In the western world we are lucky, food is abundant. We don’t have to forage, hunt or walk miles for our food and we know where our next meal will come from. This is obviously a massive positive, but it also has a negative side….we don’t know when to stop!
Just because it’s in abundance, it doesn’t mean we have to eat all of it, all at once! Many of us eat as though we’re not going to eat for a week, even though our next meal will probably be 3-4 hours later. We must listen to our body’s own hunger and satiety signals rather than ignoring them.
But how much do we actually need? Of course, individual needs vary massively depending on size, build, activity level etc. but below I am going to give a rough guideline on how much is enough and how to make yourself feel fuller without eating till you’re stuffed!
- Make sure at least half your plate is made up of vegetables.
- Consume about a thumb sized amount of fat at every meal (avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil etc).
- Consume about a palm sized amount of protein and carbohydrates at every meal.
- Eat slowly and chew each mouthful until it’s liquid. Aim for roughly 20-30 bites!
- Drink 1 pint of water before each meal (not during or straight after).
- Remember food is abundant. The next meal will be coming soon!
- Before you eat, ask yourself if you’re hungry. Are you just eating because you’re bored or stressed? If so, have a bath, go for a walk, do some yoga etc. to take your mind off it.
- Enjoy and savour every mouthful!
- Have a little of what you fancy once a week. There’s plenty of healthy ‘treat’ options to get rid of any cravings, but if you’re still craving that bag of crisps, have it! Once a week isn’t going to do you any harm, plus it will stop you from feeling deprived and will be less likely to binge if you know you can have some.
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