How do you know how when to stop eating?
When someone comes to me asking to use hypnosis to help them control their weight that is one of the first questions that I always ask.
A great many of them say, “I’m done when the food is gone,” or “When I’m full,”or even, ”When I’m uncomfortably full.” Occasionally, someone will say, “When the food is gone. If there is food there, I will eat it.”
We might wonder at this point, how does someone who is naturally slender know when to stop eating? Babies eat until they have had enough, and then stop. If everyone did just what they do, there would be very few overweight people.
So, how do people learn to eat past physical satisfaction in the first place?
Poor eating habits are typically learned in childhood. Well meaning parents push children to clean their plates, reward them or calm upsets with sweets, which teaches them hungerless eating. Eating as celebration, a reward, or to feel better when upset, are all learned behaviors.
So, having overeaten for a lifetime, how can we find out how much food it really takes to satisfy hunger?
There is simple and elegant experiment reported by Brian Wansink in his book Mindless Eating. Simply prepare a meal, put however much food you would usually eat on the plate. Cut up the food into bite sized pieces. Put on a blindfold, and eat until you have had enough. Then take off the blindfold and notice how much food is left on your plate.
You may be amazed.
A great many people decide how much to eat by what they see on their plate instead of how physically satisfied they feel. A skilled hypnotherapist can teach someone to learn a new way of knowing when to stop eating. The hypnosis helps them bypass their habitual way of eating and put new habits in place in a very short time.