Yesterday we examined fullness, which is more of a mechanical sensation. Satisfaction on the other hand is our emotional reaction to what we’ve eaten. Confused? That’s ok, I’ll explain more in a minute.
Just to review, we’ve already covered Principles 1-5 of Intuitive Eating from Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, and today we are unpacking #6, satisfaction.
- Reject the diet mentality
- Honor your hunger
- Make peace with food
- Challenge the food police
- Respect your fullness
- Discover the satisfaction factor
Satisfaction is the perception of “enough” and “just right” with food. It takes into account not only the amount that you ate, but also what you ate. Example – You could fill up on plain lettuce and you’d experience the sensation fullness in your stomach because it takes up so much room. But you’re probably not going to sit back and think “Wow, that really hit the spot.” On the flip side, you could be in the mood for chocolate, and a small piece of chocolate might be incredibly satisfying (without necessarily making you feel full).
Depriving ourselves the pleasure of satisfying food often leaves us irritable and preoccupied with food. This may even result in loss of control with food out of the body’s desperation to get it’s needs met. If what you’re hungry for is meat, no amount of vegetables are going to satisfy. If what you’re hungry for is emotional connection, no amount of food period will satisfy.
By eating what will truly satisfy, you’ll probably be surprised at how little food it takes. The food police would have you believe that if you eat what you’re hungry for you’ll eat yourself into oblivion. Ironically, by obeying the food police you’re much more likely to experience this loss of control with food. If you instead honor what it takes to satisfy your body, you’ll eliminate the need to overeat out of deprivation. I know this might sound crazy, but I promise it works. Try it and see for yourself. Be patient though, because after being disconnected from intuitive eating for so long, it will take time to discover the satisfaction factor. But trust me, it’s worth it.