Have you ever been so hungry that you ate so fast and too much? All of a sudden your stomach is about to explode? It has been said it takes 20 minutes for the brain to register fullness. If hungry I’m sure you know you can eat a lot in a short period. Gradually brain chemicals and stomach hormones catch up to one another—then it’s the oh my gosh why did I eat so much feeling. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
If that situation is a rare occurrence, not to worry. If it happens regularly though, perhaps it’s time to change.
- Eat breakfast—break the fast. If you’re not, that may be a cause for overeating. (Stay tuned for an upcoming article I wrote for Environmental Nutrition about breakfast.)
- Eat three meals and one or two healthy snacks per day.
- Have protein with each meal—low fat dairy (milk, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, cheese), egg, chicken, fish, lean red meat, edamame, soy milk, but avoid almond milk that has virtually no protein. (I’ll be posting a blog soon on 30 gram protein meals.)
- Slow the rate you’re eating—take at least 20 minutes. Pace yourself with the slowest person at the table.
- C.H.E.W. your food. Is it bite, bite, swallow? Try to chew at least 15 times. Take it slow and savor the flavor!
- Use a smaller plate. We have a tendency to fill a plate no matter how large and eat everything on it.
- Increase activities/things to do in place of eating—take a walk, call a friend, play with the dog or kids.
- If a stress eater, learn alternative ways to deal with emotions and stress.
- Cancel your membership to the clean plate club. There are no benefits!
Why I won’t eat beets and Brussels sprouts
As a kid my stepfather would not let me leave the table until my plate was clean. I was told there were starving children somewhere. To this day I have no idea how me cleaning my plate had anything to do with children starving. Normally it wasn’t a big issue—I’ve always loved to eat. But when it came to beets, Brussels sprouts (and liver), different story. To this day those foods won’t cross my lips. They’re nutrient-rich powerhouses and I’m sure they would taste great—had I not endured some bad childhood memories. Fortunately my mom got smart and divorced him (albeit not soon enough).
What strategies do you use to regulate hunger and manage weight? Were you subjected to the clean plate club?