Continuing on with our Intuitive Eating Principles Series, today I am supplying you with tips on how to start tuning into your body’s sense of fullness. Intuitive Eating is all about self-knowledge, self-care, and self-compassion, and when you can listen to your body’s signals, you can better understand when you are full and what foods are satisfying you.
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Finding Support Through Intuitive Eating
Intuitive Eating is not a solo experience. It takes a good support group and framework in order to accomplish your goals and break up with diet culture. Through Intuitive Eating Principle 6, you can begin to listen to the messages your body is sending you, and get back to treating your body right.
How to Acknowledge Your Bodies Unique Fullness Signals
When was the last time you took a moment to check in with yourself during mealtime? Oftentimes we can rush through or distract ourselves when eating, which leads to stuffing ourselves past the point of satisfaction. Instead of eating past the point of comfortable fullness, Intuitive Eating can help you stop when you are satisfied.
Three Tips to Start Listening To Your Body
Diet culture has robbed many of us the trust we need in our bodies to be able to eat without a set of restrictions. By checking in with yourself throughout your meal, avoiding the ‘air foods’ that many diets try to push as ‘healthy’, and by listening to the innate cues your body is giving you, you too can feel your fullness and honor your body’s needs.
Do you struggle with your ability to sense your fullness, stop clearing the plate, and finish eating when you feel truly satisfied? Share how you differentiate between fullness and satisfaction with me in the comments below.
In This Episode
- The importance of a support system when diving into Intuitive Eating and going against the grain of diet culture (3:20)
- Three points to help you start tuning into your hunger and feeling your fullness (6:30)
- Why you should stop filling up on ‘air foods’ that diet culture tells you are the ‘right’ choice (14:06)
- The difference between satisfying your hunger and actually fueling your body with real foods (17:00)
- How to become okay with not always finishing your plate and avoid binge eating (18:08)
In Order To Start Feeling Your Fullness You Must:
- Get real about what dieting has taken from you and start to pay attention to the innate signals coming from within your body
- Avoid filling up on ‘air foods’ and create moments to pause and check-in during mealtimes
- Honor the signals that you feel of hunger or fullness and build trust in yourself that you can eat again
Resources Mentioned In This Show
“Please do not attempt this Intuitive Eating journey completely by yourself, and think that you have to be the hero and do everything and it’s an individual pursuit. Because really, that’s what diet culture loves.” (3:48)
“Intuitive Eating isn’t one of those things that you read or you hear a podcast about and you think ‘Great, now I’m an intuitive eater!’. No! It’s something that you practice and something you have to embody.” (5:12)
“If you consistently rush through meals or you are consistently distracted and you haven’t practiced feeling and sensing your fullness, this is a huge area for growth opportunity for you to be able to start doing that.” (13:12)
“If my tactic, every time I start to feel hungry or every time I try to fill myself up, is to go back to relying on these ‘air foods’, it’s not saying they don’t provide any kind of benefit, but are they really satisfying our hunger? And the answer in a lot of those cases is ‘no’.” (17:04)
“It’s not an arbitrary portion control based on external rules. This is about tuning in, noticing… building that trust again that what your body is telling you is something you can begin to listen too.” (21:53)
Three Ways to Honor Your Body’s Fullness (Intuitive Eating Principle 6) FULL TRANSCRIPT
This is Episode 297 of the Listen To Your Body podcast and on today’s show a continuation of our intuitive eating series. This one is all about tips for you to start tuning in to your sense of fullness. The next evolution of Harder To Kill Radio is here, welcome to the Listen To Your Body podcast. On this show, we’ll explore the intersection of body, mind, and soul health and help you reclaim your abilities to eat and move more intuitively, hear your body’s signals, and trust yourself more deeply. I’m Steph Gaudreau, a certified intuitive eating counselor, nutritional therapy practitioner, and strength coach. On this podcast, you can expect to hear expert guest interviews and solo chats that will help you deepen your trust with food movement and your body. Remember to hit the subscribe button and share this podcast with your friends and loved ones. Now, on to the show.
Hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast. Oh my goodness, I’m so glad that you’re here today. Thank you so much for hanging out with me on the show and listening to the continuation of our series, all about the principles of intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is a part of the framework that I teach and it is really such a powerful way to start tuning in, to start paying attention to your body to your body’s signals and using that information to help you break up with dieting. So on today’s podcast, I’m going to be diving into principle six of intuitive eating which is all about feeling your fullness.
Now I have to give kind of a content warning today I am going to be mentioned a couple of things about eating disorders and disordered eating. So if you feel like that is not something that you want to listen to, then I would recommend skipping over this particular show. Or you can go check out the show notes and see exactly what section of the show we talked about that and then be able to hop off before that comes up. Remember a couple of things before we jump in first, push that subscribe button on your podcast app, that’s going to make sure the show gets into your device, and is ready and queued up for you to listen every time a new episode comes out. Secondly, if you love this episode, it resonated with you in some way then please share it on social media and tag me I would love to see it and I would of course love to amplify what you learn and what hit home for you in this particular show. The last thing to do is join my newsletter called the Listen To Your Body newsletter and you can do that at StephGaudreau.com/LTYB. There you’re going to find more about these topics, intuitive eating, body neutrality tuning in, and so much more in detail and then every time I have something new for you and offering a way that you can work with me, you’re going to get an announcement about that and a chance to learn more and join in because doing this with support of some description is so very important. Whether that means working with me, it means joining a community, getting help and support in your life from the people that you know and love and trust. Please do not attempt this intuitive eating journey completely by yourself and think that you have to be the hero and do everything and it’s an individual pursuit because really, that’s what diet culture loves.
Diet culture, loves to isolate, separate, and move people into silos where they are feeling like if they fuck it up, it’s all their fault and that is not true. So please make sure that if you are learning about this, even if you’re just learning about it that you get support because here’s the thing you’re going to hear, you’re going to see constant reinforcement from the diet culture that we live in. Whether it’s celebrity trainers, all the way to your grandma, who I’m sure your grandma means really well. But we get these messages from everywhere television films, you name it, diet, culture is everywhere. And if you are doing this alone, it’s gonna feel like it’s you against the world and like you’re a complete freak for wanting to do it, and it’s going to be too hard. So please get some support along the way. It is not something to do by herself. All right, I hope also, you’ve gone back and listened to principles one through five, if you haven’t already, there’s lots of great information and so what I’m really presenting in this series are some key points about the principles. Again, intuitive eating isn’t one of those things that you read, or you hear a podcast about and you think great, now I’m an intuitive eater. No, it’s something that you practice., it’s something you have to embody, it’s something that you reconnect to little by little in most cases and it takes doing work and practicing in these three areas, self-knowledge, self-care and self-compassion or self-kindness. Very, very important.
Okay, so today’s principle is called feel your fullness. That’s kind of the official name. I like to say tune into your fullness because the idea of feeling full to a lot of people is one of, it ranges, it depends. For some folks, it is a scary thought, because diet culture tells us that if we feel full, we’ve we have eaten too much. Right! Calorie restriction, calorie plans that are what a toddler should eat. There’s just such a preponderance of you know, eating like a bird, and that this is the socially acceptable thing that women do and you should never eat more than your dinner partner. And I mean, you’ve named it, it is something that people are afraid of is feeling any fullness and yet on the other side of that, fullness can feel like a comfort. And so this is a really complex principle, and there’s a lot that goes into it. So I’m going to break it down into three points to think about, these are not the only three points that have to do with tuning into your fulness or feeling your fullness, but they may give you a starting point, okay?
So know that your unique situation may cause these particular teaching points to vary, and that’s just the way it is. So the first one is when we’re working on feeling fullness, fullness is a signal from your body and it is one of those interoceptive awareness signals. Now fullness can mean different things to different people it can be that your belly is distended and looks like it’s full, it could be a sensation, a sensation of bloating, a sensation of your body, your actual stomach area has expanded. It could be a sensation of satiety and pleasure. Fullness in the sense of I am satisfied after this meal, it could feel like your clothing has gotten tighter, that so there are many different ways that fullness can present. Not all of those are interesting have signals, but it is a signal that your body sends you. And quite often one of the things that I hear from my community is, I feel hungry, what’s wrong with me? I just ate! Why don’t I feel as full and there are so many reasons why that could be possible. So let’s start with the base.
The first one here, and I think that this is when I say basic, I don’t necessarily mean easy. I just mean that it is a simple thing, but it is something you’re going to have to practice and at the beginning, especially when you are newer to these signals, it is something you’re going to put a lot of conscious thought and effort into, which is one of the reasons why intuitive eating feels a lot harder in the beginning, especially than a diet allows your brain to go on autopilot. And for some people, that’s why it’s appealing. I don’t have to think. But you have to get real with yourself and you can go back to the episode, the episode that I did on principle one, about getting real about what dieting has taken from you, or what are the negative repercussions and outcomes that dieting has introduced into your life because so often, it is so alluring and tempting because we think, oh, we just think about all the great things, I don’t have to think anymore. Someone just tells me what to do and that’s not to say that you might not introduce some structure once you really heal your relationship with food. But it is to say that if you’re constantly outsourcing your hunger and fullness to things like an app or a nutritionist or whoever it is, even if they’re extremely well-meaning you’re making your body wrong for sending the signals that it does, and you’re making it less likely that you’re actually going to
honor those signals. by either stopping eating when you’re feeling truly full or deciding you’re going to eat when you’re feeling hungry, and then no one is seeing the gradient that comes up.
So let me read it back in point number one, create moments to pause, and check-in with your fullness during mealtime and or before and after a meal. Now typically, you’re not going to notice your fullness before a meal, we would be noticing your hunger, but you might notice after a meal, how long do I feel satiated? How long do I feel satisfied and noticing that satisfaction may feel different from my stomach literally feeling fuller, that those are kind of two different things right, your distension the expansion of your stomach and the kind of biochemical and neurological signals the hormonal signals that go into fuel? Like you’re satiated are two different things even though they are related. So are you creating moments to pause and check-in during mealtime with yourself and how full you actually feel because a lot of folks are used to only feeling overly full and so they’re not quite used to pausing or slowing down and just saying, how am I feeling right now regarding fullness? If I could give it a scale of one to five, or one to 10 where am I in 10 or five if you like five better because it’s just fewer options. If you’re at the top end of that scale, maybe that’s like, it feels like your gut is gonna bust and we all know that sensation of Thanksgiving dinner. And we just feel like all the pants need to be unbuttoned or we just need to Donald Duck it which is not wearing any pants or we need to put on stretchy pants. Or on the other side, we’re not feeling full at all. We’re feeling like, actually quite hungry. So we want to get more aware of the subtler signs and signals. But you have to be able to pause to notice that, especially at the beginning, so if you are rushing through your meals, this is one of my things that I’m constantly asking folks, hey, how long does it actually take you to eat your meal? And a lot, a lot, a lot of my clients, a lot of my members in my Tune-In membership, notice that they speed through mealtime. So they’re missing some of those subtler signals. Those less strong signals of Hey, you know what, actually, I’m getting comfortably full right now I feel pleasantly satisfied. I don’t feel hungry and I also don’t feel overstuffed. I think right now I might put my fork down. And so if you consistently rush through meals or you’re consistently distracted, and you haven’t practiced feeling and sensing your fullness.
This is a huge area for growth, a growth opportunity for you to be able to start doing that. Now does it mean you need to do it during every meal? No, start easy because I know some of y’all out there are going to be listening and thinking, Well, I’m going to do this for a whole month for every single meal I eat. Good luck. It’s not going to happen. Especially if you’re not doing it at all right? So can you just say, hey, today during lunch, I have a little bit of extra time in space. I’m just going to notice what is my hunger or fullness like before, during, and after? How long do I stay full for afterward and just tune into that.
Alright, point number two. This is one people like to fight me on. Avoid filling up on “air foods”. Okay, this is where I’m going to start talking about dieting kinds of behaviors. So this if this is triggering to you for any reason, this might be a good time to stop listening. Air foods are those foods that typical diets tell you that it’s okay to fill up on because they’re going to prevent you from eating anything that has high energy or calorie content. This is such a classic tactic. And I have learned dozens of these over the years with doing different diets. And I’ll give you an example. I used to do Weight Watchers, I didn’t go to the meetings but my ex-in-laws, were doing Weight Watchers, I had my own slider, I had a points range that I was using and I would consistently look for ways to fill my belly up with foods that were as low points as possible. Now the part that people fight me on is saying, Well, you know, a lot of these foods are things like vegetables, or they are green vegetables. Are you saying we shouldn’t eat green vegetables? Of course not. Let’s not be pedantic. But what we’re saying is the purpose of things like air foods like celery, like clear liquid foods that have no energy content at all, like air-popped foods. You name it right popcorn with no butter or oil.
These foods exist primarily to trick your stomach into feeling full, which is a different sensation than true, satiety, or satisfaction. And if you don’t trust me on this, you can test this out for yourself. You can go drink, you know a big, big glass of water and notice how full your stomach might feel afterward. You might have to drink two. But notice how awful your stomach feels and see does that actually impact your, does it take away any hunger that you have? And typically the answer is no. So the classic one here also is, you know, if you feel hungry, just go drink something because you’re probably dehydrated. Now that could be true and we want to stay well hydrated, okay, my friends, but it doesn’t mean that we need to keep tricking our body if we are truly feeling hungry, that biological hunger, we haven’t eaten in a while. We’re getting more in tune with our hunger signals and you can go back to that particular episode and listen to that. It doesn’t mean that we’re not also drinking water, okay? But it just means if my tactic every time I start to feel hungry, or every time I want to try to fill myself up is to go back to relying on these air foods. It’s not saying they don’t provide any kind of benefit but are they really satisfying our hunger? And the answer in a lot of those cases as No, so maybe you’re not going to completely take yourself off of these kinds of air foods but start noticing what is my tendency when I feel like I’m just trying to fill myself up but I don’t want to eat a particular food or I feel like I’d haven’t earned a meal because it hasn’t been long enough, or I just ate or whatever it is. Notice what you tend to gravitate toward. Are you gravitating toward things that are low cals, zero cals, you know, air foods that have no fat, right, fat-free, like they’re, they’re very, very fibrous, like whatever it is that you’re looking to, to try to fill that fullness. And then actually notice, does it satisfy and you can go back to listen to principle five, all about satisfaction. Does it satisfy your hunger or does it just leave your belly feeling really full, does that satisfaction or fullness last. So that’s another important point.
And the last thing, and this is probably the toughest one, which is why I left it till last is to honor the signals that you do feel of hunger or fullness and build trust that you can eat again. Another one that goes along with this is challenging this notion that you have to always clean your plate. And the reason I left this to last is because this topic can be kind of sensitive for people for very good reason, especially if you have a history of food insecurity, which means food was not reliable. Food was not always available. And so there was or is a sensation that I have to eat all of this right now because I don’t know when the next meal is coming. So I want to be really sensitive to food insecurity in this discussion, but also say that if you’ve been used to that pattern and its food is no longer scary. Or there’s no food insecurity for you currently, slowly working on the concept of if I’m feeling pleasantly full, and I put the rest of this meal aside. Can I do that? Can I come back to it later if, in fact, I do start to help feel hungry later because I’m still learning my own feelings of fullness? Now, it’s really interesting. And again, if you feel like this, this content could be a little bit triggering for you, I’m going to talk about binge eating here for a moment. So there’s really interesting research coming out and there was a 2018 study that came out that linked food insecurity to an increased likelihood of binge eating disorder. What does this say? It’s a survival mechanism. And in folks who are food insecure, that mechanism of cleaning the plate right, eating as much as you can at any one time because you don’t know when the next food is coming
is a potential driver of shooting past your fullness signals.
So I just wanted to mention that if you suspect that what you’re dealing with is binge eating disorder, or you want to just take an assessment, you can go to the National Eating Disorder Association website and we will link that in the show notes, take their assessment, and they also have resources to find a practitioner to find a therapist or a counselor who specializes in those things so that you can get the help that you need. If what you’re dealing with is not quite that but you were told as a kid like you couldn’t leave the table until you cleaned your plate or you’re in the habit of eating everything and not checking in. See if you can create moments and opportunities to go back to what I talked about in the first part, right, creating those moments to pause and check-in with yourself but interrupting that habit of just wanting to eat everything on the plate. I’m not saying you need to throw that food away, especially if that is just the notion that you cannot abide for different reasons. Maybe you pack it up for later you put it in the fridge, whatever it is you take it to go. Notice what I’m talking about is not portion control because of some external factor like my meal plans that I could only eat this, or this app said I could only eat this much. It’s not an arbitrary portion control based on external rules. This is about tuning in, noticing again, it’s not going to be perfect, especially at the beginning, but building that trust again that what your body is telling you is something that you can begin to listen to, noticing the signal that’s coming through, and knowing that if you decide to put your fork down and you decide you’re actually feeling pleasantly full. There’s a good chance that then, later on, you can come back to eating and it creates a dynamic for some folks where they feel sad that they’re going to stop eating now and that’s its own challenge to work through, but it’s not insurmountable.
So, those are my three kinds of big tips to tune into on feeling your fullness, right, one create moments to pause and check-in, especially during mealtime with your own sense of fullness, to start to question or avoid filling up on air foods and really eat foods that are satisfying to you, and three, begin to honor the signals of your own hunger and fullness so that you can begin to build trust that yes, you will be able to eat again and that eating past the point of comfortable fullness no longer serves you for the variety of reasons that we talked about today. That does it for our episode today. A couple of things, first of all, make sure you go check the show notes on StephGaudreau.com there, you’ll find links to everything I talked about in the episode, push that subscribe button so that you’re following along with this podcast and you get new updates and then, of course, share it with me on social media, tag me, I would love to see what you took away from this episode and how you feel like it benefited you going forward. All right, I will be back next week with an episode about principle seven of intuitive eating ao please join me at that time. I hope you’re enjoying this series and I’ll talk to you very soon. Until then, be well!
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