Virtually every nutrition or diet advice book will tell you the same thing: if you’re trying to change your eating habits, listen to your body and stop eating when you’re full. Of course, then they go on to say that it takes the “I’m full” message about twenty minutes to reach the brain. Twenty minutes? You can do a lot of damage to a bag of Cheetos in twenty minutes. Usually by that time, the message our brain sends is “For the love of God stop eating, I’m stuffed!”
How, though, are we supposed to recognize when we’re getting full and put down the fork before we’re uncomfortable and unbuttoning the top button of our jeans?
Maybe we’re asking the wrong question.
Instead of asking “Am I full?” maybe the Michael Pollan question is more accurate…”am I hungry?”
Ok he uses satisfied instead of hungry, but satisfied is still a bit vague to me. I might be satisfied with three more scoops of that guacamole!
How often, though, do you ask yourself- or your kids- are you full?
Using those terms, we’re almost reinforcing overeating because full is sort of a limbo word. If you don’t feel like Willy Wonka’s blueberry girl, does that mean that you aren’t full?
Feeling hungry, on the other hand, is pretty straight-forward.
Certainly there’s much more to healthier eating and moderation than rephrasing one question. (you could always click here if you want a few other tips!)
But, it’s not a bad place to start.
Mexican food photo credit
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