Monday, September 13, 2010

Let Our Stomachs Decide

I've always been a person that will eat until I'm uncomfortably full just because I think I can eat everything on my plate instead of simply listening to my stomach.

Recently for one of my science classes I read an article about an experiment that was done in Berlin. The study had two groups of people eat the same two course meal: one group in complete darkness and one in the light. After both groups ate their meals they were taken to a lighted portion of the restaurant to have dessert. The study showed that those who could see their food ate dessert that coincided with the portion size they ate. Thus, those with large portions ate less dessert than those that were served a small portion. The study also showed that those that ate in complete darkness and could not see and did not know what size portion they got, ate the same amount of dessert whether they had a large portion of food or a small one. The study proved the scientists' theory that our judgement of how hungry we are is based largely on what we know and see that we ate vs what hunger cues our stomach is sending us. If we cannot see how much we ate it's hard for us to gauge how hungry we are.

I know I'm guilty of this. Many times I've said something to the affect of "I only ate half my burger, I definitely have room for dessert" or "I ate my burger and my fries, theres no way I could fit dessert too". Well, what if half of a burger was enough to keep me full and content or what if after a burger and fries I was still hungry. Just because I saw that I ate a certain amount of food doesn't mean a thing in terms of my hunger. My stomach is the only thing that can truly tell me 100% whether or not I'm hungry but honestly I often don't have the 'patience' to wait the 20 or so minutes they say it takes for your stomach to let your brain know it's full.

I honestly believe that this is part of the reason I am overweight. I'm sure there are many others that can say the same thing. I'm restarting my healthiness journey now and I've decided to make a promise to myself to actually listen to my stomach. It's such a wonderful and powerful tool that we have so why not let it do what it was made to do.

Is anyone with me?


  1. I saw something on a similar vein once.

    The participants had a medieval style banquet in a Castle setting.

    They mostly ate Chicken based meals. One group ate and then had their plates taken away and given more. The second group had to put a load of Chicken bones, on a plate in the middle of the table.

    Because they had a visual reminder of how much they'd eaten, they stopped before the others who couldn't did.

    The others were surprised how much they'd eaten when they were told. I forget what it was now, but something like 40-50% more I think.

    Good to know you're trying to restart your wellbeing journey again. This is a very important step for the future of you and your daughter, but I know you'll do just fine. You stopped and started before, but ended up being fairly consistent.

    GOOD LUCK. You CAN do this.

    :-) :-).


  2. hey lady, havent seen you in awhile. :) congrats on the little one.