Portion Control is really just a matter of using your hunger fullness cues. Many people look at me blankly when I discuss my favorite of all tools, the cues. Most people haven't felt a true hunger or fullness cue in a very long time.
Think of your physical cues as a gas gauge. This is much closer than you think to reality. As you use up what you have eaten before your meal, your body begins to send you signals. These are your physical hunger cues (not to be confused with just wanting to eat as in emotional eating, or stress eating).
Use the hunger fullness scale to determine the subtle phases of hunger and fullness. It takes a bit of getting used to, but soon you will be identifying your cues with ease (like you were born knowing how--haha).
An important factor is that there are circumstances which may disrupt your perception of the cues. For hunger, the number one issue I've seen is people being too busy or distracted to notice their more subtle cues. All of the sudden it has been many hours since eating last, and they are ravenous.
With fullness, the usual suspect in not noticing the cues is speed of eating. It is very important to try to slow your eating (no need to chew a million times, or anything weird). It does take 15-20 minutes for your cues to register. Most Americans eat in 7 minutes. So put your fork down, take a sip, engage in conversation--whatever you need to do to pace yourself.
Read More About Hunger Fullness & Healthy Eating:Nutritionist
Contact us with any questions about eating and mental health issues. You or someone you know may be in need of outpatient eating disorder treatment.
Jennifer Pereira LPC, RD - Counselor & Dietitian
1. Do you worry that you have lost control over how much you eat?
2. Do you make yourself sick (or use laxatives/exercise) if you feel uncomfortably full?
3. Do you currently suffer with or suffered in the past with eating issues?
4. Do you ever eat in secret?
5. Does your weight affect how you feel about yourself?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if you are not satisfied with your current eating patterns, contact us for more information.