We all eat, right?
But some of us eat more than others.
What determines when we’ve had enough? And how do we know when to stop eating?
Our goal, as healthy humans, is to eat when we’re hungry and stop when we’re satisfied.
Today I want to talk about the whole question of what ‘satisfied’ feels like. So you have a clearer idea of when to stop eating.
There’s a big difference between ‘satisfied’ and ‘full’. If you have been struggling with your weight, you probably stop eating when you are full.
Full feels like you have an awareness of the food in your stomach.
You feel an internal heaviness.
You may feel a lessening of a desire to keep eating unless you are eating emotionally or bingeing.
You don’t feel like being active at this moment.
You might feel sluggish.
Our goal is not to eat to fullness.
Yet it’s a word we all use interchangeably with satisfied.
Let’s look at the definition now of ‘satisfied’.
You feel neutral to a tiny bit full.
You don’t have any discomfort at all.
Your stomach doesn’t feel heavy or stretched.
You no longer feel like eating.
Satisfied feels light. You still have energy. You could go for a walk if you wanted to without being uncomfortable.
Satisfied feels good.
Full is when you’ve gone past good, and now you are in the territory of ‘too much’.
When we talk about how our bodies feel on the inside, it’s very subjective. So we need to develop our own internal scale to know when to stop eating.
So, think about these questions when you are eating:
- When you feel full, what does it feel like?
- Do you like feeling full?
- If you do, why?
- If you don’t like feeling full, can you say why you don’t?
- Do you think being satisfied is different than being full?
- What does satisfied feel like in your body?
- Do you like it? Why?
- If you don’t like feeling satisfied, why not?
You need to develop your own measurement of how each of these bodily sensations feels in your body. And then you can choose how you want to feel each time you eat.
It can feel like you are giving yourself a treat when you go past satisfied to full. But the truth is that you are not being kind to yourself when you slip past full. When you give your body more than it needs, you are eating for reasons other than hunger. And if you’re not hungry, whatever the reason is that you continue to eat… food won’t satisfy it.
Have the courage to try it.
And see, honestly, what feels better to your body.
And if full really feels better than satisfied, that’s okay. But your next step would be to take an honest look at why it does.
And move on from there.