What are the chances, especially at a restaurant, that the amount of food they put on your plate is “just right?”
For me, the answer is just about never. Usually, it is more than I need. Sometimes it is not enough. But very, very rarely does my hunger match up with what is on the plate.
Think about that. That is pretty normal, right? They don’t know me, my size, my activity level etc. Why would the amount of food be “just right??”
Now, if I am home and make my own food, the chances are much better. Why? Because, after years- 15 now, of living as a thin mentality person, I know myself. But, I still always leave open the possibility that I don’t need everything on my plate.
I need to emphasize here:
When you can eat whatever you crave whenever you are hungry, it is not hard to leave food behind. I know you doubt that. So did I.
Just start out leaving one bite behind, knowing that in fifteen minutes if you still want it, have at it. Just give yourself a chance to get acquainted with how it feels to leave a bit behind. Just give it a chance.
Eating everything on your plate is simply a habit. And it is a habit you CAN break because eating according to your hunger instead of what is presented on your plate works with your body, not against it, like dieting.
And constantly fighting your body is what dieting advocates.
Instead, learn to listen to your hunger without panicking. Relax, take a deep breath, and eat without desperation, or an eye on the future or the past. Stay in the moment knowing that you will keep checking in with your hunger to see when it is calm. When hunger is calm, when you are in “neutral,” not “full,” delay eating anymore. Neutral is where you want to be. The absence of hunger is neutral. It is a calm, good feeling. Eating to where you are “full” causes changes in breathing, and a regretful feeling. Not good.
It is a learning curve, of course. But it is actually really enjoyable to re-learn how to eat. Give yourself a chance. You are not an out of control eating machine. Your body is just completely freaked out from years of dieting. It doesn’t know what crazy diet you are going to do next, so when given the chance your body is going to send you “eat more” signals in preparation for the next ridiculous fast you put it on.
Your job is to calm that down by reliably matching hunger and eating. You can do it. Give it a try. One day, no, make that one meal at a time. Mother Nature is smart. Let her guide you.