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Today I’d like to explore how fullness can affect your mindful eating experience. If you grew up in a household like I did, dessert was always reserved for after dinner. That meant I would have to eat my entire meal before I was “eligible” for dessert. I understand where my parents were coming from. They wanted to be sure I got in all the meat, potatoes and vegetables before I had any sweets. I get it. They did not know anything about mindful eating. All they were concerned with was that my sister and I ate “proper meals.” Here’s the rub – after eating my entire meal I was already full but I really wanted dessert so I ate it. Eating dessert after a full meal has a couple of problems. First, because I was full, the dessert did not taste as good as it would have if I were hungry for it; and second, I now ate more food than my body needed and I risked gaining weight. A more mindful choice for my parents would have been to offer dessert later when I was hungry again, or, better yet, first! At either time I would have tasted the dessert, enjoyed it more, eaten a portion appropriate for my hunger and gone on my way. Fullness affects taste and taste affects satisfaction. Left unsatisfied you are at danger of eating more because you are “chasing the taste.” Adapted from Mindful Bites – Joyful Life: 365 Days of Mindful Eating. Available in bookstores everywhere.

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