Appetite and the workings within the body that control it and hunger is a fascinating topic. While our bodies are wired to signal us when the body needs food AND also when we are full and to stop eating, many of us eat way past that time, or eat when we are not physically hungry but for other reasons, such as emotions, stress and food addiction. This in part explains the epidemic proportions of obesity and lifestyle diseases related to it, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Why can’t we stop eating when we are full? There are many answers to this, sometimes it is a simple as that we see food as pleasure and not as it was intended, which is for sustenance and life.
1. The first thing I would recommend is eating mindfully. This forces you to slow down. Mindful eating means paying attention to your food, chewing each bite slowly and with intention. Not eating with the TV or some other distraction. It takes the brain about 20 to 30 minutes to register satiety and when we rush through meals or don’t pay attention to the actual act of eating, we end up eating way past satiety. So, eat mindfully and you will eat just what the body needs and avoid the pitfalls of overeating.
2. Eat Healthy. We are talking about healthy lifestyle changes, and not juice cleanses or coffee enemas. The extremes that some people will go to get skinny boggles the mind. It’s all about how much you eat, then what you do to burn it off.
3. Drink Water. Not only is staying hydrated important, but it can also help keep you feeling fuller. Drink 1 glass of water before your meal as it will trick your brain to feeling fuller than it is and you'll stop eating sooner.
4. Serve yourself one portion and don’t leave the community serving dish on the table such as done with family style servings. Humans eat with their eyes, we see food and we want it, whether we are physically hungry or not. When you serve yourself a portion, you limit how much you will eat, psychologically you know this is all the food that I have for this meal.
5. Don’t let yourself get too tired or stressed. Fatigue often disguises itself as hunger, so when we are tired, we tend to overeat. Make sure to take care of yourself, get proper rest and engage in an effective stress management plan and your appetite will normalize.
It is important to foster a sense of self- compassion. Weight loss is tough and keeping it off is even tougher. Treat yourself with care and understanding. Try not to be hypercritical and pass harsh judgment. Maintaining a healthy attitude about weight is difficult. You will make mistakes and slip up from time to time.
Remember, you are looking for progress and not perfection. Foster a sense of self- compassion. Treat yourself with care and understanding. Try not to be hypercritical and pass harsh judgment. Maintaining a healthy attitude about weight is difficult. You will make mistakes and slip up from time to time. Remember, you are looking for progress and not perfection.