Feel Your Fullness

Nov. 15, 2021

Holidays are typically a time when we eat foods that are special to that time of year. They might be family traditions, what is available that feels special or seasonal, and maybe even foods that we view as only allowed once a year. 

Intuitive Eating teaches us that foods have no moral value; we are not better or worse of a human because what we do or do not eat.  Intuitive Eating is not the hunger-fullness diet, and it is useful to think about our fullness to bring awareness to what feels best for our bodies.  This is true all year long.

Feeling your fullness is one of the Intuitive Eating principles.

It is a way to practice being in-tune with your bodies fullness or just have ability to recognize it.  The story we are often told is that holidays are a time for eating more than we usually do and eating more foods that are “unhealthy.”  This is a barrier to being able to feel our fullness and respect it.  It sets us up to eat past fullness and end up feeling lethargic and maybe even guilty. 

“Normal” eating means we sometimes eat past fullness, and that is okay.

We learn to notice the difference and again we don’t judge it or beat ourselves up about eating past being full.   It just happens and then we move on. We may however have some inner dialogue about what caused it to occur and, if in fact, there was a positive result either physically or emotionally.  The experience can be used as information, allowing us to adjust, if needed. Let’s talk about some ways to understand and make peace with our own fullness.

  • Consider you fullness level: on a scale of 1-10 how full are we?  If I eat a turkey sandwich am I a 6 or a 7 on that scale? Is that pleasant or unpleasant?  Get curious.  Heres’ a journal activity that could help.

Fullness Discovery Journal

After you eat a meal or snack: check the quality of fullness, then circle the number that best describes the fullness rating. Lastly, observe patterns related to the foods chosen!

Time

Quality of Fullness

Fullness Rating

Meal/Food Eaten

 

Pleasant

Unpleasant

Neutral

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

 

 

 

 

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

Adapted from The Intuitive Eating Workbook (New Harbinger, 2017)

  • Next, notice if you are feeling full often, can you hold some space for that. There is no shame in eating foods that are satisfying and when we are unlearning rules around food we can needs some space to feel uncomfortable and then make sense of that.  Notice and reflect, instead of reacting.

 

Bottomline: Nutrition can be very grey.

It is not wrong to eat past fullness, and it can also be more satisfying if we notice we are full and sit with the sadness that is the end of some meals.  There is no right or wrong way to practice Intuitive Eating and every meal/snack can be an opportunity to observe and reflect. Have a happy holiday season.

Helpful Links:

5 Steps to Get Started With Intuitive Eating

Nutrition Navigators Podcast: Episode 12 - Intuitive Eating with Megan Meyer, MPH, RDN


Individual consultations on nutrition and/or fitness are available for students at Campus Health. Dietitians Lisa MacDonald, MPH, RDNChristy Wilson, RDN, and Ashley Munro, RDN, CDCES are available for appointments most days of the week.  To make an appointment, call: (520) 621-9202