Monday, June 25, 2007

How to curb your appetite

One more post on Time magazine's cover story on appetite. One section lists 4 ways to stop cravings:

  • Eat fiber: Unrefined foods stimulate appetite-suppressing hormones and make you feel full. They show a picture of fresh oranges.
  • Brush your teeth: The flavor change helps you resist eating more. I think just getting up from the table also helps. And we all know how bad certain foods (like orange juice!) taste after brushing your teeth.
  • Be consistent: Eat at regularly scheduled times to keep hormone levels steady and "quash" hunger pangs.
  • Slow down: It takes time for the brain to realize that the stomach is stretching. So if you eat slowly, that gives the brain time to catch on. Well, if you're a compulsive eater, this one is hard, but worth the try. Here's a technique: put down your fork between every mouthful.

I've never understood this idea that the brain takes time to realize the stomach is full. If I put my attention on my stomach, I immediately know how full it is. I think that people just aren't used to paying attention to their stomach.

An excellent technique is simply to feel your stomach (with your mind, your attention) every 5 minutes while you eat. You'll soon get acquainted with it. Eating while reading or watching TV is especially harmful in this regard.

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