We know that we shouldn’t eat unless we’re hungry (a few health issues aside–there’s always an exception, isn’t there?). All of the ins and outs of that is another post for another day.
But when should we stop eating?
It’s a national pastime to eat until it hurts. We plan out which pants to wear so we can overeat with less discomfort.
I think we know that this isn’t healthy.
But (I think) the majority of us don’t do this the majority of days.
On a normal day-to-day basis, when should we stop?
When you’re no longer hungry. When you’re sated.
Not when you’re full.
“Enough food” isn’t the same as “no more food.”
Eat slowly. Chew a lot. (I’m bad at both of those.)
If there are many foods that all look good, like at a buffet or a big holiday meal, take literally one or two forkfuls of each. When you’ve slowly finished eating those, enjoying each, if you’re not done, pick the one(s) that were the best and have another bite or two of that.
Advice I should take for myself: put your fork (or spoon) down between every bite. Chew and swallow before you pick up the next bite.
Also, it takes time before the stomach registers that it’s full, so eating slowly helps you help yourself not to overeat. It leaves time for signals to make it from the stomach to your brain, and then for you subsequently to decide to stop eating.
It’s easier to stop eating if there’s not food in front of you. If you’re eating at home, serve from the stove or the counter instead of putting all of the food on the table. If you’re eating out, split a meal or bring a to-go container (or ask for one up front).
How fortunate we all are to have the problem of too much food. It just means we have different problems to solve. Instead of “where is my next meal coming from?” it’s “how do I not kill myself with the abundance of food?”
Eat only when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re not hungry anymore.