April
27 - 2010

Food Rules 46-48: Don’t Eat Too Much

This is my ongoing,11-week series about Michael Pollan’s book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.

Part III is called, “How Should I Eat? (Not too much.).” This installment covers rules 46 through 48.

Rule 46: Stop eating before you’re full.

Apparently, a bunch of cultures have traditions of advising their members to stop eating at somewhere between 67 percent and 80 percent of fullness, and Mr. Pollan thinks we ought to join them.

This makes sense especially when you think of eating until you feel full, only to be full to the point of bursting later, once all that food has really settled in your belly. Hey — if you can stop before you’re completely full, it’s like making your own lap band diet!

Rule 47: Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.

Don’t “eat your feelings,” as a friend of mine likes to say. Yeah.

The grandma quotation in this rule is, “If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re not hungry.” I don’t see follow-up commentary about if you are hungry enough to eat an apple dutifully, followed by a large bag of potato chips.

But anyway, you know what you should do, and maybe picturing Michael Pollan watching you break the rule will motivate you not to do it.

Rule 48: Consult your gut.

How does he know my gut is large enough that it has a bit of a personality and might in fact offer an opinion here and there?

Oh … he just means you should wait 20 minutes while you’re eating to see if your stomach is reporting that it is full. Don’t allow your eyes to be bigger than your stomach — don’t rely on cues other than whether you are actually hungry or actually satiated to motivate you to eat or not.

(I don’t know about you all, but I’ve read enough issues of Health, Cooking Light, and every women’s magazine under the planet to find this set of rules less than novel! Wish me better luck for the Thursday edition.)

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