Women who want physical hunger to serve as their guide in determining when to eat, what to eat, and when to stop eating frequently struggle with knowing when they’ve eaten enough.
Have you eaten enough once you feel really quite full? Should you stop eating well before you feel “stuffed”? Would it be best to stop eating when you still feel a little bit hungry?
The answer to all these questions is “yes” – and “no” – and “it depends.”
Usually the bigger question is, “What physically feels most comfortable to you right now?” Is it a really cold day and eating until you’re “full” will feel warm and snuggly? Is it a hot day and feeling even the least bit “full” will result in sleepiness or sluggishness? Do you need to eat only a little bit now so that you’ll be hungry for a meal you know is coming up in a few hours? People who have never overeaten automatically ask themselves these questions before and while they eat. And because they’ve never been overweight, they don’t have the nagging accusations buzzing in their minds: But if you eat that much, you’ll gain weight, or, If you don’t eat enough now, you’ll get overly hungry later and overeat then.
Part of knowing how much is enough is allowing yourself to trust that your hunger will not betray you. If you eat as much as you are hungry for and shoot for feeling physically comfortable, you will not gain weight. If you know you can eat again and that you may eat what you would really like to eat, you won’t gobble up everything now, because good food will still be available later. Why make yourself physically uncomfortable now?
If you put rules on how much is enough and have to stick to those rules all the time, you might as well be on a diet. If, instead, you respond to your God-given physical cues, you will be living by the grace that teaches you to live a self-controlled life (Titus 2:11-12).