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The Food and Satisfaction Link
by ADMIN on NOVEMBER 12, 2012

Ever eat a snack or meal and end up feeling completely unsatisfied?  Even though your stomach is full, your mind is not?

Contentment from food is linked from several things, including both what we eat and how we eat.  If we’re distracted.  If we don’t really want or crave the food we’re eating in that moment.  If we’re with good friends or poor company.  If we ate just an English muffin or an English muffin with an egg.

All of these factors can play a role in whether we walk away from the meal feeling great… or just ‘eh’.

Problem #1: Mindless Eating

Our society is so ‘go-go-go’ that many times we’re too rushed to pay attention to what we’re shoveling into our mouths.  In reality, we simply cannot multitask.  The brain can only handle concentrating on one thing at a time.  So when we focus on the computer, TV, or work, our brain isn’t receiving the signals that we’re eating… or that we’re full.

All of a sudden the food is gone and we’re left staring at an empty plate or into an empty bag thinking: “Did I just eat that all?  But I’m still hungry…”  And we may feel this way even though we’ve consumed all the calories our body needs at that time.  Feeling dissatisfied and disappointed, we begin to look for other things to eat.  Chocolate things… or salty, crunchy things.  Something else to fill that void that is still left in our gut.

After we eat more, we may feel guiltily over-stuffed.  We mentally beat ourselves up and the over-eating cycle continues.

Solution: YOU Time

Even though we have bills to pay, work to do, emails to write, and kids to watch – there needs to be time in the day for you.  Because without a healthy you, nothing else matters.

So give yourself 3 minutes when you want to eat a snack and 10 minutes (at least!) when it’s time for lunch. Eat mindfully.  Turn away from the computer.  Turn away from work or chores.  Look at what you’re about to eat.  Smell it. Taste it. Eat it slowly.  Enjoy it.  It’s only 3 to 10 minutes out of your day; give yourself the time you need to be satisfied.

During dinner, make the commitment to your family to eat at the table.  Enjoy the meal.

It takes time to learn to eat more mindfully and slowly, but once you’re able to give yourself that gift of time to enjoy your food, you’ll be much more satisfied and energized once you go back to your day.

Problem #2: What to Eat?

Ever notice how when you eat that bagel for breakfast you get hungry 45 minutes later?  Or if you only eat an apple for snack?  That’s because carbohydrates will give you immediate energy, yet they break down so quickly that all of a sudden you feel hungry again!

When our blood sugar dips low, our body sends signals for us to eat.  The first thing we crave are carbohydrates (bread, pasta, candy, sugar, chocolate, chips, pastries, soda), which our body knows can give us a quick boost.  So we want to reach for the donuts, bagels, and candy… but resist the urge!   You’ll simply end up hungry and with cravings again.

Solution: Combination Foods

Think of each eating occasion as a mini balanced meal.  You do want carbohydrates for that quick rise in blood sugar and energy, but you also want protein, fiber, and perhaps some healthy fats (from nuts, nut butters, and oils).  These foods take much longer to break down, keeping us feeling much more satisfied.  They give us the lasting energy to make it through to dinner or our next snack!

To help prevent that dip in blood sugar which makes us ravenous with cravings, try to eat every 2 to 3 hours.

Here are some tips for choosing great food combinations:

  • When choosing carbohydrates, go for whole fruits and vegetables first, then whole grains (and refined/processed carbs last, if at all).  Quick, easy foods in this category include: Apples, Bananas, Oranges, Berries, Baby Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Edamame, Bell Peppers, Whole Wheat English Muffins, Beans, Whole Wheat Toast, or whole grains such as Quinoa.

  • When choosing proteins, go for lean ones such as: Low fat or Fat free Dairy (Greek yogurt, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese sticks),  Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, Nut Butters (peanut butter/almond butter), Beans/Hummus, Poultry, and Fish.

Once you start feeding your body often, with good food combinations, and with kindness and time, you’ll start feeling much more energized and ready to tackle your day!

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To eat is a necessity: but to eat intelligently is an art.
— La Rouchefoucald


   Tracey Byrd November 13, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Hello Rachel,

    I hope all is well with you!

    I still continue practicing mindful and healthful eating since your seminar at Gemline in Lawrence, MA      back in March of 2013. I recently came across a book I thought you might enjoy/appreciate and         

    wondered if you had read it and what your thoughts were.  
    The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz‎

    We all hope you might come back to Gemline again!

    Take care!

   Admin November 23, 2014 at 11:10 am

   Hello Tracey,
   Great to hear from you! I miss the Gemline crew. It’s fantastic to hear that you’re doing well! I haven’t       heard of that book but it sure does sound like something I’d like to read (since I eat all those things)   

   hah! Thank you for bringing it to my attention, I will certainly check it out.
   Please don’t hesitate to reach out whenever you want to, it’s lovely to get a check-in from you!
   Enjoy the holidays,

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