I already mentioned that the key to a natural, intuitive eating behavior is to be mindful of your bodies hunger and satiety signals. Today I would like to talk about how to reach satisfaction and what it feels like – since dieting makes us not only lose the ability to recognize the feeling of hunger, but also the feeling of satiety.
Satisfaction makes you slim
And it is important to know that satisfaction is not only physical but also psychological. Have you ever heard the idiom “You eat with your eyes first!” ? I love it, since it is so true to me. I love eating beautiful food, arrange it on a nice plate, have a pretty well-laid table and a tidy kitchen when I sit down for my meal. Optimizing your surroundings makes it a lot easier to follow my advice to recognize the point when satiety sets in:
- be present
With a distracted mind you will not cherish the amazing food you are eating. You can cook up the fanciest meal – if you are worrying about work or planing the rest of the day in your head it will taste just the same as a bowl of packet soup.
- limit distractions
This is quite difficult for me. I love to read blogs while having my breakfast or chill out in front of the TV with my dinner. But truth to be told, having this distraction I also know that it is way harder to stop eating – when the focus does not lie on eating only, it is hard to notice the hunger fade and satiety set in. The only desirable distraction to have while eating is a conversation with your table-mate(s).
- slow down
Delicious food tempts us to stuff our faces. Everyone of us heard about the magical 20 minutes, which it takes for the stomach to tell the brain that it is full. But actually, if you are eating slowly, savoring every bite and being aware of your stomach you will notice at any point throughout the meal whether you are satisfied or not. Satisfaction is a warm, happy feeling in your stomach, when you are not hungry anymore, but not feeling kind of full yet.
Another great trick to affect your psychological satisfaction is to play with the size of your plate: use a smaller one when you are aiming for weight loss, or a bigger one when you plan to gain weight.
I also noticed another behavior of mine during the first week of intuitive eating: I am chasing the taste. When I am satisfied eating the main course, I crave something sweet. And after having a sweet dish I often would like to eat something salty or savory again. So my last advice of the day would be:
Stop chasing the taste
Flavor diminishes as your hunger fades and you near fullness. That is why it helps to decide what you want to eat, before you eat it – when done with the plate/bowl do not go for something else. If you are truly hungry after distracting yourself with other activities for a while (getting your mind off the food) you can still go and eat whatever you want. But chances are high that if you want to have something sweet after your savory meal it is more of a dessert-lust than actually something your body craves for.
Is a pretty table and a pretty plate important to you? Are you watching TV or surfing the web while eating? Are you craving sweets after a savory meal?