Have you lost your ability to ‘read’ your cues of hunger and satiety?

November 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Do you eat in front of the TV? That might be why you’re eating more than you think….

We are born with the innate ability to know both when we’re hungry and when we’ve had enough to eat. Listening to our cues of hunger and satiety are critically important in maintaining a healthy body weight.  Given the obesity epidemic in North America today, it’s safe to say we’ve collectively ‘unlearned’ that innate ability to say when enough is enough.  But can you re-learn this skill?  The answer is YES!

The old adage that it takes 20 minutes for your mind to catch up with your stomach is actually true.  Which means if you want to receive the message your body is sending you that you’ve had enough to eat, you need to slow down.  Research suggests you also need to pay attention to the internal ‘conversation’ happening within your body in order to actually hear the message it’s sending you. This means you have to be present and aware during the eating process.

Here are some tips to help you slow down and become more aware of your body’s cues of satiety:

1. When you’re eating – just eat.  No books, no TV, no computer or smart phones, sit yourself down at a table and just eat.

2. Start a conversation – you know what they say about the French Paradox – it likely has more to do with the fact that they are social eaters than anything else.

3. Have a glass of water – it will help you slow down and ‘disengage’ from the act of eating momentarily.

4. Enjoy your food!  Seems silly to say, but being mindful and appreciative of the flavors and textures of your food will help you slow down and listen to what your body is telling you.