Rate your hunger

Do you ever find yourself eating because of the time of day or because others are eating? Have you ever resorted to food simply for comfort or have you ever eaten to the point of feeling miserably uncomfortable?

Learning to listen to our body and focusing on eating when you are truly hungry and then eating only until you feel satisfied or almost full can be one of the best weight loss tools around. 

Very of us have managed the art of paying attention to how our body is responding while we are eating.  Often we are too busy talking with others, looking at our computers or too absorbed in a TV show.  To learn how to manage how much you eat, listen to your body as it will tell you when you are full.  It will take some practice to make it a habit but once you get the hang of it, it can be an invaluable way taking in only the amount of calories your body needs.

Here is how to get started:

·         Stop eating 2 or 3 times during each meal to ask yourself if you are still hungry or starting to feel satisfied.

·         Feelings of satisfaction or fullness do not happen right away.  Eating slowly will help.

·         Use a hunger/fullness scale to rate your hunger level before you eat and again when you are finished eating.  If you do this each time, you will become more familiar with your eating patterns.  Move away from using your head to decide your eating patterns and towards listening to your body.

Basic Hunger/Fullness Scale

When using this scale, it is best to stay between a level 3 and a level 7 – you never want to be too hungry or too full. 

10 – Uncomfortable full or “sick” – “Thanksgiving full”

9 – Stuffed and uncomfortable

8 – Too full, somewhat uncomfortable

7 – Full, but not yet uncomfortable – hunger is gone

6 – Filling up, but still comfortable – could definitely eat more

5 – Neutral – neither hungryor full

4 – Slightly hungry, you can wait to eat, but you know you will be getting hungrier soon

3 – You are hungry and the urge to eat is strong

2 – Very hungry, irritable, or anxious – you want to eat everything in sight

1 – Starving, feeling weak, lightheaded, or other extremely uncomfortable symptoms ofhunger