We've been talking a lot about hunger, this month- and responding to hunger is THE best way to respond to fullness (you can better respond to how much food your body needs when you come to a meal calm and slightly hungry rather than ravenous and #hangry). However, it can be hard to determine WHEN to stop eating. It can be nuanced- and of course, it's individual for everyone. We call the moment before you realize you only need a bite or two more of food until you're finished the Last Bite Threshold.
This exercise isn't a quick fix- but it's powerful, and can really help you tune into your body's fullness cues.
You'll need this: Fullness Discovery Scale Journal
You can begin to create awareness of the Last Bite Threshold by: 1. Reflecting on how you feel, physically, after a meal. Are you consistently over-full? Just right? Notice the sensations of fullness and linger in them.
2. Next- ask yourself: how would I feel if I stopped a few bites sooner? Be sure to not judge whatever answer comes. You might be curious to lean into this at your next meal. Simply notice those feelings (it can be helpful to write these down).
If you're ready to experience stopping a few bites sooner, it's time to try the Last Bite Threshold Experiment.
This exercise is adapted from The Intuitive Eating Workbook.
1. Using the instructions for the Fullness Discovery Scale Journal, take a prolonged pause when you are at the point of detecting the absence of hunger and sensing the emergence of fullness (step 2)
2. Estimate (roughly) how many more bites of food it will take to be comfortably full (this doesn't need to be exact).
3. Continue eating slowly, with awareness of each bite.
How the food feels in your mouth and tastes
After swallowing, notice how your body feels
Before taking the next bite, ask yourself- is it possible the next bite is my last bite? If your gut sense is yes, plan to stop at that point.
4. Notice how you feel! Note: It is important to remind yourself you can still eat the rest of this particular food or meal again. There are no forbidden foods.
The more you practice this activity, the easier it will be to recognize the last bite threshold.
To download: Click the down arrow in the top right corner to save as an mp3.
Listen on mobile: If you are on mobile, click 'Listen in browser' to listen in browser or download the free Soundcloud app to keep it in your files.