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?