Intuitive Eating Tip: Think of Your Stomach as a Blender

How many slices of pizza do you need to feel satisfied without feeling stuffed?

Do you know how many slices of pizza you need to feel satisfied without feeling stuffed?

The day before Thanksgiving, I received an email that gleefully encouraged me to stuff myself the next day, as that was the American way.  It gave me pause, wondering how we came to this point.  Surely the Pilgrims didn’t approach their day of giving thanks with the idea that they’d walk away from the table so full they were miserable.

It also got me thinking about something I heard at a conference I attended recently.  Several speakers suggested we think of our stomachs as blenders.  Blenders don’t operate well when they are full; they do their best work when we fill them no more than 2/3, even 1/2 full.  Our stomachs are blenders in actuality, too.  One of their jobs is to mix the foods we eat into a soup, after we’ve chewed the foods so well that they’re almost liquid when we swallow them.  As many of us gulp our food, our stomachs are also frequently given the job to break down the foods, too.

When practicing mindful eating, experiment with stopping before you feel full.  Maybe when you know you’ve had a good amount of food but a little bit more still sounds good.  Is your “stomach blender” filled at least half way?  Our FitBriefing on internal cues for mindful eating can help those who have no idea where to start in determining that.  (FYI, mindful eating is also called intuitive eating, which is a term I’m thinking of starting to use more, the reason for which I’ll explain in another post.)

I tried this experiment the other night at a pizza parlor (eating great gluten-free pizza, by the way!).  After two moderate-sized pieces that I enjoyed slowly along with a gluten-free beer, another slice sounded good but I decided to stop there, before I started to feel too full.   In a very short amount of time, I was content with that decision.  I felt comfortably satisfied.  And woke up the next morning wanting breakfast.

Experimenting is probably a necessary part of learning to how to eat mindfully for healthy weight and health.  We don’t always know exactly what’s going to taste good to us, or how much will make us feel well, or whether the foods we choose will make us feel well at all.  If we approach with an open mind, eating to enjoy and also observe, we can learn a lot.

Have you learned anything helpful as you’ve experimented with eating mindfully?

2 responses to “Intuitive Eating Tip: Think of Your Stomach as a Blender”

  1. I like the blender analogy!
    .-= Nutrition to kitchen’s last blog post..Thanksgiving Recap! =-.

  2. I am guessing this post is about correct portions of food and not snacks but you asked about mindful eating experiences and here is mine. I have learned how to mindfully eat chocolate:-) Seriuosly I have. I used to be able to scarf down a box then I made a vow to only eat the quality stuff and dark chocolate. Now one, at most 2 ounces of superior quality chocolate is all I need to satisfy a craving. I don’t even like the cheap sugary stuff anymore. The ultimate test came when my husband brought home a box of chocolates. I took one and tasted sugar. The box stayed untouched for months before I threw it out. My other promise to myself is to only eat stuff that I truely love. So many times we eat just for eating sake and don’t even like the junk we are putting in our mouth. If I hadn’t thought about it and experiemented I would not have realized that I didn’t evem like certain kinds of chocolate.
    .-=’s last blog post.. =-.

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