The day after Christmas, a post on how to stop eating when full seems a bit after the fact perhaps. But the holidays aren’t over, and in truth, it’s a challenge many face throughout the year, so we’re taking this opportunity to follow up to last week’s Part 1 on the subject.
In that post, we explored what physical fullness might feel like, but once a person is capable of recognizing fullness, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will stop eating when full. There are plenty of triggers that encourage people to eat beyond a comfortable feeling of fullness and minimizing these triggers is a smart place to start in managing overeating.
Some common triggers you might struggle with are:
- mindless/distracted eating
- taking large portions
- eating too quickly
- pairing eating with a specific activity so eventually the activity triggers cravings for food
- eating with others who need/eat more than we normally do
- extreme flavors triggering cravings for an opposite flavor
- constant food exposure
- emotional eating
If you’ve eliminated some of the above triggers, but the desire to keep eating lingers, even though you are comfortably full, here are a few tips for wrapping up a meal at that point:
- remind yourself that you’ll eat again, this isn’t your last meal
- remind yourself that food actually tastes better when you are hungry, so choosing to eat more later will be more satisfying than just finishing everything now
- allow yourself to have whatever it is that you want at the next meal, even if it’s a non-traditional food
- try a closure habit such as a cup of hot tea, coffee, seltzer, mint, gum, piece of chocolate, or brushing your teeth to cleanse the palette of the taste of whatever you were just eating.
- reward yourself immediately after the meal so you can transition from one rewarding activity to another instead of feeling down about the meal ending, you can be excited for the next activity.
Do any of these ideas sound appealing to you? If so, which seem like they might be helpful strategies for you?