Feeling full and feeling satisfied after a meal: why you should pay attention to your feelings

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Eating is a process we pay very little attention to. Even if we are not eating hurriedly and in a rush, we choose to distract ourselves with playing on our smartphone or watching TV during breakfast, lunch or dinner. Often it also means that we are so dis-connected from our bodies that we do not even realize how we feel during and after a meal. Take, for instance, feelings of fullness and satisfaction. Both these feelings are incredibly important to how much we eat and with how much enjoyment we eat, yet we do not really pay any attention to them. If we notice when we are full, we are less likely to just finish the plate out of habit which otherwise leads us to feeling uncomfortably full. If we noticed how much satisfaction we get out of a meal, we would soon choose foods that are actually so much more satisfying than what we usually eat. How often do you continue eating until you are overly full just because what you had so far was really unsatisfying? Unsatisfactory meals may lack taste, flavour, specific nutrients or nourishment on a deeper level, so your body will not give you the stop signal to indicate you should cease eating.

If you start paying attention to these feelings you are less likely to overeat and you start noticing which foods do not just fill you up, but actually fulfil and nourish you on a much deeper level. As a result, you start feeling more connected to your body, you automatically nourish yourself better with higher nutrient foods and you do not overeat.

So, over the next week try to check in with yourself during meals. If you find yourself distracted, pause for a moment, breathe deeply and then continue eating. Slowly… because it gives you the time to really notice what is going on in your body. Assess: are you satisfied, are you full? Are you both or maybe neither? Start noticing the different types of fullness. Even if you are overeating or treating yourself to a big dessert because you will only be satisfied after having something sweet, just continue observing and instead of judging how you feel, notice what it does to your body on all those subtle levels which you usually would not even notice.

This is such a simple, yet powerful exercise: once you start noticing how you feel and pay attention to what is going on, breakthroughs happen.

This is where the magic lies. Because you are connecting to yourselfโ€ฆ and if you are courageous enough to really listen to what is going on, thatโ€™s when you can start making small changes to your healthy habits that have a powerful impact on your whole life.

8 comments

  1. This is so vitally important and I don’t do it enough myself. As a mom I’m so busy interacting with and taking care of my kids needs that I just stuff whatever is on my plate in my mouth so I actually get to eat. I will try to slow down and see if I can check in during meals. Or be intentional during my lunch when I’m kid free. Thank you for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome! Recently I have started bringing mindfulness even to hurried meals. Who says it always has to be slow? Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, acknowledge you are busy and still do what you can do. As long as you are attentative to the meal and keep in touch with your body, it still is a much better meal than being completely switched off!

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  2. I love this! Adding a component of mindfulness to eating meals is something I never once considered! Last night, I spent an hour making a delicious, healthy soup– and two hours later was eating ice cream not because I was hungry, but because I was craving it and it was there. Oh well, Today is a new day and another opportunity to stick to being healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I have found that my relationship with myself and food changed so completely once I started paying attention. It’s quite amazing. I would love to hear how you are getting on if you try and decide to try it out! Lots of love and good luck with it.

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  3. I am the worst for otherwise occupying myself while I eat! Since I’m alone working from home and my husband sometimes travels for work, I’ll turn on the TV for ‘company’. We’re just so distracted as a society. “Mono-tasking” meals is a good start!

    Liked by 1 person

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