I Cook Healthy Foods, I Just Eat Too Much

By Robyn Priebe on 02/24/2010
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If I had a nickel for every time I heard this concern, I’d have a lot of nickels!  I work with so many women who understand the basics of nutrition; some even have an advanced understanding of nutrition, but all still struggle with health and weight loss.  Why is it that knowing what foods are good choices and understanding how to prepare them in a healthy way isn’t enough?

No doubt that there are a host of things other than physical hunger that can send us to food but emotional eating, food exposure and habit aside, I’d like to focus on large portions encouraging overeating.  Eating large meals time and time again may condition us to expect a very extreme stretch to the stomach, which we begin to associate with fullness.  Very full (or even uncomfortably full) becomes our sign that it’s time to stop eating.

How can one get back in touch with a comfortable feeling of fullness?

  • Avoid huge stretches of time in between meals that may encourage overeating
  • Don’t purposely “bank calories” for 1 big meal for the day
  • Consider if loading up on huge portions of low calorie foods is also causing you to expect large portions all the time (e.g. eating an entire bag of frozen broccoli with lemon juice)
  • Look at how you serve yourself food.  Do you automatically start with large plates, completely filled?  It may be that clean plate mentality that is causing you to overeat.

The bottom line is that eating too large portions of food, even of foods you wouldn’t think would be a problem like vegetables, could be considered overeating.

Is this something that you’ve ever thought could be a problem for you?

5 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Lisa in Jersey says:

    I’ve been down this road before. I have a friend who advocates eating truly massive salads – think filling a stainless mixing bowl you’d use for bread to rise – in lieu of eating a more moderately sized, moderate-in-calories meal. Not only can I not afford that much fresh produce, it always felt wrong to tuck into a giant bowl like that.

    One area I could over-eat in any day is breakfast cereal. I could polish off two bowls of Corn Chex (not a wildly unhealthy choice on its own, given the variety of cereals out there) without a second thought. I tend to be a little more conscious about “real food” I prepare myself –probably because I know how much butter or oil went into it. :)

  • What a great post, thank you! I can relate with the habit of overeating on healthy foods. I don’t think I would ever say aloud, “I am going to eat alot of _____”, but it’s honest to say I may think it in my head prior to the meal. For me, overeating is ALWAYS planned, it doesn’t happen by accident.

  • Kerry says:

    Oh yes, this can definitely be a problem! I spend time making a balanced nutritious healthy meal, and then simply eat too much of it. Sometimes, it’s because it tastes so good, or because meal time is fun and I want to extend the experience. What helps me most is plating a reasonable portion, then packing the rest away for lunches, etc.
    .-= Kerry’s last blog post..Roasted Butternut Squash and Broccoli Soup =-.

  • Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ichange: I Cook Healthy Foods, I Just Eat Too Much http://bit.ly/bK2HTP

  • Living in NY where dining out happens multiple times a week, this is a problem that I see often. And not just with my clients, but with family members, and even myself sometimes. When something delicious is in front of you it’s hard to say “I’ve had enough” when there’s more left on the plate. Your tips are exactly what I tell my clients, my family members, and even myself!
    .-= Nutritioulicious’s last blog post..Calcium Supplementation =-.

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