| | Conquering the Food Coma Abyss

Author / Rob Exline

2-3 minute read

Ever chowed down like White Goodman post Chuck-f**kin’-Norris smackdown? I mean the eat-fest that demands a belt and zipper liberation. Don’t lie, most of y’all reading this have conceived a Thanksgiving food baby before.

Occasional overeating isn’t going to kill you, but a regular habit is no bueno. Avoid turning into a human accordion by embracing the 80% full rule. It’s like eating, but leaving room for your dignity.

What does that even mean?

I get it, your body doesn’t have a dashboard that grades out your stomach contents. But Coach, how do I know? Great question!

This habit is about being in tune with your body and being mindful of amounts of food, how you feel during eating, and paying attention to the cues of hunger and fullness. We have all been there, mindlessly eating, shoveling food down into your pie hole only to feel disgustingly full to the point of discomfort.

Why should I care?

There are a host of benefits to being mindful and eating to 80% full. You improve your appetite regulation and become in tune with your hunger signals. Your body awareness increases for better stress and emotion regulation (looking at you if you eat emotionally). Being mindful helps you better understand nutritional needs for you. It encourages better digestion while increasing tolerance for being a little hungry.

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How do I do it?

Start small….literally. Use a smaller plate. Using a smaller plate allows you to adjust portion size down. You may find that you will be sufficiently satisfied after eating the smaller plate.

Check in with yourself throughout the meal. Scan your body to look for signs and clues of satiety. Most of us are either distracted or in a hurry when we eat. Stay aware and pay attention to your body cues.

Slow down. Instead of shoveling food down your throat like you haven’t eaten in weeks take your time! Chew your food completely and savor the taste of the food. Notice your food like a wine connoisseur tasting wine, what is the texture, what flavors do you notice, is it sweet, or is it savory. You can also put your utensil down in between bites. Slowing down allows you receive the full signals in real time, it takes time to feel satiety.

Think of hunger on a continuum. Use the scale below.

  • 0% – Hanger stage. You need food now and nobody better get in your way.
  • 20%– No longer hangry, but others still should beware, things could get ugly.
  • 40%– Happy to have food, but nobody better take your plate yet.
  • 60%– Well fueled but not yet satisfied.
  • 80%– Feeling great. You could take a walk and probably have room for dessert, but you don’t need it.
  • 90%– Feeling content, but don’t really want to move right now.
  • 100%– Your belt needs to be loosened, you don’t want to move, and you might need to lay down right now.

If you are looking to get shredded, this habit is a game changer. You can finally take control of your eating, have better digestion, achieve a caloric deficit, and make progress. It ain’t easy for sure, but you do not have to go alone. The Power Athlete Nutrition team is here to help you implement sustainable habits, problem solve keep you accountable, and be YOUR partner. Head over to https://powerathletehq.com/nutrition-coaching/?coach=rob to get your nutrition squared away.

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Coaching: Power Athlete Nutrition Coaching

Podcast: PA Radio Episode 715- Optimizing Movement Through Innovation w/ David Wck

Education: Power Athlete Academy

Recipe: Cashew Chicken by Rachel Koo

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Rob Exline

Rob has been in the fitness/strength and conditioning industry for 21+ years. For the last 12 years, he has owned and operated CrossFit West Houston. Through CrossFit, Rob found Power Athlete the methodology course and earning his Block One. Nutrition is a passion which lead him to currently pursuing a Masters program in Nutrition at Lamar University and Power Athlete Nutrition coach.

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