How to Know When You're Full

Do you know when you're full?
Do you know when you're full? (Image: Images)

Most people know how to feed themselves, but how often have you accidentally crossed over from feeling full to being stuffed, without meaning to? Avoid overeating by learning to recognize your body's signals that you've eaten enough.

Learn to visualize what full feels like. Mid-meal, stop eating for a moment and ask yourself whether or not the idea of a small, healthy snack in a few hours time sounds appealing. If it sounds disgusting, you may have eaten past your full point. Next time you eat, try a smaller portion size and continue dialing your portion size up or down until you find your full point.

Stop eating and smell your food every few bites. Does it still smell good to you? If it does, you may not be full yet. If your food starts to smell dull, greasy, heavy or unappealing, that's a sign that your body is nearing satiation.

Use the waistline of your clothes as a guide. You know how it feels when your belly is pressing uncomfortably against your clothes after a meal? That's a sign that you've probably eaten past your full point. When you're full, you know you could conceivably eat more but that by doing so you'd become uncomfortable.

Chew your food longer. This will help your body digest it better and will also make you think about the number of bites you're taking. Try silently saying the alphabet once through per bite. It takes your stomach around 20 minutes to realize it's full. Chewing your food more slowly and thoughtfully will give you more time to recognize that full feeling when it comes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Just like the old advice to never grocery shop when you're hungry, try to avoid dining out when you're starving. Your proper portion size can be easily figured out at home, but at a restaurant you may eat past fullness just because the food is there and you were taught to clean your plate. Eat at home when you're starving, and let going out be a treat!
  • When eating a meal, sip on a glass of water. Thirst often masquerades as hunger, and since water also helps fill you up, you'll feel fuller, faster, as well as less ferociously hungry.

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