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Getting Back In Touch With Your Hunger

8/17 10:33:15
Arbitrary portion sizes and years of parental instruction to "clean your plate" have conditioned people to ignore their innate ability to tell when they've had enough to eat. Cleaning the plate right down to the china pattern, they finish the whole portion simply because it's there, not because they really need to. Re-learning to recognize and respect your hunger and satisfaction signals takes time. The techniques below can help:

1) Eat slowly. Your body needs up to 20 minutes to get the message that your body has had enough to eat.

2)Don't wait until you're famished to eat. Plan ahead. You're apt to overeat when you're absolutely flat-out starving. People who skip meals or eat skimpy meals often eat when they're ready to drop. Eating three meals and two or three small snacks is one way to sure that you're never too hungry or too full. Remember, what counts is total number of calories that you consume each day, not how often you eat.

3)Pay attention to how you feel and eat mindfully. You need to eat slowly to recognize the sometimes-vague signals that you've had enough to eat. The goal is to internalize those feelings. Until you can hear or heed the conversations that your brain and stomach are having, wear clothing with waistbands. Loose clothing may be more comfortable, but a waistband that's snug around your middle can serve as a reminder to stop eating when it feels tight.

4) Buy only single servings of foods that you crave, or you may find it difficult to stop eating even when you're full. In the journal of Marketing 60(3), 1996, marketing professor Brian Warsink, PhD, conducted research at the University of Pennsylvania that looks at the way people use different-size packages of oil, spaghetti, M&M's, and other items. He found that many people use a product more freely when they aren't worried about running out, when price isn't important ( Larger packages are often cheaper that smaller ones), and when space is tight ( larger packages take up plenty of room). So if ice cream in the freezer tempts you, don't buy it in gallons. Single-size servings, purchased one at a time, may be a wiser move.
Similarly, at restaurants, think small. Super-sizing may seem like a value , but calorically speaking, it's a bad investment. In 2001, a new group of researches at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrated what Dr. Warsink had in 1996: The larger the amount of food, and the greater the number of calories that you eat.
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