Ask Geneen Roth: How Can I Make Myself Stop Eating When I Feel Full?
September 06, 2010
Women, Food and God author Geneen Roth is answering your questions to help you find your own path to a full and healthy life. Get her advice and end your war with weight today!
Q: I've read your book and have been "doing the work." I'm having trouble with stopping when I'm full (or think I'm full) because I'm afraid in 20 minutes I'll be hungry again and won't have time to eat. I have a bad habit of eating so I won't be hungry later. I have a real fear of getting stuck somewhere and I'll get hungry and have no time or access to food. Sometimes after three forks full I feel that I'm not hungry and know I should stop, but part of me says "that's not possible" and I keep on eating. How do I get over this hurdle?
— Sue, Dover, New Hampshire
A: I call the pattern you are describing—of always thinking ahead—"eating for the hunger to come." And I would recommend two things: Take food with you so that you know that if you get hungry, whenever you get hungry, you can eat. At least a little. That will calm down the part of you that is peeping through and worrying you. The second thing I would recommend is that you become steadfast about bringing your mind back to the present moment. Every time it starts speaking up about what if this and what if that, you say: "I'm taking care of that. Now, let's come back to this moment now. Are you hungry? Full? Getting there?" Because hunger is always only in the present moment. You body is always only in the present moment. Training your mind to stay in the moment will help you, not just in this way, but in many others as well.
Geneen Roth's books were among the first to link compulsive eating and perpetual dieting with deeply personal and spiritual issues that go far beyond food, weight and body image. She believes that we eat the way we live and that our relationships to food, money and love are exact reflections of our deeply held beliefs about ourselves and the amount of joy, abundance, pain and scarcity we believe we have (or are allowed) to have in our lives.
Geneen has appeared on many national television shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, The NBC Nightly News, The View and Good Morning America. Articles about Geneen and her work have appeared in numerous publications, including O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Time, Elle, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has written a monthly column in Good Housekeeping magazine since 2007. Geneen is the author of eight books, including The New York Times best-seller When Food Is Love and a memoir aboutlove and loss, The Craggy Hole in My Heart.Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everythingis her newest book.