The clock strikes noon. It must be lunchtime. You head to the kitchen and prepare food to eat. You eat, finish your plate and even go back for just a little bit more. Now you feel bloated and overfull. You think to yourself, “I wish I didn’t go back for more. I wish I knew how to stop eating at the right time”.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

The same can happen with dinner. The clock strikes 6 p.m. which means dinnertime. You repeat the cycle above – prepare, eat, go back for more, feel stuffed. Here are 3 tips to help you identify when it’s time to stop eating: Stop eating by the clock: When you base your meal time around the time on the clock, you quite often might begin eating your meal when you are not biologically hungry.

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Your mind might be telling you that you are hungry, but your inner signals of hunger are not. When you begin eating when you are not truly hungry, it is very difficult to stop eating when you had just enough. This is probably a very difficult concept for you to grasp if you are a chronic dieter. You have relied on diets and rules to tell you when to eat and this has taken you further away from recognizing your true hunger signals.

Start to listen for hunger and when you hear that first signal of hunger, eat without looking at the time on the clock. This will then help you recognize when you are satisfied and should stop eating. Eat and just eat: By this I mean do not do any other activities while you are eating. No watching T.V., reading the newspaper, checking email, texting – you get the idea.

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When you are distracted during your meal, you are not able to tune into your fullness signals and will often overeat. And, you won’t appreciate your meal as much as when you pay full attention. This means you will likely be looking for a “little something else” after your meal. Make a commitment to yourself to sit down to your meal and just eat.

Check your satiety level: Are you part of the “clean your plate club”?

If you have struggled with your weight and have been on diet after diet, you probably finish the portions of food that you put on your plate because you are “entitled” to that amount of food. You rarely stop to determine if you had enough until the plate is empty. Instead, try stopping mid-way through the meal and ask yourself if you are still hungry.

If you are, then continue eating. Stay mindful as you eat and as you approach fullness make a commitment to stop eating, even if there is food left on your plate. You can put it away for another day. 2 Eating by the clock is a dieters rule. Turn away from the clock and into your inner body wisdom as your guide to when to stop eating. This is being an intuitive eater and how you were born. For more information and tips on how to become an intuitive eater, check out this free e-book. 

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