Why is it so hard to stop eating once you start?

Women usually enjoy discovering (re-discovering, actually) their physical hunger as a cue to know when to start eating, but they often find it difficult to know when enough is enough—leading to eating till over-full and uncomfortable.  This is common and usually due to one or more of the following three issues.

1) Making up for deprivation:

If you start eating something you have not allowed yourself to eat in the past, you want loads more than you would have if it were a common, everyday part of your regular food choices. Also, you may have it in the back of your mind that you are not going to allow yourself to eat this particular food or meal again, so you end up with “last supper” eating—eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we will diet. “Forbidden fruit” is always what’s most desirable and the most difficult to stop eating even when you’re physically over-full. (See Romans 7:7-8.)

2) Not being hungry to begin with:

Starting to eat when you’re physically hungry not only results in food tasting better and being more satisfying, it also allows you to have a point at which the hunger diminishes and ends, that point when your hunger is satiated. That point of satisfaction is your God-given cue for ending your meal. If you don’t start out hungry, then there will be no point at which your hunger is satisfied because it already was satisfied to begin with.

3) Eating for emotional reasons:

According to Proverbs 27:7, what’s natural is to no longer desire food if your hunger is already satisfied; therefore, if you continue to eat once your hunger has been satisfied, it’s for non-physical reasons. Those reasons can range from self-soothing of painful emotions to an idea about being “thin” or being “fat” that leads to you feel better when larger and frightened of being smaller. For example, you may have been promiscuous at some point and feel your large size keeps you from acting in an immoral manner now. Such a belief would motivate you to consistently overeat.

In my next few blogs, we’ll look at how to address and permanently resolve these three issues.

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