Eating regular meals and snacks, including plenty of whole food, and eating enough overall improved satisfaction for me. It also reduced food thoughts and the dramatic variability that used to happen when I’d get too hungry, go way overboard on processed food, then try to compensate by cutting back, then feel deprived and go overboard again. If I aim for gentle nutrition and total satisfaction every day, every meal, things level out and it feels easy.
I’ve also noticed that either my taste is changing or I’m so satisfied already that those very high-calorie, high-reward foods don’t have the same pull. I still love them and eat them regularly, but I’m never hungry enough anymore to get the “gasping for food” thing like when I was actively restricting.
I pay no attention to calories or macro math, but I know whether I’m satisfied and whether I feel good. It’s when I’m not paying attention to satisfaction that I will let myself get too hungry, or eat well past totally satisfied without really noticing or caring how the food makes me feel. Being a little more mindful is all it ever takes to enjoy my food more and feel good afterward.
About calorie counting, all of us did it until we didn’t. Letting it go is a years-long process for most people. If nobody still counting or talking about calories could post here, we’d have all been banned a long time ago.
This is awesome:
"For example, if I notice that I’m overeating on weekends or have an episode of feeling out of control with food , I will intentionally allow more variety of foods/more treat foods in my daily eating."
That’s how real change happens. If we’re “overeating” or feeling out of control around food, there’s a reason, and the reason is usually restriction. Restricting more in response only makes the situation worse. It doesn’t break the cycle.