we watch a movie.
However, it's good to know that popcorn (grain) is not very satiating and in fact corn is cheap and it is used to fatten up cattle before slaughter. All this to say that it's also good to pay attention to the nature and satiety effect of different food. Dedicate your mind to noticing food choices and how they make you feel. Armed with the knowledge of how different food affect our satiety levels, we are better equipped to make food choices that work for us rather than against us.
G'day. Welcome to my blog, where I write about mindful eating. My name is Sally Asher and I'm a wellness author of three books. I hold a Health Science degree and have a passion for behavioral change. I live between South Florida and Melbourne with my husband and two teenagers. My husband and I run a real estate investment company. I love to help people eat mindfully and reconnect with the innate, intuitive sense of eating that we are all born with.