If there's no diet rule aspect to it, you can honor needing to eat more right now to stay full longer. You can undershoot it sometimes and need to eat again sooner. You can have 4 cookies instead of 2. There's no need to be perfect or always restrain yourself. Perfection, restriction, and all-or-nothing thinking are what caused all the trouble in the first place. It's good to be casual about it, curious, open minded, and to take a long term view. What you do most of the time for long stretches has an impact. One day or meal is a drop in the bucket. If you're getting pleasantly hungry before most meals and eating to genuine satisfaction, great things will happen. When you pay attention to how your eating feels, it becomes self-regulating. You find yourself in a similar situation in the future and think, "Blah, don't want to do that again." Or, "Yes! Totally worth it!" Either way, it's not happening to you accidentally anymore. It also helped me tremendously to remember that feeling overly full only means it may be a little longer until I'm hungry again. That's it! Nothing to do with my weight, my self-worth, or the fate of the universe. The Intuitive Eating Workbook is an incredible resource. It helped me unpack the very last of my diet thinking and weight fears. I also made some huge leaps in my ability to recognize the subtleties of hunger and fullness. I eat sooner and stop sooner than when I could only identify growling hunger and Thanksgiving full. I had always thought that noticing levels of fullness while still eating was an urban legend. No, it’s totally real!! LOL I felt like I’d found the Loch Ness Monster. I definitely have days where I’m more or less hungry, and where I’m eating at different degrees of hunger. It’s good to play with it a bit to find a comfortable range. Getting too hungry too often is not going to be sustainable. Eating preemptively too often isn’t the best for body comp. In the middle there’s this nice range where you notice that you’re getting pleasantly hungry and then enjoy a satisfying meal. I find that some days I want more food sooner. Other days, I may be busy and get pretty hungry before I notice. That’s all normal. You can’t do it wrong, you can only learn things. It’s incredibly reassuring to know that no matter what happens, you’re going to treat yourself with kindness and respect, eat to feel good, honor hunger and fullness, and move in ways you enjoy. No axe is going to fall. No crackdown is going to happen. If you like the way things are going you’ll do more of it. If you don’t, you’ll get curious and adjust a thing or two to feel even better.
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