Why do I feel like I love food so much?! Why do I feel addicted to some foods? How do I stop over eating when it tastes sooo good?? These are questions I used to ask myself. Becoming a true intuitive eater is the best way to effortlessly stop when we feel full or to prevent food from having a giant pull on us. In this post we cover what causes these feeling and why it can feel so hard to stop eating when something tastes really good. Then we’ll dive into HOW to stop eating when it tastes really good.
Knowing “what” causes this situation is key to empowering us to be able to effortlessly stop eating (any food!) so that we can feel our best.
5 Causes that can keep you eating when something tastes really good and what to do instead to help you stop overeating effortlessly.
1) WHAT: Your expectation of how much you’re going to eat. Instead of letting your mind-body connection lead you to the proper quantity for your body, you decide in your mind how much you are going to eat.
WHY: This can freak your brain out because you internally know you love the food BUT you’re mentally telling yourself you should only eat a little. Despite what your body actually wanted (it may have only wanted a little) your brain goes in hyper-desire mode to ensure it gets enough. What often happens in this situation is the mind-body connection is clouded and the amount we actually eat is an overshot of what our body actually desired.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: take it moment by moment. Truly let each bite inform the next. Allow yourself to sink into the pleasure of each bite – this will connect you to your mind-body connection. It might surprise you how quickly you feel and internal cue of “I just don’t want to eat anymore”!!
2) WHAT: Feeling guilty, ashamed or frustrated for eating something. “If it tastes good, then it’s got to be bad for me” or “guilty pleasures”.
WHY: This mindset can drive us to *just eat it all* so that it’s not sitting around calling our name. OR if we feel frustrated that we ate something and say to ourselves “I won’t eat that again” or “I won’t eat any tomorrow” will again flip the scarcity psychological switch in our brains and cause hyper-desire around the food even if our body truly didn’t want anymore. By us mentally trying to control the situation we’ve disconnected from the mind-body connection, and we can’t even hear/feel what our body is truly asking. The hyper-desire is too strong. This is why food can taste “ssoooo good” – hyper-desire.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Notice your thoughts of shame, guilt or frustration and practice speaking to yourself compassionately to help neutralize these negative feelings. It may seem too simple to have an impact – however it can be the most transformational practice and is the very first exercise we work on with our clients before they even start “listening to their body.
3) WHAT: you’ve waited too long to eat OR you’re chronically under eating (i.e., dieting, calorie counting)– now your biological hunger is through the roof and your hunger hormones have gone into overdrive to ensure you find something to eat.
WHY: This causes you to feel overly hungry and overshoots your true appetite. Have you ever eaten lots of pasta and still felt hungry for dessert? Maybe you waited to long to eat and your body is sending you too many signals to eat.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Eat regular, balanced meals. Work with your body, not against it – it will thank you. If you’re busy person, pack your bags, office, and car with lots of snacks! IF circumstances happen that you become overly hungry – let the knowledge of the situation empower you. Let your decisions (to eat more or just wait until let the hunger subside once the food hits your stomach and bloodstream) come from an empowered and intentional space.
4) WHAT: Fast or distracted eating.
WHY: When we don’t settle into the moment of eat bite, we miss an opportunity for our brain to register satisfaction. Meaning we can be pleasantly full BUT still have a drive to keep eating because our brain missed out on the experience of the meal.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Whenever you notice you’re eating frantically or distracted, just stop, take a deep breath and settle into the enjoyment of the food – just like #1.
5) WHAT: Worried about waste. If you know that the food can’t be saved for another day you might be driven to finish it now, because you love the taste and don’t know when you’ll get to have it again.
WHY: If you’ve practiced not allowing yourself to have what you truly want for a long time, your brain is convinced it might not get this delicious food for a while, so this scarcity thought drives you to just go ahead and savor some more – even when full or past fullness.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Remind yourself you can order this food (or make it) again tomorrow if you really want to! Having this unconditional permission, diminishes scarcity and allows the mind-body connection to send you truly satisfied, “I just don’t want anymore right now” signals.
We'd love to hear you're experiences with changing your mindset around food and how your intuitive eating journey is going so far down below!
DISCLAIMER - This blog post is for informational purposes only and not a suitable substitute for working with your medical professional.