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Weigh down: increased physiological hunger due to hormonal changes

Unfortunately, the increased hunger associated with a woman's monthly menstrual cycle has been greatly exaggerated to the point that it is just an invitation to gluttony for some. Yes, the body becomes slightly hungrier as it prepares itself to handle conception. However, what most do not realize is that once the body does not conceive and menses begins, a woman's hunger will drop back in proportion to the increased hunger beforehand. This decreasing hunger is the thing that no one seems to want to pick up on! Emotions are slightly more sensitive at some stages of the monthly cycle, but women should not run to food. We can have no more invitations to emotional eating.

Tips for slowing down

Pray for God to help you slow down and watch what happens. It will amaze you!

Try stopping in the middle of your meal for one to two minutes. Give the food time to hit the bloodstream and really satisfy your hunger.

Try drinking two or three ounces of orange juice or sweet beverage before you start. If you feel ravenous and too hungry, you may be afraid that you will never stop! By drinking a couple of ounces of juice before eating, you will quickly bring the blood sugar up enough to give you a calming effect that will allow you to approach the food with more control. This has helped some people.

Try looking up from the food. Enjoy the company. Have you ever been at a dinner where all you saw was the top of people's heads as they had their faces buried in their plates? It shows a lot of love and affection for that plate of food. Divorce yourself from that food! Sit up, talk to the people you are with, carry on some polite dinner conversation, and ask the kids how their day was at school. That is the very essence of the family dinner, to have the opportunity to spend time together interacting.

Try using a fork. Americans rarely use eating utensils these days. Look at a typical day in this country. You get up and have your cup of orange juice and a biscuit. Midmorning, you have coffee. At lunch, you have a sandwich and some chips. In the afternoon, you have an apple. At supper, you have pizza. Did you notice you did not use a single fork all day? Try using utensils again, even on something that you traditionally eat with your hands. Cut up the pizza. It is a lot neater, and you will be able to make the bites smaller. That will slow you down.

Try sipping between bites. This will give you time between each bite and keep you from packing the next bite in on top of the one you have not finished savoring.

Try taking smaller bites. This will slow you down, and the pie will not be gone in four bites. Again, as we mentioned before with the forks, it will allow you to savor the food longer. One of the easiest ways to take smaller bites is to break up the food. For example, you can break chips or cookies into smaller bites rather than popping a whole one in your mouth. Try cutting up sandwiches and pizza.

Get the food out of your sight when you even suspect you are comfortably full. Cover up the plate with your napkin, push the plate an arm's length away, or better yet, leave the table and go into another room and pray for God to remove the desire to eat another bite. Give Him a few minutes, and He will answer the prayer. Sometimes He will answer before you finish your prayer. He is able to rescue you.

Slowing down could help your awareness of your stomach's getting full. The food entering the bloodstream will signal the hypothalamus to turn off hunger signals. Salivation decreases, as does stomach acid production, the sense of smell, and taste bud acuity.

Proverbs 27:7 says, "He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet." It reflects the law of diminishing returns. When you are very hungry, God makes the tongue delight in the taste of the food. As you approach the point that the body is getting enough food (full), God makes your taste buds lose interest in the taste of the food, even sweet foods! The purpose is to help turn off the eating behavior. If you keep practicing, you will get better at knowing the difference between too full and comfortably full.

In the event that you are still fighting the battle of "But my mouth still wants some more," you should try to be creative. For example, you are eating lunchsay a submarine sandwich on a hoagie bun with sesame seeds on top. You feel the sensation that you are no longer hungry, but you would kind of like to keep going. Start dissecting the sandwich. Pull out small pinches of the meat you like the best, or the cheese you like the best, or the tasty pepper or olive. Slowly savor each small pinch, sipping between bites and even having a small sesame seed or two in between. You will still be with the company, but you will not really be consuming much food. Also, you still are getting little tastes until your "blood sugar full" signal clearly tells you that you have had enough. Then it will be easy for you to throw away the rest or save it for the next meal.

If you are having dessert, do the same thing. Just barely skim the edge of the lemon meringue pie onto your fork and savor the smallest amount. Nibble on the edges of your favorite cookie. Let paper-thin slices of chocolate melt in your mouth.

If you are eating out, you can always ask the server to bring a carryout container at the beginning of the meal. When your meal arrives, you can immediately put half of it in the container. This way you are putting the temptation out of your sight.

Let me give you another approach. You are at home and having family dinner. You are halfway through your serving of casserole when that feeling hits you that you are no longer hungry. Some times it will occur to you when you have only a bite or two left. Do not pop those last couple of bites into your mouth. Try this instead. Get up and walk away from the table for a few minutes. See if anyone else wants something to drink. This break buys you some time for your "blood sugar full" to register clearly so that you can come back to the table in a few minutes and feel the full feeling of nutrients in the bloodstream. It will now be easier to give those leftovers to the dog.

By the way, God made dogs to love humans' leftovers, perhaps so that we would not have so much garbage. I have the healthiest animals from this money-saving tip. The dogs and cats love it. If your dog is food-focused, just give it affection instead of food every time it wants more food than is needed, and the dog will lose interest in the foodthe same principle as for people, and it works better than diet dog food!