Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The "20 Minute Rule"




If you're like me, then you've experienced the feeling of wanting to eat more food after you've finished eating. Especially if you're trying to eat in a more nutritious fashion. You don't get that same fullness associated with stuffing your face with a thick cheeseburger and hot, greasy fries as you do after finishing a plate of wine poached red snapper, a one cup serving of rice pilaf, and a big pile of balsamic roasted asparagus. (Dinner last night, it was delicious, by the way!)

During one of my Weight Watchers meetings, one of the members talked about this feeling of wanting to eat more. We all understood exactly what she was talking about. She explained to us that she started applying a "20 minute rule," that if after she finished her meal or snack, she'd wait 20 minutes to see if she really was truly still hungry. And if she was, she'd give herself guilt-free permission to have more food. But that she typically lost interest in eating more food after waiting the full 20 minutes. I think it has to do with the time it takes for your stomach and brain to coordinate signals that yes, we've eaten, yes we are satisfied, no we don't need to eat more food. Time to digest.

And you know what?  IT WORKS!!!  I've adopted this strategy after every meal and snack. Sometimes I even set a timer. And I have yet to go back for more food after the full 20 minutes as elapsed. I've already cleaned the kitchen up in that time, and my mind is on other things. This has really helped me learn that crucial difference between physical stomach hunger, and just wanted to stuff my face for no real reason than for the sake of eating. 

I wish I could remember which member is was, because I really want to thank her. I'm going to ask on my WW group's Facebook page because it was so valuable to me.


6 comments:

  1. Isn't that also why they say to eat slow? Because if you eat too fast you overeat easily and then you're way too full. I mean, I might be speaking from experience. :p

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    1. Yes, Miss B! It is why you should eat more slowly. It's something I struggle with. And thanks for reading. I miss your face.

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  2. It's funny, I've heard so much about the 20 minute rule that it takes that long to feel satiety. I was always wanting more in 20 minutes and I thought something was wrong with me. However, for me it is actually 45 minutes! I would always want more at 20, but if I just waited twice as long, then the full signal kicked in and I'm truly satisfied. Realizing that was a huge cue for me to pay attention.

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    1. Finding what works for you is more than half the battle. This is why you are a successful maintainer and one of my heroes!

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  3. I follow this rule too, although I don't think 20 minutes is particularly magic number. But once I've cleaned my plate, I get up, pick up, and usually (and this is key for me!) make a cup of a nice nighttime appropriate tea. I like the Kava Stress Relief and Relaxed Mind from Yogi as both taste good and have no chamomile, to which I am allergic. But my very favorite is a licorice tea -- it's like dessert and helps settle me down with a book or a tv show!

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    1. I love the Yogi teas. I just ran out of the Kava tea and the poop tea. I need to restock on my next shopping trip. I will look for the Relaxed Mind, that seems like it would be a good thing to have.

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