Are You Eating To Please?

Do you eat to please others? We see this all the time with our clients, who despite good intentions find themselves either overeating or giving in to foods that may not normally eat simply because they can’t say “no thanks” or don’t want to draw attention to themselves by looking like a party pooper. Not sure if you fall into this category? See if you recognize yourself in one or more of the following situations:

  • You are out with friends or work associates and you realize you are full, but the people around you are still eating . . . so you keep eating.

  • You are at a friend or relatives house for dinner and you feel as if you are being rude by not finishing the dessert you are given . . . so you eat the whole thing.

  • You are self conscious that others will think you are wasting food (or you believe this yourself) . . . so you clean your plate.

Get the picture? Rather than listening to your body’s signals and stopping at the appropriate time, you wind up overeating instead. Not only does this ask a lot of your digestive system, you are also not giving your body the respect it deserves.

Let’s flip the above situations around. Take a step back and notice how you feel viewing these scenarios through a different lens:

  • You are out with coworkers and while everyone else continues to eat, one coworker has stopped but is still fully participating in the conversation and enjoying herself.

  • You have company over for dinner and one guest leaves some food on her plate.

  • When out at a restaurant, you notice that a friend does not finish the food on her plate and allows the waitress to take the food away (and put it in the trash), or she asks for a container to take the leftovers home with her.

Feel any different? Are you judging your friends for not overstuffing themselves? We are guessing the answer is NO. Here’s the thing: you need to stop worrying so much about what people think – especially to the amount that it affects your health. Get past this obstacle and see how much easier it becomes to regulate your intake of food. Here are some strategies and motivating thoughts to keep in your toolbox:

Don’t be afraid to be honest. The simple statements of “I’m not hungry,” “I’ve had enough,” or “I’m trying to eat healthier” can work just fine. Practice this before you leave the house.

Remember, you are in control. If you wind up with a piece of pie, a bowl of chips, a bread basket, or leftover food in front of you, remember that you’re in control. Take a deep breath. You can always set the fork down, keep your fingers in your lap, or simply eat just a small portion. Most importantly, if you have room and you want to partake, go right ahead! Give yourself permission! Just be sure to eat slowly and enjoy every bite. AND, make sure it’s YOU driving the decision, not pressure from the outside.

It’s your body. What you put into your body matters. If the choice is between “wasting” food (or “waisting” it!), remind yourself that you don’t need to be a human garbage can. In lieu of leaving the table feeling stuffed and uncomfortable, feel good about the decision that you are taking care of your body, not abusing it.

Do you eat to please? We’d love to hear from you. Share your comments with us!

stephanie goodman and jane schwartz


Jane and Stephanie, creators of The Simply Nourished Solution™, are nutritionists who help women over 50 go from overweight, frustrated, and inflamed to lighter and healthier so they can be more active, feel good in their bodies, and live the second half of life with energy and confidence. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods but powerful habit and mindset shifts.


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