Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eating to be Satisfied

We habitually say "are you full yet?" "Did that fill ya up?" "Did you get enough to eat honey?" and the seemingly inevitable... "ugh I'm sooo stuffed."

In actuality, you should never feel full. Hey, I'll be the first to admit that I have had those moments. The "Oh my God, I don't think that I can ever eat again" moments. They happen. But, I will tell you they rarely happen to me now.

Get out of your routine! Don't just eat an apple at 11AM because you always eat an apple at 11AM. If you can sense yourself getting hungry- hey, eat the apple. But if you can sit back and feel whether you are hungry or not and you are not- then try waiting. Not to the point of stomach growling hungry or feeling faint but wait until you feel that your body is hungry. There is somewhat of a scale here.

Here's how I see it:

Hunger Scale Pre-Eating

1 - I'm comfortable, not hungry
2 - I'm getting hungry but it's not urgent
3 - I'm really hungry and need to eat
4 - I'm so hungry I feel like I could faint (this may include 'the shakes,' hot flashes or inability to focus)
5 - I'm past the point of hungry and now I'm nauseous

I am not a doctor or even a dietitian and I imagine that everyone's scale is different but that is about how mine is. That being said, I feel there is scale for how hungry you are while you are eating.

Here's how I see it:

Hunger Scale Throughout Eating

1 - I can feel that I am still hungry
2 - I can feel that I am enjoying my food but I'm not hungry anymore
3 - I  can feel that I am getting filled up but I am going to eat more
4 - I can feel that I am really full but I want to eat more (likely because it's tasty)
5 - I feel so full I'm regretting eating all of my meal (and possibly more)

Now, this may even be more difficult to gauge than feeling how hungry you are initially. There are couple different reasons why this can be so difficult.

1). You reached 4 or 5 on the 'Hunger Scale Pre-eating' and you cannot determine if you have eaten enough food yet because you are still feeling 'faint'

2). You're food is so tasty that your tastebuds are telling your gut that you are still hungry :)

Those are both hard battles to be in. Ideally, you (and I) want to prevent ourselves from being past level 3 on the Hunger Scale Pre-Eating. And even more, about a 2.5, in between getting hungry and need to eat. This is when I find that I can use my best judgment on when to stop eating. You'll see that these scales go hand-in-hand. Similar to the HSPE (I'm getting lazy in typing my lengthy scale names), you'll want to hover around a 2 with HSTE. Once you can feel that your body is satisfied- no more food should be consumed. Satisfied is the operative word here. Caution lies around 4 on the HSTE and 5 should be avoided.

Yes, I know it's not always easy to leave food on your plate- especially when there are starving people in 'fill in the blank here,' but when it comes to what you put into your body, leave the thinking about starving children to your personal charity efforts (i.e. donate to your local food bank or write a check to the Red Cross etc. ;)). Your body and mind will thank you.

When you're satisfied, stop. Eat to be satisfied. This takes practice, but it is possible. And even realistic.

It's hard enough to gauge your own hunger. When it comes to children- maybe accept that they aren't hungry anymore when they have said "I'm not hungry." Now, that's a fine line I'm sure and sometimes they do not know what is best for them just yet. But, if they've ate even a portion of a well balanced meal and say they are not hungry anymore. Hey, maybe they really are not hungry anymore.

Well, that's my rant for the day. 

Looking to make some coconut flour brownies tonight, stay tuned ;) 

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