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Signaling the End

30/03/2011

I love eating, plain and simple.

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The sensations in my mouth, the flavors on my tongue.  Tasting while cooking and sampling finished baked goods.  It’s a sensory experience.

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I love grocery shopping in search of new fun tastes.  I sit in the cook book section of Barnes and Noble exploring new ideas.

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Eating healthy isn’t my problem…it’s the portion sizes.  I love pineapple but the entire fruit is a bit much. Same for butternut squash, pints of strawberries, bunches of bananas, and bags of apples.

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Healthy, right? Not so much.  It all adds up.  Even with healthy meals if I eat 3 portions instead of one it’s too much.  You really can get too much of a good thing.

I’ve read the mind needs a signal eating is over.  Some people place their silverware on the plate…others push it away…still others throw away or store leftovers.  I’ve tried them all and I end up going back for just one more bite.

Then I saw Lynn from The Actor’s Diet and her ginger chews.  I love all things ginger.  It dawned on me: I love ginger because with it’s strong flavor I only need a bit.

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When I am finished eating (i.e. I’m satisfied but not stuffed) I pop a ginger chew.  It takes a while to eat with the chewiness and all plus they are FANTASTIC.

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My mind recognizes the ginger chew as a signal to stop eating and I walk away from the kitchen.  Such a simple trick but I should have known.  At the end of my sushi meals or Asian meals I down the pickled ginger.  The sharp bit prevents me from ordering more food.  With ginger chews I’ve made it an everyday cue.

Bring on the bite to signal the end.Smile

How to you prevent overeating?

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. Recipe Chefs permalink
    30/03/2011 8:23 PM

    Excellent post thanks for sharing. I love food and sharing recipes. I really enjoy reading your blog. Feel free to stop by sometime and check out our recipes at Recipe Chefs

  2. 30/03/2011 8:39 PM

    That actually sounds like a really good idea! I am NOT one of those people who just naturally stops eating mid-meal if I’m full, so I try to take time to think about how full I am. I think having a physical sign that the meal is over is effective. I’m going to try the ginger chews!

  3. 30/03/2011 9:26 PM

    Long ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, I used to end my meals by lighting up a cigarette. :-0
    Maybe that’s why I still want to eat and eat right after dinner? Putting the food away and doing something ELSE before I even think about eating “dessert” or a “snack” is key. Having good blogs to read after dinner sure helps. 😉

    • 30/03/2011 10:30 PM

      My dad always ends a meal with a cigarette. When he quit for 8 months he had to have a piece of candy to not overeat. Finding what works is good for you.

  4. 30/03/2011 10:04 PM

    so glad the ginger chews work for you too. they – along with my tootsie pops, jolly ranchers, nestle nips, and werther’s – are the reason i don’t binge anymore

    • 30/03/2011 10:29 PM

      Thanks Lynn. I tried them and loved the spice to shock my taste buds and stop eating. I’m learning to eat one when I feel like binging because they take awhile to eat and have a sharp taste.

  5. 30/03/2011 10:28 PM

    wow, this is a trick i have never tried. portions are totally my problem too. sooooo often, i’ll eat a delicious meal that is plenty big, and then i’ll go grab another snack or take another portion. i’m getting some ginger chews tomorrow! 🙂 thank you!

  6. Julie permalink
    31/03/2011 9:08 AM

    Great idea! The only thing that’s ever worked for me has been keeping track of what i’ve eaten on sparkpeople.com. Just knowing that i have to be accountable slows me right down. (Unfortunately, this only lasts for so long, as soon as i decide to stop keeping track i go a little crazy again.)

    • 31/03/2011 11:38 AM

      Tracking is a big help too but for the immediate signal to stop I used these. I don’t have a smart phone so I “think” I know what I’m eating but reality is I may eat twice that.

  7. lauramich permalink
    31/03/2011 9:41 AM

    Wow, I could’ve written so much of this. My struggle with healthy eating is less about quality than quantity. I generally crave healthy foods and feel gross if I don’t eat them. But … I crave LOTS of them.

    I get hungry pretty quickly after meals (usually less than 3 hours later, I’m looking for something else to eat), whether I eat a little or a lot. So I aim to keep my meals around 400 calories, with lots of high-volume vegetables to fill me up, and frequent snacks.

    I wish I could be one of those people who can be satisfied with teeny, tiny portions of decadent foods. But I’m just not.

    And I, too, am a ginger fiend—and I, too, have an “it’s the end of the meal” signal, only mine is a serving of gum (favorite: Eclipse Exotic Breeze Mint … hard to find, so I buy plenty when I do find it!).

  8. karen permalink
    31/03/2011 9:44 AM

    great idea. I also like the ideas from your comments section. I am starting today to find that trigger to signal time to stop. I also used to light up a cigarette but that stopped 7 years ago. Don’t want to start that again.

    • 31/03/2011 11:37 AM

      Yeah definitely don’t want to start that again. Finding the thing you like for a signal is great. I have a friend who uses dum-dum lollipops. Whatever works for you.

  9. 31/03/2011 9:55 AM

    I LOVE Ginger Chews and do the same thing. I buy tons every time I go to trader joes or world market, that’s the only place I easily can find them here in good old Tennessee.
    I need to pick that habit back up…. badly. thanks for the reminder.

  10. 31/03/2011 5:28 PM

    I worked with a fellow who used to always eat these! What a great idea. I do peppermint or gum sometimes, but you’re right about ginger being so strong tasting; it invades your whole mouth 🙂

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