Saw this article on another site and thought it was worth reading.
When to say when
Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're satisfied. Simple advice? Yes. A simple philosophy to practise? Not so much. But becoming better in tune with your body's signals is the first step in mastering your food Comfort Zone.
Here are some basic guidelines that can help you better understand when to say when:
We have trained ourselves to eat at the first thought of being hungry. We have developed a false sense of what it feels like to be truly hungry. So, if you struggle with wanting to eat even when you're not hungry, how do you know if you actually do require food?
There are two types of hunger â€“ physiological or psychological hunger. Psychological hunger can be triggered by the smells of food, thoughts feelings or the time of day, while physiological hunger is when you feel a rumble in your tummy, have trouble concentrating or can't seem to your zing back. A good way to test if your hunger is real is to delay eating by five to 10 minutes after the 'hunger pangs' strike. Psychological desire for food will probably subside.
When you're eating, eat, and try not to do 10 things at once! Working on a document at your desk or watching TV will distract you from the project at hand â€“ which in this case should be supplying your body with nutrients. So slow down and think about what you're eating. If you're eating quickly, you can surpass fullness without even realising it.
If you are eating a balanced meal you should be satisfied at one serving. But like we said above, if a second helping is calling your name, take a 10 minute break and listen to your body to see if you really are still hungry. Go outside, get the family to play a game, go for a walk or do the dishes to take your mind off of eating for a moment. The food will still be there â€“ you can always go back for more.
"It's really easy to confuse physical hunger and fullness with emotional hunger and fullness," says Cynthia Sass, author of Your Diet is Driving Me Crazy . So if it's emotions that are causing you to overeat, she suggests keeping a food journal to help better understand your emotional overeating triggers. To do so, ask and answer some of these 'Why' questions when you realise you have overeaten:
"Why did I eat that particular food?" Did you really want it, or did you eat out of boredom, obligation or because you were upset/angry/anxious?
"Why did I decide to stop eating?" Were you full or did you finish what was on your plate or what the bag said was a serving size?
"Why did I eat?" Were you honestly hungry, or were you trying to ward off boredom or some other emotion?
Only once you begin to understand your emotional overeating triggers, says Cynthia, can you take steps to change your behaviour. "Food tastes good, eating feels good, and most people will need to try several things before they find what will make them feel good as an alternative to eating," she says.
It won't happen overnight, but with a little effort, the signals your body is sending you can be heard clear as a bell. So get reacquainted with your body's signals â€“ it might just make all the difference in your weight-loss success.