Rule 4: Eat until you are satisfied
I’ve done it; many times. And not just at Christmas. Perhaps you have too.
I’m full. But there is more food on my plate. Hubby's roasted potatoes taste so good. I’m no longer hungry, but I just want more of hubby’s perfectly-seasoned roasted potato taste. I finish everything on my plate. Sometimes that includes food that I don’t really like but I eat out of obligation (children starving / wasting food is bad / wanting to be polite). It’s Friday; ice cream night. I’m way too full, but I want ice cream. I can’t say no. I don’t want to say no. MMMmmm ice cream. Oh no, I feel sick. I ate way too much.
Intuitive eating is saying no to a traditional, structured diet. Eat until you are satisfied is a guideline to help you know when to stop eating without calorie-counting or points-tracking. Again, you use the hunger scale to tell you when to stop eating. More specifically, you stop eating when you are comfortable and satisfied. So, if there is food left on your plate, leave it (and don’t feel bad about it).
I found it much easier to figure out when to stop eating than to start eating. However, it’s still a tough one to follow. My mind begging for junk is louder than the subtle whisper of my body hoping for healthy food. How do I say no when my mind takes over? Will I trust myself to stop when I'm comfortable and satisfied?
Sometimes. Of course, if I follow all the rules (especially eat when you are hungry and eat what your body wants) stop eating when satisfied is an easier choice to make. Of course, if I wait too long to eat; choose food to satisfy my mind over body and eat granola, ice cream and mini-cupcakes, it is difficult to stop, no matter what my body is trying to tell me.
Most of the time, it's an easy rule to follow. But, when I wasn't following the other rules I felt helpless against episodes of overeating or all-out binges. Simply following a rule and tell myself to stop eating when satisfied was not enough. I needed to follow all the rules. This is another reason why intuitive eating did not work for me.
Disclaimer: I should tell you that I no longer have my copies of Geneen Roth’s earlier books on intuitive eating, Why Weight? A guide to Ending Compulsive Eating and Breaking Free from Emotional Eating and I have not read her popular, Oprah-endorsed book, Women Food and God. I haven’t picked up new copies to recall the finer points of each rule. My analysis is based strictly on my memory from 2001/2001 when I participated in an intuitive eating support group in an attempt to resolve my eating issues. In this particular group, we followed Geneen Roth’s seven guidelines for intuitive eating.
Rule 1: Eat when you are hungry
Rule 2: Eat sitting down in a calm environment
Rule 3: Eat what your body wants
Next posting Rule 5 - eat in full view of others