Habitual overeating is an assault on your state of fertility. Digestion taxes your system, and diverts needed resources away from reproductive functions. Your cellular pH levels suffer. Your “fertility hormone orchestra” gets thrown out of tune. It brings your immunity to its knees. You get turned into a digesting, detoxing machine. It leaves little to no room for your baby-making function.
How can you tell the difference between eating ‘enough’ and ‘too much’?
Eating so much that you feel “stuffed” sits on the “too much” end of the spectrum. You know your health would be in trouble if you ate every day the way you do at Thanksgiving dinner.
Where’s the “sweet spot” closer to the middle of this spectrum?
Can you recognize the difference between feeling ‘full’ versus ‘satisfied’?
‘Fullness’ is a mechanical sensation, where ‘satisfaction’ is qualitative. I’m sure that you’ve experienced this difference for yourself. Think of any meal you’ve grabbed ‘on the run’ to make sure your stomach wasn’t empty. Now compare this to the deep pleasure you’ve had with meals shared with close friends or family. So much talking and laughter filled you up while the food on your plate lingered.
This is the main reason you should banish ’empty calorie’ foods. The only thing they can do is to make you feel ‘full’. In fact, empty calories can only drive you to “fill ‘er up”. That’s because they provide no ‘satisfaction’ at all. Only nutrient-dense food can trigger your ‘satisfaction’ response.
The more you base your nutrition on ‘satisfaction’, the better your health will be. It’s the zone where your body’s intuitive wisdom shines. Satisfaction guides you to true nourishment. Satisfaction will guide you even better than any nutrition book is able.
Noticing the flavor of your food will connect you to the quality of satisfaction. The first bite delivers a burst of flavor. Then it starts to diminish with every bite. This is actually your body’s way of showing you when your nutritional needs are satisfied. Stay alert at this point. You’ll soon be crossing the threshold from satisfaction to fullness. The key is to teach yourself to notice this subtle feedback mechanism.
To get started, follow these healthy rules of thumb:
- Begin by drinking a glass of water 10-15 minutes before eating. This is the first step of a healthy digestive function. It sets your body up for ease of digestion and optimal assimilation. It also removes your body’s craving to “fill up” on food when it actually needs hydration.
- Set the stage for deep engagement with your food. Light a candle; put on some music; set out a beautiful placement, napkin, and cutlery. Even place an elegant wine glass on the table (but forgo the wine for now).
- Prepare your food as if you are your own celebrated guest.
- Focus on the sensory aspect of eating. Engage all your senses. Stay in touch with the quality of the flavor in each bite. Follow the sensation from your taste buds spreading throughout your body. Stay attuned to when you cross the threshold from ‘satisfied’ to the beginning of ‘fullness’.
- Taper the speed at which you eat, remembering that your stomach is only as big as your fist.
- ‘Wake up’ your senses within this eating experience. Enjoy your surroundings, including conversation or music. Turn OFF the TV, which has the opposite effect of our goal here.
- Put down your fork between bites, and notice your breathing. Notice how you’re feeling. Are you taking that next bite out of genuine hunger, or mere habit? Are you relating to your food out of love, or lust? Are you eating what should be tomorrow’s leftovers?
What do you notice as you cultivate this relationship to ‘satisfaction’?
Were you trained as a child to “finish your plate” (mechanical fullness)? Then this will overshadow your sensation of satisfaction at first. Know that you are undoing a deep habit ingrained at the cellular level. Keep watch for any tendencies to “emotional eating”. Those impulses go in the opposite direction of satisfaction-based eating.
Consider this goal of satisfaction-based eating as part of your fertility plan. It is the cornerstone to activating your body’s ability to self-regulatey. Your body’s innate wisdom is superior to anything that your intellect can create. The less you need to ‘micromanage’ your hormones, the better. Leave that to the expert (i.e. your body).
This topic is further expanded in Step 2 of The 8 Steps to Natural Fertility Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About. You can download your free copy here.