Image Courtesy: Doug Downen
I was brought up surrounded by food, and I quickly learned that having “seconds” was a compliment to the cook. It was also a privilege. People are usually surprised by the amount of food I can pack in without seeming to gain a pound. I am, in fact, underweight.
When Are You Finished with a Meal?
When is it time to call it quits with lunch? Is it when your entire sandwich, fries, salad and sides are gone? Is it when your belly starts to feel bloated? Most of us feel that it’s necessary to fill up in order for a meal to be satisfying. I was once even under the misconception that filling up meant my body was getting full nutrition. I’ve always been conscious of food quality. But, that alone has not brought me optimal health.
Eat Only until You are 80% Full
If you say no to seconds, take home leftovers and only eat until your belly is approximately 80% full, you will give your digestive acids more time to do their job. This results in quicker elimination of toxins, and reduction of bloating, weight gain and energy loss. Many of us don’t realize that the amount we eat is in direct correlation of our energy levels after a meal.
Dangers of Overeating
Stuffing yourself can confuse your digestive enzymes, and can greatly tax your digestive organs. When the body is forced to put more efforts into breaking down your food, there is going to be a back-up of toxins. These toxins may never leave! In worst case scenarios, a long life of overeating can result in colon disease, candidiasis and of course, obesity, heart disease, and a frightening mess of other digestive and weight problems.
So, What if it Feels like You are Starving?
Yes, you will feel deprived if you begin to change your habits toward eating only until you are 80% full. You may have cravings and even get headaches. Cutting down on food intake can even cause emotional distress, especially if you have an emotional connection to food.
Adding probiotic foods, like kefir, cultured vegetables and/or kombucha tea can help settle cravings, as they reestablish healthy bacteria in your gut. I also find that a few tablespoons of raw unrefined coconut oil aids in the sensation of being full. It offers a healthy fat. As an added benefit, this kind of coconut oil is also antifungal. For best results, you can simply eat it alone, or add it to a smoothie.
If you do have an emotional connection to food, like I do – then for the sake of your well-being, I suggest meditation, yoga, journal writing, warm baths, walking, or another mind-calming activity that can help soothe you where Oreos or some kind of unhealthy comfort food may have before.
How The 80/20 Rule is Essential to Your Diet too [Body Ecology]
Gina Laverde is a Chicago-based writer, researcher and health coach whose expertise in natural health stems from her experiences recovering her son from autism.