Healthy Habit 2: Stop eating when you are full
Continuing to eat when you are already full is pretty much guaranteeing fat storage. If your body has received sufficient nutrients to fulfil its needs then any additional energy that continues to enter your body will be deposited into your fat cells. This was a great little survival system for back in the day when food was scarce. On days that a hunt was unsuccessful we could supply our energy needs for that day by simply breaking down stored body fat.
However, most of us are very fortunate and food isn’t scarce at all, quite the opposite. So once we store some fat there usually needs to be some conscious effort to lose it, if not we just keep slowly adding more and more.
Im particularly interested in this healthy habit as I think personally it is probably my biggest challenge. I love eating. There aren’t too many foods I don’t like and I enjoy eating almost anything that is put in front of me.
Telling yourself to stop eating when you are full isn’t quite as easy as that though. I imagine it is the same as telling a smoker to stop smoking or someone with depression to cheer up. However, there are control measures that we can put in place to reduce the likelihood of overeating occurring. This month try focusing on the following:
1 Continue with healthy habit number 1 – Staying hydrated with help you feel full. The mind can often get confused between hunger and thirst because food contains water and helps to hydrate us. So if you are dehydrated you might crave food.
2 Eat consciously – Don’t eat whilst working, watching TV, driving, reading etc. Sit at a table and eat how you would if you were on a first date! I don’t know about you but if Im on a first date my table manners are at their best! I don’t shovel the food in without finishing what’s already in my mouth, I don’t rush the meal and Im conscious not to eat portions that could be considered by anyone else as gluttonous!
3 Avoid ‘eat as much as you like’ buffets – These places are great fun but you have to be so strict not to over eat. One of my favourites is Jimmy’s at Brighton Marina. They have food from all over the world. The last time I went I didn’t have a desert and I loaded up on vegetables and chose dishes that didn’t have sauces. I didn’t feel as full as I usually do but I still ate too much.
4 Eat plenty of vegetables – They say that if you eat too much of anything you will gain fat. Technically that is true however, I challenge anyone to eat too much broccoli, cauliflower or spinach. They are so nutritious and so full of fibre that your body says ‘no more’ pretty quickly!
5 Don’t keep treats in the house – My partner is a diabetic nurse and she advises on healthy eating behaviours and one of the things she often tells her patients is not to keep sugary treats in the house then you can’t be tempted to eat them. I have to have that rule too. If I knew there was a packet of cookies in my cupboard then I would eat them. I won’t even walk down those aisles in the supermarket. If Im going to have a treat I will have to make more effort to have it. I.e go out for it!
6 Avoid foods that are high fat and high sugar
Constantly exercising your will power is tiring, so why not put some safeguards in place to help take the load of it.