Why we can’t eat less (or how we can)

This blog post is for you if you are endlessly trying to stay fit and smart by dieting and eating less but slacking.

I often refer to Michael Pollan’s work on diet and health. His book “Food Rules, An Eater’s Manual” is a wonderful collection of 64 eating rules. Each rule is described in a concise and simple way. Recommended.

On eating less he has also quoted Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “the Prophet Muhammad described a full belly as one that contained 1/3 food, 1/3 liqued and 1/3 air.”

Now back to today’s question; why we can’t eat less? Does it really require a lot of will power? This is what I always thought. Michael tells us a little hack which can help.

Neurons in our stomach can take up to 20 minutes to send the message to our brain that our belly is full. This means that we can eat more, a lot more, if we eat faster, within this 20 minutes window.

So the trick to eat less is to eat slowly spanning your meal time to 20 minutes or more.

If you cannot eat slowly for some reason, eat a small portion, promise yourself to eat more after 20 minutes. Here you might need to exercise your will power just enough to restrict your eating for 20 minutes. You won’t be able to stuff your belly much even if you try to eat again after 20 minutes.

Try this little hack today.


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