Eating to 80% capacity and practicing mindfulness.
It’s OK to feel a little hungry.
Through this post, I’m going to talk to you about becoming in tune with your hunger. I want you to be aware of what it feels like to be hungry, to recognize if what you’re feeling is actually hunger, and then to carry on that mindfulness to when you’re eating.
We’ve all been there - eating a meal and then before you know it you’ve got your plate finished and 15 minutes later you can’t stand the thought of eating another bite! Pants are unbuttoned before you even leave the table. That’s what happens when your hunger signals aren’t in line with what’s going on. And here’s the kicker: you can get those hunger signals in line with everything by just taking a bit more time to eat your meals and be mindful of how much you’re eating.
But again, this is a whole lot easier said than done. One doesn’t just wake up one day and find that they’re mindful and completely in tune with how hungry and how full they are. Which is why working to eat to 80% full is an outstanding goal.
Eating is one of the simplest and most complicated things ever.
When I/m talking about eating to 80% full, I’m really just saying we want you to eat to the point where you’re comfortably satisfied but not stuffed. There’s a big difference there. One involves walking away from your plate and still feeling good and satisfied and the later involves walking away from your plate and feeling like your belt might bust open.
How? How do we make this happen?
The stomach sends hunger signals to the brain, and while most of the things that happen in our bodies are incredibly fast, this is one of those instances where we wished things could be a bit faster.
For the average person, it takes us about 15 minutes for our stomach to communicate to our brains that we’re full. Which means that we could eat an entire meal and then end up feeling like we’re beyond stuffed. And contrary to popular belief, that’s not how every single meal has to be.
By eating quickly, we tend to bypass the ability of our stomach and brain to communicate properly, which throws off our awareness of hunger and leaves us in a situation where we’re uncomfortably stuffed.
So, what should you do about it?
It’s super simple. Eat a bit more slowly. That’s it. Eating slowly allows your stomach and brain time to communicate so you can get a better idea of just how full you’re getting, which in turn allows you to identify if you’re actually hitting that 80% full/comfortably satisfied mark.
Now, do know that this isn’t going to be easy in the beginning. Sure, it’ll be made a bit easier by the fact that you’re tracking everything you’re eating. That certainly helps things. But it’s going to feel strange to actually take time to savor each and every bite you take. It’s going to feel strange if you’re not used to doing that sort of thing.
But I do promise you that if you take the time to work on this you’ll find that being able to identify how hungry or full you actually are becomes much easier. And the easier that becomes, the easier it’ll be to make this program and the results you get on it last for a lifetime.