Nutrition Habit #5

Eat to 80% full. 


That's right. 

Now that we have established a baseline of the food quality and quantity, we are going to tap into the mindfulness of food.

This one is bound to fuck you up a little bit. If you grew up in a family like mine, you had to sit at the table until you ate everything on your plate, even if you weren't hungry anymore. It's called the clean plate club, #cpc, and America has adopted that mentality as it's own. 

Ya know how we have guilt around eating too much food? There's a fucked up guilt that comes with not eating all the food as well. Maybe you were told that kids were starving in Africa. Maybe you purchased the lunch and don't want the money you paid for it to go to waste. Maybe there are only a few bites left so you might as well eat it because someone made it with love. 

Getting out of the #cpc mentality will be hugely beneficial in your eating practice over a lifetime. 

So here's the goal - when you eat, eat to 80% full. 

What does that even mean?

This can be tricky because even though it's 80%, it's subjective, not objective. There's no way to sick a fuel guage in your stomach and measure if it's at 80% or not. 80% full is not a specific number, but rather an idea: Eating until “just satisfied” or “no longer hungry” but not full or stuffed.

That might mean getting a to-go box with lunch and saving the rest for your afternoon snack. It could be taking smaller portions and seeing how you feel when it's done, checking in with your hunger levels, and then choosing to get more or not. 

Remember, the food will always be there. It's not a "I have to eat this all now or I can't have it" kinda thing - especially if you are choosing foods that are more for fun. 

Anyone can stop eating broccoli when they're 80% full. I'd stop eating it at the first feeling of not being hungry anymore. It's harder to stop eating when that shit is tasty - like pizza. But even pizza can be a practice of 80%. Sometimes, in my brain I want to devour a whole pizza at once, and I can make it happen if I try hard. But, when it's pizza time, I really try to use the 80% practice. I enjoy the shit out of it. I usually have 2 pieces and save the rest for later in the day. That way I only eat to 80%, I get to have pizza twice, and i space out the calories and hunger. 

It goes with for the high quality foods as well. It's just as easy to justify eating more than our hand measured serving because it's "good for you." See what it feels like to eat the portion. If you feel satisfied, save the rest for later. 

Totally get there might be times when you have lunch at noon and you won't be able to eat again til 8 so you eat all the food you have to hold you over for that long. Those days will happen occasionally. Don't worry about the once in a whiles. This practice is on a normal, daily basis. 

So there it is: eat to 80% full

Give it a try and see if you can start to be more mindful of how you're feeling when you are eating. Are you stuffed? Are you satisfied? Are you still hungry? Check in with your body and start to assess your true hunger levels.