Do you ever feel like life is a cruel obstacle course, designed to make you fall face first into a vat of birthday cakes, office donuts, and your favorite buttery, creamy side dish? And this may feel especially true if you’re trying to eat healthier and lose weight.
Well, there’s a more flexible approach than throwing in the towel and drowning in those tasty dishes. One that allows you to embrace the joy—and the treats—of office parties, backyard barbecues, and birthdays, all while sustaining your healthy eating habits.
Practice eating to “80 percent full” (instead of “stuffed”). Eating to 80 percent full means you no longer feel hungry, you feel “satisfied”, and there’s still a little room left over. Being “stuffed” makes you feel like you need to lay down for a while or release the button on your jeans.
This eating practice can be tricky. You have to notice the subtle differences between “still a bit hungry,” “satisfied,” and “full.” It requires you to pay attention to physical sensations while eating.
Instead of eating mindlessly, it requires a person to eat more mindfully, which is a heightened awareness that involves tuning into the flavors, textures, and overall experience of food. Research has shown that eating mindfully is a highly effective way to feel satisfied with less, and without having to rely on willpower.
The idea here isn’t to be perfect. It is to practice eating more mindfully at every opportunity you get, noting how you feel before, during, and after you eat. Anytime is a great time to start.
We want you to get in lots of practice mindfully eating foods they love and that are easy to overeat. The plus side here is you will get to enjoy all of your favorite foods while building a skill that’ll help you eat better for the rest of your life.