Hope your week is going well. It’s been a little while since I’ve done a blog post. Been busy working and keeping up with life (which includes a toddler…that always keeps me busy 😜). I wanted to post this quick tip today that will hopefully help you reach your health and fitness goals, but won’t keep you stuck to a strict meal plan or tracking every ounce of food that goes into your mouth.
Many people struggle with overeating. Whether it’s because they’re on a diet and so hungry they can’t stop when presented with food, or they have an allotted amount of macros to eat, and instead of listening to their bodies, they clean they’re entire plate regardless of their biological cues to stop eating because ‘it fits their macros’, or they just get distracted and don’t realize they’ve eaten beyond the point of being full until it’s too late and they’re in a state of ‘just roll me out the door’.
Whatever the reason, we all overeat. First of all, let me tell you there’s nothing wrong with that! If you want to overeat, and you know you’re going out for a decadent meal and want to stuff yourself, by all means do it! You’re in control over your body, and if you’re willing to accept feeling uncomfortably full afterwards but the food is worth it (I’m looking at you Melting Pot), then do it!
However, this post is for those of you who chronically find yourselves overstuffed after every meal or snack. You start eating and don’t know how to stop or eat so quickly you don’t realize how much you’ve eaten until you’re uncomfortable. You’re tired of having a ‘gut bomb’ after every meal but don’t know how to stop when you’re full. I have ONE tip that’ll help you get in the habit of listening to your body and help you start practicing stopping eating when you’re full….
Only eat 80% of what’s on your plate.
Earth-shattering, I know.
I could give all the usual tips…don’t let yourself get too hungry, eat slower, taste your food more, stop eating distracted…but let’s be real, this is real life and you might not have time for all that business at every meal. You might be rushed out the door during breakfast because you overslept and all you can find is a granola bar, so you eat it all without thinking about it. You might be running home late for dinner, but the tiny humans are starving and NEED FOOD NOW! So you rush something together and then eat in a state of panic after that madness. Life is not always going to be ideal and you’re not always going to eat what you want, when you want, or how you want. This one tip is something you can do, every single time you eat. When you force your behavior to change, habits slowly form and it becomes second nature. Behavior change leads to habits which leads to results. If you don’t know how long or how much food it takes for you to be full, start with what a ‘normal’ serving size is for you, then only eat 80% of it. Put the rest away in the fridge and wait 20 minutes. If you’re still hungry after those 20 min, then go ahead and finish it, but more often than not, clients of mine who implement this trick, find they don’t need that last bit of food. They’re full (not stuffed), satisfied (not left wanting more), and they feel comfortable about the amount of food they ate.
For example, this was my lunch last week. A big salad with lots of fixings. I was very hungry when I built this salad, so I made it BIG. I’ve gotten into the habit of only eating about 80% of what’s in my bowl or on my plate, so naturally I stopped at a certain point and there was food still left in my bowl. I was working at the time, so I set the bowl aside and continued working. After about 30 minutes, I realized my salad was still sitting there and I hadn’t touched it. I was full. I didn’t finish the salad (I put the rest away in the fridge for the next day’s lunch), and I wasn’t overly stuffed or full because I’ve gotten into the habit of only finishing 80% of what’s on my plate.
Over time you’ll start to get a better handle on how much food actually makes you full and will be able to adjust your portions accordingly. You’ll find that even at social outings, when allll the food is available, you’ll be able to pick the things you like and only eat enough to fill you up comfortably, so you’re not rolled up in a ball on the floor with a stomachache (again, I’m looking at you, Melting Pot).
I hope this tip helps you next time you’re rushing through a meal and need a little help slowing down or stopping. This is a tip you can implement today and watch it develop into habits down the road.
Hope you all finish out this week on a high note and have a great weekend!