A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece. — Ludwig Erhard
What is it about overeating that I enjoy so much?
It’s not the jabbing pain that riddles my stomach for the next hour and a half. It’s not the amount of calories I’ve ingested that will never burn away. No, it’s not even the particles of food that get involuntarily caught in my beard from shoveling all that feed into my gullet.
(In case you hadn’t seen, that’s right, I am growing a beard…Well, I’m growing hair on my face).
When looking back at my excessive dining experiences, I don’t have a single viable reason for the copious amount of food I just scarfed down.
I mean, I guess it tasted good. And I was hungry at one point. And of course I have to make sure I get my money’s worth. It’s not my fault those Mexican restaurants keep refilling that basket of chips—bring me my food faster.
As you will learn, however, there are two ways to describe your reasons for eating: the need to satisfy your hunger and the want to satisfy your appetite.
Hunger is the biological mechanism in our body that tells us we need to begin eating because our body needs the glucose from digesting the food. Appetite is our desire to eat anything that tastes yummy. Unfortunately, the sensations of hunger and appetite are very similar.
Screw you, appetite.
That’s why after you finish a big meal and think, “Wow, I couldn’t eat another bite…Unless you bring that apple pie over here,” it is really your appetite tricking you into thinking you want more food.
But there are subtle differences between hunger and appetite that should clue you in to when you should stop eating.
For instance, if you just ate a crap-ton of food, then you should stop eating. Or if you feel raging bouts of indigestion and inner-stomach pressures, these are also signs that any sensation to eat more is chicanery, courtesy of your appetite.
It is a skill, though, to know when you should stop eating—and a valued skill at that. For not only will eating proper amounts of food make you feel like you didn’t just get pregnant in 45 minutes at an Italian restaurant with free bread, but it will also give you more time to do other things.
Like productive activities. Because everyone who has ever overeaten knows that the last thing you want to do after a huge meal is anything that involves movement.
Other than your thumb on the remote.
So be smart this Thanksgiving, and just eat the ham–don’t become it.