How to Stop Eating When You’re Full (The Portion Reduction Method)

This is a tough one, especially for people like me: those who seemingly only feel satisfied when they eat to the point of slight nausea. It is however an effective way of eating fewer calories, and partners well with eating slowly.

The strategy, when stripped down to its bare bones, isn’t complicated: when eating a meal, stop when your body tells you that you’ve had enough. If you’re anything like me then it’ll take some time to rediscover this feeling, but it is there.

I’ll give you an example of how effective this can be. Last week I made two servings of a meal and wolfed the first one down in a few minutes. Since I’d eaten the meal so fast my body hadn’t had a chance to transmit the ‘full’ signal to my brain, and so I dived into the second serving too, polishing that off for good measure. I felt absolutely stuffed and a little ill afterwards, as you might reasonably expect.

This week I made that same meal but with just one serving. I ate it a little more slowly (using the tips in this post), and although I still felt a little hungry when I had finished, that feeling faded after about 15 minutes. I had eaten half the amount of food, but my satiety level was the same. As an added bonus, I didn’t feel sick.

I appreciate that leaving food on the plate is often easier said than done. With that in mind, my suggestion is this: only put ¾ of the food you make on your plate, then eat the meal slowly and wait 15 minutes. If you’re subsequently still hungry then eat the rest – if not, put it in the bin. Yes, I know it’s a waste, but the quicker it’s in the bin, the sooner you can’t eat it (even I wouldn’t stoop to that level). Next time, you know that you only need to make ¾ of the portion size (or even less, if you care to repeat the experiment). I call this the portion reduction method. It’s gonna be a thing.