Our blog post yesterday was on the topic of determining when you’ve had enough, of anything. One thing that can be challenging for those of us who’ve dieted in the past, is determining when we’ve had enough food.
Overeating on low calorie foods until we are stuffed, starving ourselves until it triggers binge eating, previous bouts of depriving ourselves of favorite foods, or toggling back and forth between large and small portions can make it difficult to identify what it feels like, physically, to have had enough to eat.
One topic we discuss in our Mindful Eating class at Green Mountain is consistency in portions in order to help us better identify what comfortably full feels like. This may actually be more important than consistency in caloric intake, which so many diet plans focus on.
For example, if I ate ~165 calories from almonds or broccoli; I would feel a very different after each. I’d need to eat half a cup of almonds to get that many calories, doable if you ask me. However, I’d need to get down almost 7 cups of broccoli to get that many calories…which just might cause me to feel stuffed and uncomfortable.
Now please don’t think I’m doing a comparison of which is healthier, broccoli or almonds. I’m simply stating that volume in our meals plays an important role in helping us determine when we’ve had enough.
For that reason, we like to keep our portions consistent at Green Mountain. One simple way to do that is to use our Green Mountain Plate Model. Putting together meals based on this model (provided you use the same size plate each time — ours are 9-inch plates) will help you keep the volume of your meals consistent.
Having a similar stretch to the stomach after each meal may help you condition yourself to identify “enough” without having to put too much thought into it. Take a look at your plates, bowls, and glasses at home to see if you might benefit from using smaller dishes in order to help you figure out when you’ve truly had enough food. Remind yourself you can always go back for more if you need it, but starting with less may help you pause between servings to really reflect on whether you are satisfied.