We get many people who say I can’t seem to honor my fullness, I often go past being full and I just cannot seem to control myself! What is going on?
These people often are allowing all food, honoring their hunger and they are doing the work so what is going on? Why does this piece feel so difficult?
There are a few reasons this could be happening and we will go through them today and chat about what you can do to take steps in the direction of being at ease with fullness and having it feel much more simple.
The top 3 reasons you might not feel like you can honor your fullness is:
Reason #1: We say this all the time but it is the sneakiest part of this work - mental restriction.
What does mental restriction sound like:
It's thoughts like:
“oh i really shouldnt be eating bread again”
“I’ll just try to be more intuitive tomorrow”
“I shouldn’t be hungry already!”
All of these judgements can lead to overeating because your body reacts almost the same to mental restriction as it does to physical restriction. This is why people can continue to struggle even though they’re allowing “all the foods”.
So what can happen if you mentally restrict?
- last suppers (body is still expecting to be restricted at some point)
- Feeling more urgent with food (eating it all now - EVEN THOUGH you technically know you could eat more tomorrow)
- Consistently overeating
How can you begin easing this?
- Listen to your thoughts - do they contain shoulds? What are these shoulds about? Time (I really shouldn't have to eat for a few hours), types of food (I shouldn't be eating carbs again today), amounts (1 cookie is plenty, I shouldn't have eaten 3!!) or other rules?
- These are then rules that you want to begin shifting even if they rule is just in your brain. If you think you SHOULD only eat one cookie that’s a rule AND ironically it’s more likely to lead you to eat more than one cookie every time because of the restriction. If you TRULY tuned in and said, I can eat as many cookies as I like, let’s start with 1 and see how I feel, if I want more I can have more. Sometimes maybe 3 is awesome, sometimes 1, sometimes maybe none! When true mental and physical permission is present you can then truly listen to your body and let your intuitive eating muscles get stronger!
Reason #2: Clean plate club
You might be familiar with the term and you might feel like a veteran member at this point. People can be a part of the clean plate club for various reasons:
- They were always told to clear their plate as a kid and now they fear wasting food etc.
- As dieters we often would plate what we were ALLOWED to have so of course we were going to eat it all, this is all we can have. Now as an UnDieter this tendency may be following you even though you are allowing more food now.
- You may not be paying attention at all to how you’re feeling when eating and you use the plate being cleared as a signal that you’re done
It is FINE to clean your plate but if you find yourself with an empty plate and a stuffed stomach at every meal it’s absolutely something you can look into some more.
How to begin shifting this:
- Dive into what the motivator is for you. Does your clearing of the plate come from childhood? Were you told to never waste food because other children were starving? Do you feel guilt if you throw food away or “waste” it by not eating it?
- Are you still feeling a scarcity mindset around food and your body just eats whenever food is available because of this?
- Are you using an empty plate as a signal that the meal is done?
Now that you’re more aware of why this is happening you can begin to question your thoughts around this.
Does it really help anyone if I eat food I don’t want? Will it create less waste? How can I save leftovers even if it’s small amounts? Would this be more enjoyable tomorrow when I am less stuffed?
Why do I feel like I can’t just finish this later? I could even eat it before bed if I want? - add thoughts of abundance with the foods you overeat, you can LITERALLY eat them anytime of day, yay being a grown up!
REASON 3: You are always distracted
Not that you need to pay full attention at every meal and sit in silence but as dieters we often mindlessly stuffed food into our mouths that we thought we really shouldn't be eating. If you don't pay attention then it isn’t happening right?
When in fact the opposite is what will actually help - TRULY enjoying the foods you are eating particularly if you’re still a little worried about eating them.
As someone who may be reintroducing foods it can be easy to get stuck in a cycle of technically eating the food but kind of feeling bad about it so you just quickly eat it to get it over with.
To be able to honor fullness we need to really ENJOY food - savor it and see it for what an amazing thing it is to eat that food, instead of feeling bad about it. If you are going to eat it, eat it with GUSTO! Savor it, relish it, celebrate it! Quit hiding from the foods you’re eating.
How we often typically assume french people eat, that’s how we want to eat here - no apologies, they eat the real rich versions of food and take long lunches to savor it and really enjoy it.
Even though it may be a stereotype, I just can’t imagine someone knocking back a couple croissants in the pantry in france - when there is no guilt or worry about food, you can really enjoy it and therefore TUNE IN more when eating it.
Also if you are savoring the food and being really appreciative of it it's much easier to notice when it stops tasting as good or when you feel satisfied.
Who wants to ruin a delectable meal but feeling overly stuffed from it (all the time, being overly full now and then is completely normal).
These are 3 reasons you might be consistently overeating and we hope they give you some insight into what is going on for you and how you can begin shifting it.
We would love to support you even more in this work in our membership The UnDiet Collective.
Doors are closing on March 1 so we encourage you to take a look before then if you've been considering it - you can learn more about everything that is included with your membership at thebodylovesociety.com/app
We would greatly appreciate it if this podcast helps you at all to leave us a rating and review today - it helps others find this work. THANK YOU!