Do you ever find it difficult to stop eating, even when you’re feeling stuffed? Here are the questions to help you check in, and get back in tune with your body and mind.
BY: SIMI BOTIC
Do you struggle to stop eating when you’re full? If so, you’re not alone.
The reason why respecting your fullness (i.e. being able to stop eating when you’re full) can be so challenging is because it requires you to address many different factors.
It’s not quite as simple as saying, ‘Just stop eating when you’re full!’
Being able to stop eating when you’re full requires you to:
- Feel comfortable eating when you’re hungry, which means eating when you feel hungry regularly.
- Be free from food rules, which means practicing unconditional permission to eat.
- Nourish your body regularly, which means you’re no longer restricting.
- Be able to feel your body’s fullness signals, which means moving away from mealtime distractions so you can tune in with how you feel.
- Eat foods that you enjoy, which means making satisfying and nourishing choices most of the time.
- Feel safe to feel your feelings, deal with your situations, or process emotions that you will have to experience when you stop eating.
See? It’s not quite as simple as saying, ‘just stop eating when you’re full!’ Our relationship with food is nuanced.
Here are a few questions you can start asking yourself if you’re struggling to stop eating when you’re full.
1. Do you eat when you’re hungry most of the time?
If you’re not eating when you’re hungry on a regular basis, then stopping when you’re full feels scary because your mind and body don’t trust that you’ll get food again when you need it. It creates a famine mindset.
2. Do you have any food rules?
Food rules include: ‘I can’t eat that food’ or ‘I have to wait a certain number of hours in between meals’. These can make it particularly hard for you to stop eating because of the uncertainty of whether you’ll be able to have a particular food again.
This promotes the ‘last meal mentality’ where you’ll likely keep eating because it feels like your last chance. Food rules are another way the famine mindset can get triggered.
3. Are you restricting in any way?
Be honest with yourself when you experience restriction, and be aware that makes it impossible to respect fullness because it triggers your famine mindset.
4. Are you paying attention when you eat?
Are you eating your meals while being pulled in 100 different directions? It’s hard to tune in to your body when you’re distracted. Make your eating experiences as peaceful and relaxing as possible within your real life.
Close your email for 5 minutes, sit down if possible, take a few deep breaths, and practice chewing your food thoroughly. Being present and mindful with your food is powerful and essential when you’re learning to respect fullness. After all, how can you stop eating when you’re full if you don’t even realize you’re full in the first place?
5. Are your meals satisfying and yummy?
When you feel full but not satisfied, it’s hard to stop eating. Experience both as often as possible, and satisfaction will naturally come as you’re eating a variety of foods that you enjoy.
6. Do you feel safe to feel your feelings, deal with uncomfortable moments, or process your emotions?
Sometimes, we keep eating because it distracts us from the things in life we don’t want to deal with. Check-in with what emotions, feelings, or situations feel difficult for you so you can start to develop the skills, resilience, and self-care tools necessary to be present with them.
Here’s to getting curious, and uncovering what’s really behind it all.
Adapted from the original post.
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Simi Botic is a certified holistic health coach, speaker, and the author of “Letting Go Of Leo: How I Broke Up With Perfection”, a memoir about overcoming her decades long struggle with feeling like she wasn’t enough. Through her work, she helps women all over the world ditch perfection and heal their relationships with food and body image so they can begin to embrace their beautifully imperfect lives. She made you a free guide, The First Step To Breaking Up With Perfection which you can grab here. To learn more, visit her at www.simibotic.com and @simibotic.