How to Stop Eating When You’re Full

I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. Those moments when you know that you’re full but the food tastes so delicious that it’s hard to stop eating. Or when dessert comes out after a very filling meal...

I don’t believe instances like these are a part of not knowing your fullness cues. But is really just a full out ignoring your fullness cues. Your body is telling you no but you’ve completely overridden the cues, telling yourself you’ll have your cake and eat it too.

With that let's tune into what are a few signs that you’re full or maybe almost full:

  1. Your pace of eating is slowed down.

  2. Your meal has less flavour, texture or aroma to you. In other words, it appears to be less pleasurable. Have you ever noticed that feeling hungry actually makes your food taste better?

  3. You begin sighing or taking deep breaths. A sign you’re trying to “fit it all in.”

  4. You feel a slight stretch and/or weight in your stomach. Showing you that your stomach is physically at capacity.


So, how does one stop eating when they notice these cues?


Well, practicing mindful eating has been a game-changer for me and many of my clients. Mindful eating brings you into the present moment of eating and really allows you to experience the aromas, tastes and textures of your meal. It also allows you to be aware of how much food your body really needs to consume. Allowing your internal cues to be in control of when you stop eating instead of your plate.

I also believe a key issue for many (myself included) is that when something tastes so good, there is a fear that we will not be able to eat it again. Cue the restrictive dieting mentality. Because the fact is… that you can eat this delicious meal and many others again. This is not your last meal. The fear of missing out does not belong at the dinner table.

Allow yourself to eat what you desire. This may sound like a free for all. But it is anything but that. When we restrict foods or tell ourselves that specific foods are off-limits – it invokes this greater desire and urgency to eat them now and to eat way more than we need because tomorrow we won’t be “allowed” to have it. For instance, I freakin looooove chocolate (I know, who doesn’t?) but at times I told myself that chocolate was off-limits, I would obsess about it and then binge on chocolate bars, leaving no chocolate left behind. Which would then prompt the same vicious cycle to continue. So instead of completely removing chocolate from my life, I allow myself to have high-quality chocolate (or chocolate I make at home) regularly AND I eat it mindfully. I am present to the experience of eating my favourite food so that I can fully appreciate it to the capacity it deserves.

Cleanse your palate when you recognize your fullness cues. That can be adding in a closing habit to your meals like a cup of peppermint tea (which is also great for digestion!) or maybe brushing your teeth when you’re finished for a minty clean feeling (your dentist will give you a high-five for that one). The key is to make it something doable for you and something that feels good to you.


What to do next...

  1. Any questions? Leave me a comment below.

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© 2020 by Jenna Lessner

Calgary, Alberta

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