When I was growing up my parents were always telling me that I was allowed to leave the table until I finished everything on my plate and had a full stomach. What I’ve found is that a lot of others had this same experience growing up.
The thing is…that was good advice when portions were smaller, and everyone hated to waste food. But now, with today’s portions, following this rule of thumb allows you to eat too much.
These days, most of us don’t know when we’re hungry and when we’re full. We lose this ability by the time we reach kindergarten… and it’s making us fat!
The good news is, I have a solution:
Dr. Mike’s Hunger/Fullness Meter
The Fullness Meter is kind of like the “pain scale” doctors ask you about when you are in the hospital. Basically, you rate your hunger and fullness on a scale. This is not a new idea; there are lots of hunger scales out there. The problem with most is that they want you to rate your hunger on a scale of 0 to 10. That’s too complicated and it could allow you to eat too much. What is the difference between a 0 or a 1, or a 9 or a 10, anyway? You’d spend so much time trying to figure out your rating that you wont have time to eat.
I say it’s simpler to use a hunger rating from 1-2; and a fullness rating from 3-4. Here’s how mine works.
Hunger Meter: How to Know When You Feel Full
1. I’m a little hungry; my stomach feels as hollow as the promises of a politician. Eat now to prevent yourself from progressing to 2. Other leading indicators of mild hunger are slight stomach growling, mild headache, shakiness and loss of concentration. If you aren’t sure whether you’re actually hungry, you’re probably not. You may be confusing true hunger with boredom, fatigue or thirst.
2. I’m so hungry I could eat the lining of an empty Spam can. My stomach is growling so loud it scared off a junkyard dog. I’ve got to get something to eat, and fast. Don’t let yourself get here. You’ll be eating a package of Twinkies and guzzling Coke like crazy to get a full stomach.
Fullness Meter: Don’t Eat Too Much
3. I’m Starting to feel full. I will stop now so that I can save on my grocery bill. You have entered that pleasant zone where you are no longer hungry but not quite full either. Feel honorable about leaving a little room in your stomach. Try to keep yourself here at meals, never starving, never stuffed.
4. I’m so stuffed I’ll have to waddle over to the couch to collapse. You have eaten too much and have an extremely full stomach. Avoid this extreme; practice restraint. Don’t feel obligated to clean your plate, either. Stop eating as soon as your stomach feels full. Those extra bites of food that you’re trying not to waste add unneeded calories.
As you go through your day and manage your mealtimes, ask yourself how hungry or full you are, based on my Hunger/Fullness Meter. Your goal is to listen to your body and let go of external cues, such as the clock, to tell you when, and how much, to eat.
Add Fiber to Your Diet for a Full Stomach
A growing body of research shows that high-fiber eating helps peel off pounds and banish them for good. Fiber does this mainly by curtailing your food intake. Specifically, fibrous foods provide bulk and stimulate the release of appetite-suppressing hormones. As a result, you feel full while eating a meal, so you’re less tempted to overeat.
If you really want to lose weight and shed pounds, take the time to learn more about my 17 Day Diet Meal Plan. You’ll learn how to start eating healthy to lose weight safely while creating a regular meal plan.
Thank you for reading this article about how to feel full and prevent overeating. Please share and comment below!