Full vs Satisfied

An infant stops feeding when his or her hunger is satisfied. How does the baby know? The answer is similar to the fable of Goldilocks and the three bears. Goldilocks looked for the porridge, the chair, and the bed that felt just right. The same should be true with your stomach and feeling satisfied. The satisfied stomach isn't a little bit hungry or a little bit full. It feels just right.

Being satisfied is pretty much a nonfeeling. You aren't full, but your stomach hunger pangs have ceased. You have room to take a deep breath. The waistband on your pants doesn't cut into the flesh of your waist. You have enough energy to take a walk or do an activity. You don't feel full, just satisfied.

What Do You Prefer: Full or Satisfied?

Answer the following questions:

1. Do you usually go back for seconds at dinner or lunch? Yes or No
2. Do you “supersize” your meal at fast-food restaurants? Yes or No
3. Do you loosen your belt or change to looser clothes at the end of a meal more than once a month? Yes or No
4. Do you eat a dessert at the end of a meal even when you're satisfied and have had plenty of food? Yes or No
5. Do you regularly drink more than one beer or glass of wine with a meal? Yes or No
6. Do you usually eat everything on your plate, as in being a member of The Clean Plate Club? Yes or No
7. After dinner, do you usually sit and watch TV or do another sedentary activity? Yes or No
8. Do you eat more than one piece of bread along with everything else on your plate at a main meal? Yes or No
9. Do you binge eat, or eat to satisfy emotional hunger? Yes or No
10. Do you continue to snack or eat throughout the evening? Yes or No

If you answered “Yes” to more than one or two of these questions, you probably have a habit of eating until you're full or stuffed. As you work toward reaching your ideal size, you'll adopt new habits that let you answer “No” to these questions.

Two Simple Rules for Eating Naturally

Eating naturally is eating based on honoring your body's hunger communications. Take a cue from infants who eat only when they are hungry. You need to remember only two broad rules: 1) only eat when you feel a hunger pang; 2) only eat enough food to get satisfied, not enough to get full.

Virtually any healthy eating plan or diet program you choose will work if you honor these two key body communications. If you don't honor them, frankly, you should expect to fail.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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