A better way to think about getting seconds.

The mentality that eating less is always what we should be striving for can be deeply ingrained in some of us. This can mean going back for seconds, whether at meal or snack time, is setting you up for a guilt-ridden rest of your day.

A better way to reframe getting seconds is thinking that, “these aren’t seconds, I just didn’t get enough firsts.” As in, I didn’t get enough the first time I loaded up my plate. If we needed the same exact amount of food each day, we’d never need seconds, but since we need differing amounts of food on differing days, seconds are a normal part of life.

Reframing going back for seconds to the above, instead of staying stuck in the untrue and unhelpful mentality of “now I’m eating extra”, can be very useful for getting you to a place of finding satisfaction and fullness from food rather than deprivation and guilt.

To go in a healthier direction, you have to disrupt where your thoughts have been going. If the above is something you struggle with, asking a loved one to remind you of this by saying this out loud when you/they go back for seconds OR putting a reminder on a sticky note on your fridge could be helpful. 

This reframing is a way to nurture yourself and not your disordered eating. Have you ever thought about getting seconds in this way?


  1. Love this way of thinking about it! Another great thing about seconds is that you can take different quantities of food. I typically will take equal portions of everything for firsts to try it and see what I want, but then for seconds I like that you can adjust to your cravings, so if you want more, say pasta, your plate of seconds will reflect that. Thanks for sharing!!! 

  2. Nurture myself and not my disordered eating. I’m taking that with me! Thanks. 

  3. I love this! I don’t have any issues with going back for seconds, but I do find it annoying the way my family makes a big deal about it sometimes. They make (joking) comments like ‘wow! you’re a bottomless pit today’ or ‘gosh, how does that much food fit in your belly?!’. Even though it’s good-natured, I find it really awkward sometimes. This will be a good thing to say in response! Thanks Kylie x

  4. There are times in the evening when I eat a snack (maybe it’s a yogurt bowl, cereal, smoothie, whatever I’m craving), & then a little while later I feel hungry. So I go back & get something to satisfy me before bed. It doesn’t seem like much, but I never could’ve allowed this in my past because I already had my designated snack. Now I focus on eating to satisfaction & fullness, not arbitrary rules & portion sizes. 🙂

  5. That was really helpful, thanks a lot! I’m recovering from anorexia and I’ve been on a meal plan these past 8 months now, and in some ways I feel like inpatient treatment has “institutionalized” my behaviors a bit. Don’t get me wrong, it helped enormously and it was the only way for me to get eating consistently again, but now I have a whole lot of other rules that I picked up there, such as “no seconds” or “no less that 3-4 hours in between meals/snacks”, which are annoying me. Opposite actions all the way I guess! Thanks again for your blog <3 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *