I heard the best analogy this past week by Tina DePizzo, an RD who specializes in eating disorders. She calls it “intuitive peeing”… Let me explain. We generally trust our bodies to do what they naturally do. For instance, when we feel the urge to pee, we go to the bathroom. We would never think, “well, I’ve already pee’d three times today, so I think I should just hold it for a while”. So, why the heck should we do that with our stomachs? We shouldn’t! Keep reading.
Do you know what it feels like to be hungry? Have you noticed the signals your body sends you? Take a look at the scale below:
1- Starving, can’t concentrate, dizzy
2- Extremely hungry, irritable
3- Very Hungry
4- Hungry, ready to eat [eat at this point]
5- Just noticing the first signs of hunger [slow down, if eating]
6- Comfortable, satisfied [stop eating]
7- Two bites too many
8- Uncomfortably full
9- Very uncomfortably full
10- Thanksgiving full!
The next time you reach for something to eat, pick out which number you are on the scale. Then think if it is the right time to eat or not. And eat slowly! Enjoy your food. Think about the flavors of your food and the textures. Eat with someone else. Talk about the food, or even your day. It takes your stomach about 15 minutes to tell your brain it is full. By eating more slowly, you will avoid overeating.
Have you ever noticed a young child eat? He or she will fuss, or push the food away when they are full. What a concept! They listen to their body and obey their hunger cues. So, why don’t adults do the same? Over time, we learn to overeat. The more we overeat, the more difficult it is to hear the signals our bodies send us. Try to avoid distractions while eating. If you are watching TV, eating quickly, or even driving, you will have a more difficult time with stopping when you are truly full–not Thanksgiving full. Lastly, don’t wait to eat until you are ravenous. If you do, you are much more likely to overeat when you have the next meal.
Practice listening to your body and the cues it sends you. You also might be more hungry one day than another. Nurture your body with food–the right amount!
Marina Bedrossian is a Northport, NY dietitian nutritionist who helps people with holistic nutrition solutions and food sensitivities. Visit this page to schedule an appointment and don’t forget to join the private Facebook group “Ingredients For Healthy Families” more information here.