“How do I know when to stop eating?”

Submitted Request..

This post is an answer to a submitted question. It aims to provide help and solutions to overcome the issue.

Podcast version: HERE

Quote/Question: “If you had the choice to live an amazing, incredible life to 100 and look hot, but you had to eat boring, bland food every day, would you?”

Adding to the quote:

 If you were presented with the incredible chance to lead a truly exceptional and remarkable life that extended up to the grand age of 100, all the while retaining a breathtakingly stunning appearance that defied the passage of time, would you be open to the idea of accepting this unique and rare opportunity, even if it meant having to consume the same bland, and tasteless food on a daily basis? Would you be willing to make the sacrifice of indulging in flavorless meals in exchange for the promise of longevity and enduring beauty? It's a thought-provoking question that forces us to consider what we value more - the pleasure of enjoying delicious food or the desire to live a long and aesthetically pleasing life. 

By the way, this is not what I would suggest personally or professionally. I coach the person, not the problem, so it's important for me to assess what's driving the behavior. Asking this question quickly gives me access to a person's beliefs and values surrounding their true relationship with food. What's really holding them back from achieving balance in their healthy eating habits. When I ask clients this question, they usually reveal things like:

"Oh that’s awful, sounds painful and my family would never be on board with that."


"That’s torture, no way could anyone make me do that."

Notice with both of these there’s beliefs, stories, opinions and clarity that I wouldn’t get by simply asking what they eat in a day and what’s stopping them from eating a certain way. Powerful questions can get you to a person’s stories and beliefs quickly if you know how to ask powerful questions. 

Submitted Question

“What does feeling full feel like?
I overeat so often because I genuinely don't feel full until I'm nauseous, and even then I often don’t feel it until I finish eating and then regret everything.
What does feeling full really feel like? Is it an intuitive feeling that you should be done or don't need any more? Or is it the physical feeling of your stomach being filled with food? Or is it the disappearance of the feeling of hunger?”

My Response if we were in a coaching setting. Although without being able to ask questions, I may assume or use scenarios to fill in the gaps.

Good question.

It sounds like you know what full is, perhaps too full. Like most of us we eat faster than our brain receives the signal that we are satiated, we are satisfied. Logically slowing down will solve this problem, though much easier said than done, coming from a speed eater. I could offer loads of techniques, and ideas to slow down your eating, and this can be found on google so I will let you experiment and try different ideas that are at your fingertips.  

When working with clients I focus on the being, the person’s thoughts, feelings and actions, the very root to what drives us to do what we do on a habitual basis. 

I wonder if the question you're really asking is: What's the difference between a craving and hunger?? 

Eating for craving or hunger has become a common dilemma in today's society.

We often find ourselves reaching for food not because we are truly hungry, but rather because we are seeking comfort or trying to satisfy an emotional need. This disconnect from our natural hunger cues can have detrimental effects on our overall health and well-being.

Society plays a significant role in conditioning us to eat in response to emotions. Whether it's stress, sadness, boredom, or even happiness, we have been taught that food is the answer to our emotional struggles. However, this unhealthy relationship with food can lead to weight gain and the development of unhealthy eating patterns.

In order to break free from this habit, it is crucial to reconnect with our natural hunger cues. Listening to our bodies and understanding when we are truly hungry versus when we are simply craving something can make a world of difference.

Understanding the difference between when you are craving something to eat and feeling hungry and needing to eat is a game changer. 

In the past, my eating habits revolved around satisfying my immediate cravings (my relationship to food was unhealthy). Every day, I would ask myself, "What am I craving today?" This question dictated my food choices, whether it was ordering takeout, cooking a meal, or shopping for groceries. However, this approach to eating was not sustainable and ultimately hindered my understanding of what food truly represents. It was an invisible barrier that prevented me from appreciating the nourishment and enjoyment that food can provide. By reflecting on this mindset, I have realized the importance of making mindful and intentional choices when it comes to nourishing my body and soul.

Giving into your cravings only fuels their power over you, making it even more difficult to resist them.

Cravings can be for food or other external things.

By understanding your brain, you will hold the key to conquering these overwhelming emotions and regaining control over your actions.

Feeling hungry and craving food are different. Hunger tells your body it needs food to work well. It happens when your body lacks nutrients, and you might feel your stomach growling or feel weak and dizzy. This is a simple, watered-down logical breakdown. However, we are all unique and different, so it would take understanding your unique lifestyle, cues, environment, and running through some examples one-on-one to sort through the differences for you.

Craving food is often more of a psychological desire for a specific type of food, often triggered by external cues such as advertisements, social situations, mood or emotional stress. Cravings are not necessarily related to the body's need for nutrients but rather to the brain's reward system and its association with certain foods.

Understanding the difference between craving food and hunger is important for maintaining a healthy relationship with food. The relationship to anything simply means how you think about it. What's running through your mind on a conscious and nonconscious level about food, throughout the day and week?

It is essential to listen to your body's signals of hunger and provide it with the nourishment it needs, rather than giving in to cravings that may lead to overeating or unhealthy food choices. By being mindful of these distinctions, you can make more informed decisions about your food choices and develop a balanced approach to eating.

Cravings can be incredibly powerful and seemingly irresistible, but they don't have to dictate your actions.

By being armed with the difference between craving and hunger, you can empower yourself to make healthier choices and overcome the urge to give in to unhealthy temptations. Understanding the root of your cravings, whether they stem from emotional triggers, habit, or nutrient deficiencies, can help you address them more effectively.

It's important to remember that cravings are not unstoppable forces; they are simply messages from your brain. By understanding the underlying reasons behind these cravings unique to you, you can address the root causes once and for all. When we understand this, and drop any negative thoughts it lessens the pressure and we no longer sink to believing there’s something wrong with us. When we drift into doom thinking this is when we quickly slide back to the old relationship to food, that it’s there to sooth us. 

Conquering cravings is a process, a journey, it will take being persistent, a daily practice, lots of patience and being really kind to yourself, meaning when you fall for a craving being able to let yourself off the hook, reflect on it and learn from it.

With perseverance, self-awareness, and a commitment to your well-being, you can regain control over your actions and break free from a simple habit of food being our main source of comfort. 

Want to train your brain to work for you rather than against your goals, I can help!

I wish you all the best. 

Please share this with anyone you believe would benefit from the insights. Post a comment, I read and reply to them all. Thank you in advance!

If you want to send a question, please send to hello@katherine-hood.com please include: 

  • A coachable question (something that addresses what's in your control, your thoughts, feelings or actions.)
  • And context, explain a situation in the past, currently going through, or worries/concerns of the future, giving me some details on your thoughts and feelings about it. 

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