One of the key factors of intuitive eating that I coach my clients in is to aim for SATISFACTION. To eat satisfying food, to create satisfying experiences, etc.
I think we can all agree that we feel our best when we stop eating just when we are feeling full, and do not feel good when we feel overly full or under eat. But in the moment, especially when something tastes so good or we’ve had a hard day, it can be really hard to slow down. That’s normal.
Here are a few tips to help you find that comfortable amount of fullness through intuitive eating and really focusing on that satisfaction factor.
1. When you begin eating, I want you to really taste your food.
There will come a point in your meal where the food no longer tastes as good as it did at the first bite. In order to recognize this point, you have to be aware of what the food tasted like at that first bite. This point can signal to you that you are beginning to get full. This is a great place to slow down, lean back in your chair, sip some of your drink. You don’t have to stop here, it’s more like you’re pacing yourself to let your fullness signals catch up with you.
2. If you find yourself not wanting to stop when you’re feeling full, take a second to ask yourself, “why do I not want to recognize that I’m full?”
There’s probably a reason there. Maybe you’ve had a hard day and this food tastes good, and all you want to be doing is eating food that tastes good. Maybe you were so busy that you had to skip a meal, so all you want to do is eat all the food. Just check in and recognize why you want to eat so that you have some awareness there.
3. It is important to set yourself up for the most satisfying experience possible whenever you can.
Things that help you to be more satisfied: putting your food on a plate, turning off any other distractions, lighting a candle and turning on some calming music, or noticing what your food looks like, how it tastes, and really enjoying each bite. You don’t have to do all of these things, just choose one or two of them that resonate with you.
An important distinction to be aware of is that your taste buds are in your mouth, not in your stomach. So satisfaction does not happen in your stomach, it happens in your mouth. In order to get the satisfaction from the taste of your food, you need to focus on the food while it is in your mouth. This might look like eating a little bit more slowly, so you can really roll the flavors around and taste them.
4. Make a list of the foods you already know that you like.
Give yourself permission to eat those foods for the next couple of weeks. To really just eat what you like to eat. If you don’t like something, don’t make yourself eat it. Even if it’s healthy and you’re trying to fill up on the healthy food first. While you’re out there tasting different things, I want you to continue to add to this list of things that you like. And don’t be surprised if you don’t like as many things as you thought you did or as you thought you would. You are allowed to eat your favorite foods.
5. Identify what your comfortable satiety spot looks like.
This is that place you can feel the food in your belly, you’re satisfied – that “ah, that was so good” feeling – and you feel physically comfortable. That spot will be different for everyone.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m human too – sometimes I get too full. And that’s okay! One of the most important things that’s going to help you here is to really value and enjoy the eating experience whenever possible.
Of course, there are going to be moments where you just grab something on the go. If you’re a new mom, lift this expectation from yourself-you can try your best but have grace. Know where you’re at in your life and give yourself permission to be there. You don’t need to get all of this right for it to work and to help you.
Intuitive eating is just a set of guidelines to help you reconnect with your body. Intuitive eating will look different for each one of us. You have full permission to find what works for you and come up with your own guidelines. You know how you feel, and you’re allowed to be honest with yourself about what does and doesn’t feel good for you. You are allowed to make choices based on what does and doesn’t feel good for you. You are allowed to say yes to foods and you are allowed to say no to foods. You are not obligated to eat every food that is offered to you. You are also not obligated to eat just because other people are eating or someone is offering you food. Practice tuning in to your truth around food, and honoring that.
If you need support with this, I’d love to help you.
Here are two ways you can recieve my coaching support:
- Join The Growth Vault (my intuitive eating coaching membership program)
- Book a Discovery Session and let’s connect as you explore working together one on one
I hope that helps and I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts!