Why is Appetite and Portion Control Important?
Eating too much unhealthy foods cause us to have more cravings and hunger. Because many foods are processed and are poor in nutrition, many people eat too much of these foods to satisfy their appetite and feel full. Thus, more people are becoming obese and unhealthy. It is normal to find comfort in tasty foods like ice cream and pizza. However, without controlling what and how much you eat, you are at a higher risk for obesity and disease.
What You Should Know
Figuring out how much you should eat involves trial and error. You may see that some foods can satisfy your hunger quicker, and keeps you full longer. However, you also need to be mindful of the foods you eat as well. Be aware of how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. For example:
•Is your stomach growling?
•Do you have a headache?
•Are you feeling shaky and irritable?
•Do you feel “stuffed”?
•Are you thinking, “I want to eat this” or “I need to eat this”?
•Are you aware of what you are eating or are you just plowing in the food while you do something else?
•Are you upset if your eating habits changed, or are you actually hungry?
•Are you anxious or stressed?
•Are you happy or sad?
Summary and Recommendations
Choosing to eat healthy, controlling portion size, and understanding your body’s needs are critical for any fitness plan and overall health.
The goal of a meal is to finish feeling:
•Better than when you started
•Able to move on (not think about food until you are hungry again)
•Energy to exercise and stay active
•Mental focus and clarity
Eating too much or too little will result in:
•Feeling too full
•Anxiety or jitters
•Low or nervous energy
•Food cravings, even when physically full
To feel fantastic after every meal, you should:
•Eat slowly: Break during bites, chewing more slowly, etc.
•Eating away from distractions: Televisions, books, magazines, work, computer, driving, etc.
•Becoming aware of the body’s hunger and fullness cues: Use these cues to direct a better eating lifestyle
•Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing and nutritious
•Being aware of and reflecting on the effects of non-mindful eating: Eating when you are bored, sad, lonely, and eating until you are overly full
Derek Chang graduated with a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah. Go Utes! He was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He aspires to become a physician-entrepreneur to find and create new ways of improving overall patient health. He enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, reading books, meeting new people, and learning anything new.