There are several factors that influence how much food it takes for you to experience comfortable fullness. A healthy diet consists of consuming foods with nutrients that will help keep you feeling great. While the registered dietitians at Behavioral Nutrition don’t advise counting calories as it can contribute to diet culture, it is good practice to recognize when you are full and don’t need to eat anymore. 

Since the temptation to overeat is everywhere, it can be difficult to control how much you eat and maintain a healthy weight. Restricting your food intake can sometimes leave you feeling hungry and deprived, which can have negative effects on your mood and motivation to stick to healthy eating goals. So how can you control how much you eat, without feeling hungry all the time?

You can start by considering these factors as they outline how much food it takes for you to experience a comfortable fullness:

  • Your initial hunger level. If you start eating when you’re not hungry, you won’t be able to respect your fullness because there’s no hunger to compare it to.  
  • Unconditional permission to eat with attunement. If you have not made full peace with food, then stopping because of fullness may seem like a difficult plan. It’s hard to stop eating if you believe you will never eat a particular or favorite food again. 
  • Timing. The amount of time that has passed since your last meal or snack will influence your fullness levels. To keep your energy and blood sugar in balance, you generally need to do it every 2-4 hours. 
  • Amount of food. The amount of food that you ate from your previous meal or snack will influence when you become hungry and how much food it will take to reach comfortable fullness. 
  • Social Influence. Several studies have shown that the presence of people at a meal tends to increase the amount of food you eat. This may be due to distraction, peer pressure or just unawareness. 
  • Types of food. The kind of food you eat will influence not only your fullness level but also its staying power or satiety. For example, foods with a lot of bulk will make you feel full, but if they are also low in calories, such as vegetables, rice cakes, crackers or air-popped popcorn, they will not be satiating. Foods higher in fat, such as avocado or nuts, have more sustaining power. 

If you’re experiencing difficulty with overeating, it may be a good idea to seek support from a registered dietitian at Behavioral Nutrition. Our trained staff can help identify bad eating habits and develop a healthy eating plan based on your dietary needs with foods you’ll enjoy. Making changes to your diet to prevent overeating and more serious eating disorders is a key component to staying healthy. Get in touch with Behavioral Nutrition to learn more about how our Florida Dietitians can help you stay away from bad eating habits like overeating.