Posted - April 26, 2010

How Much Do you Eat?

While losing weight often requires you to rethink what you eat, many people find that they also need to take a second look at how much they eat. Consistent overeating is a common cause of obesity, and breaking that habit can take practice. The key to eating just enough, rather than too much, involves learning to recognize when you’ve eaten enough and making the choice to actually stop eating at that point.

Recognizing when you’ve eaten just enough.

Your body gives you internal signals that you’ve had enough to eat, and the first step to preventing overeating is learning to recognize those signals. Practice focusing on the sensations of taste when you’re eating. Pay attention to the textures and flavors you’re enjoying. When you’ve eaten enough, your body will signal you by making foods taste dull and bland. When you notice that you’re no longer enjoying the sensations of eating, it may be time to put down your fork.

Your stomach will also give you signs that it’s full. For some overeaters, this feeling can be difficult to recognize if you’re eating too quickly. Take the time to eat slowly and focus on how your stomach is feeling. Be on the lookout for the physical sensation that your body is satisfied and try to avoid getting to the point where your stomach feels stuffed and bloated.

Learning to stop when you’ve had enough.

Once you recognize that your body is signaling you to stop eating, the next step is to actually follow through on not eating anymore. This can be difficult for some people and even cause feelings of anxiety or panic. You may feel like you’re wasting food or worry about when you’ll have another opportunity to eat your favorite foods again. To get past these feelings, try putting down your fork and taking three deep breaths. Spend a moment concentrating on your level of physical hunger. If you recognize that your body is sending you “just enough” signals, take three more deep breaths and tell yourself, “I am choosing to stop eating, and I will be fine. I can eat again when I am hungry.”