How to Stop Overeating: Part 2

overeatingLast week we talked about why we sometimes find ourself overeating.

And how that’s different from how naturally slim people eat most of the time.

Now, let’s take a look at how we can learn to stop overeating when we’ve had enough.

Imagine yourself eating dinner. You’re sitting down, enjoying your food in the moment, yet you are still conscious.

You are still aware of exactly what you’re doing/ This is your goal. To stay connected.

You aren’t rushing, or shoveling food. Your breathing is peaceful and regular.

It’s about halfway through your meal now, and you pause. Put down your fork and check in with yourself. Check in to see if you are still hungry.

Get a reading. Put your fork down and pay attention. There is no rush.

This pace may be significant slower than you are used to eating. Eating fast may be why you routinely eat beyond satisfied and into overeating.

Listen for the answer.

If you’re hungry, keep eating. And if you can’t feel the physical sensation of hunger anymore, but you don’t want to stop, notice what comes up.

What are you thinking? What are you telling yourself about the food, the taste of it, and how much is left?

If you kept on eating because you were still hungry, pause again about three quarters of the way through your food.

Now, look for the signal from your body that you are approaching physical satisfaction.

Listen for that natural sigh from your body. You might find yourself taking a deep breath. If you pay attention, you will be able to hear your body telling you it’s had enough. This may come halfway through your meal, three-quarters through, or at the end.

But the end of your meal depends on how your body feels. Not on how much is left on your plate.

What does enough feel like? It feels like you are comfortably satisfied.

You aren’t hungry. You aren’t full. You feel light and energetic. Like you could take a walk.

Hint: If you need to lie down and open your pants, you’ve gone beyond ‘enough’ to ‘full’.

Now it’s important to hear your thoughts.

Often when we are eating something delicious (and I hope that all of your food is delicious!) then you may think something like, ‘Mmmmm, this is really good! I want more!’ Remember, you are making the decision to stop based on how your body feels. Not on how good something tastes.

Your mind will always appreciate something delicious and maybe want more. But as we said last week, your body does have limits.

Your goal is NOT to stretch your stomach and fit more and more in it. Your stomach will stretch. But this is not what you want to do.

You want to find that sweet spot. The place where it feels perfect. And that place is called ‘enough’.

If you misjudge and stop too soon, in a little while your hunger will return, and then you can eat again.

If you misjudge and keep eating beyond your sweet spot, your stomach will stretch to accommodate the extra food, and it will be stored as fat.

No judging yourself. If you eat too much, just know that the next eating experience will be another opportunity to find that sweet spot.

That spot where your mind and body join together to give you exactly what you need. A perfectly sized meal.

Know that in our world, we will have many more opportunities to eat the next time we are hungry. Each time, you will come closer to your sweet spot.

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