Eating as Much as You Need

To be able to trust your body to help you with what and how much you eat, you must help it. You must have structure. Whether there are one or ten people in your family, have meals with food you enjoy, and have sit-down snacks between times if you need them.

You will eat as much as you need of a variety of food if you:

  • Feed yourself at more-or-less set times.
  • Go to some trouble to make food taste good.
  • Eat often enough so you can go to the table hungry but not starved.
  • Take the time to tune in and enjoy your food.

On the other hand, you won't do a good job with what and how much you eat if you:

  • Don’t take feeding yourself seriously.
  • Grab food when you happen to think about it or when hunger drives you to it.
  • Snack and nibble instead of taking time to feed yourself.
  • Try not to eat as much as you are hungry for.

For more about Competent Eating (and for research backing up this advice), see Ellyn Satter's Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: How to Eat, How to Raise Good Eaters, How to Cook, Kelcy Press, 2008. Also see to purchase books and to review other resources.

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©2016 by Ellyn Satter published at You may reproduce this article if you don't charge for it or change it in any way and if you do include the for more about and copyright statements.