Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Normal Eating

Quick post today. I just read this blog post and came across a great definition (at least for me) of Normal Eating. It is uncomplicated and complete methinks.

"Normal eating is being able to eat when you are hungry and continue eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it - not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to use some moderate constraint on your food selection to get the right food, but not being so restrictive that you miss out on pleasurable foods. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is three meals a day, most of the time, but it can also be choosing to munch along.

{It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow,}

{or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful when they are fresh.}

Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. It is overeating at times; feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. It is also undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.

In short, normal eating is flexible and moderate. It varies in response to your emotions, your schedule, your hunger and your proximity to food."

-Ellyn Satter, 1987

I probably looked crazy nodding my head at every sentence. It also sounds forgiving and friendly. What do you think?


  1. I love this quote!

    It allows that 'normal' eating by definition involves some behaviors that we often consider abnormal or wrong. Sometimes I do eat a whole lot of something to the point where my stomach hurts and I regret it. Sometimes I eat less than I should to make up for the greedy times or in response to the way I'm feeling about my body. This definition accepts that these "disordered" behaviors - in small and occasional occurrences are in fact normal. It accepts that most people eat for reasons other than hunger (like enjoying the taste of something!)a lot of the time. The best part about this is that it's flexible and accepting.

    Love it.

  2. That is a beautiful quote! It says it exactly.

    - Sagan

  3. I love that take on eating! I think it's both flexible and doable, and I think I'm on my way to getting to that point, even if I'm not completely there already, and that makes me feel good, you know?

  4. What a great quote! I'm working hard to learn to be more of an intuitive eater, but it's a hard journey, especially after spending years surrounded my disordered eating in my sorority and circle of friends in college, it's hard to remember what "normal" eating is sometimes!

  5. I think that is SO great. I just LOVE it. Now, if only I could model myself after it... In order to achieve any kind of NORMAL eating I really have to THINK about it and I guess that alone makes it "not normal". I envy people who eat what they want, when they want, stop when they're full and don't overindulge. I wish I was like that, but for whatever reason, I'm not...

  6. I love this definition of normal eating because its so true!! So what if your not that hungry but the food looks good? Whats important is if you enjoyed it :)

  7. I read that in Ellie's blog, too, and I wanted to print it out in BIG words and paste it around everywhere I go! Great definition: it hits right the spot!

  8. This post reminds of how children eat- eat when hungry, stop when full, eat what they're craving, and then the event is over. Simple as that.

    Thanks for making me think! Great post.

  9. i nodded my head right along with you while reading that! i couldn't agree more.

  10. Mia- I totally agree with the whole post. The world would be a happier place if we all learned "normal eating"! No more stress about dieting- we'd have so much time on our hands to do things that really matter!!

    Great post!