I never thought of myself as a creature of habitat, but when I started tracking my macros I saw a pattern start to unfold. 2 eggs, 1/2c eggs whites, 200g apples, 1 tsp sesame oil, collagen in my coffee and DONE. Breakfast is ready, and I just have to copy and paste yesterday’s breakfast to today in my macro app.
2 weeks ago that seemed like a lot of food, but now I am finding myself thinking about my next meal rather than finding satisfaction in what I have done. I have not overeaten, but my brain wants more. The challenge for this upcoming week is using patience in eating and finding awareness in satiety. Find the fullness. Or at least find the 80% of capacity.
I haven’t seemed to have FOUND that yet. I love to eat food. Unfortunately I have fallen into a habit of eating on the go, or totally starving and eating while I am making a meal, and then eating said meal. I know I can’t find my fullness then.
Knowing what hunger feels like can be easy. Your body will give you some pretty good signs. Your blood sugar dropping along, hunger hormones rising and the infamous borborygmi (you just didn’t know the word for it) signal your brain to say – “Feed me, Seymour!.”
But what about the end of the cycle – how do you know when we are full? Full is approximately 80% capacity, not stuffed to the brim. Getting there takes patience. While the receptors in your stomach let you know you might be close to full capacity, there are receptors in the brain that also create awareness. It takes about 20 minutes for that process to happen.
Zero awareness when eating leads to overeating. Look at the Joey Chestnut – 2022 winner of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Definitely not letting the brain catch up to the fullness factor.
How do we slow it down, let our brains catch up and feel the fullness? We can tackle this in a few ways.
- One bite One Breath. Take a bite, put your fork down and once you are done chewing, take another breath before you dig in again. If you have a drink, take a sip the same way.
- Bit size is a thing. Does your bite size puff out your cheeks to store food until you chew and swallow some down? Not bite size, my friend. Take your bite down a bit. Fork size is a thing. Let your food fit on your fork.
- Set a timer. If you like to get technical, set a clock. Check in 1/2 way through and see if you have completed half of your meal. If you are almost done, slow down.
- Take this time to be quiet, grateful and reflective on the food you are eating. Where did it come from? Did you enjoy creating your meal? Maybe even a little pat on the back for putting your nutrition first.
This week we are working on finding the fullness, not overeating and know what it truly feels like to feel hungry and full. If you have any thoughts, tips or tricks, please share!