When I would go to a steak house to eat while at my heavy weight, I would typically order the largest steak I could get (without going broke). This meant an 11 or 12 oz steak at a minimum. Oh, and there would be lots of bread before the meal, a large salad, and baked potato and perhaps some mushrooms and onions on top. Then, maybe a crumble or bread pudding for dessert. And this one one meal.
Today, a typical meal for me at a steak house is a Caesar salad with no croutons, a 6 oz filet medium rare with a baked sweet potato and butter (unsweetened). I may have 6 grilled shrimp added to the order depending on how hungry I am. But for the most part, this fills me up. When I leave, my stomach feels full and my hunger is sated.
What happened to allow me to feel so satisfied after such a meager meal as compared to my former meals? A few things.
First, I no longer eat sugar which curtails my cravings. When I go to eat food, I am no longer in OMG I MUST EAT ALL THE THINGS I’M SO HUNGRY mode. Now, I eat to fuel my body. That the food is delicious is a bonus. I’ve eaten plenty of bland or not-so-awesome meals just to put fuel into my body, and I’m totally okay with that, too.
Second, the food I eat now is more filling than in the past. Bread, which is hyper-nutritious, doesn’t quite fill me up the same way a steak does, so it’s easy to eat too much of it and get a metric ton of calories*.
Third, I eat slower. Not as slow as some of my friends (looking at you, Kenny!) but I try to eat smaller pieces which makes eating take longer to give my body a chance to adjust to the food that’s being put into my body and for it to give me the sensation of no longer being hungry.
Fourth, my stomach is now smaller. It holds less as I’ve learned to eat proper serving sizes. I fill up quicker now eating more protein, and the reduced capacity of my stomach allows me to fill up quicker.
It’s nice to be able to eat normal portions and actually feel full afterward and not feel hungry again two hours later.
* I know it’s not a metric ton. But it seems like it.