Are You Really Hungry?
You may have trouble detecting your body's natural hunger signals. The first step in becoming nutritionally fit is getting back in touch with these signals. This is about learning to trust your body and mind's inner wisdom. Your body's natural hunger signals are there; you just need to learn how to reawaken them. Using a 1-10 scale for hunger is the perfect way to get reacquainted with your body's appetite:
The Hunger Scale
- DANGER: 1 to 2
Famished: Your stomach is growling and you have a feeling of urgency bordering on panic about eating.
- 3 to 4
Hungry: You need to eat, are having hunger pangs, and can feel a hullow sensation in your stomach.
- 5 to 6
Comfortable: This is when you stop; you still feel light, but know you have had enough.
- 7 to 8
Full: You are beginning to feel slightly too full and know you have taken a bite or a few too many.
- DANGER: 9 to 10
Stuffed: You are uncomfortable, feeling bloated, and possibly nauseated.
It's simple, and you can start right now. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Now rate your hunger. Do this any time you start thinking about eating. You want to eat when you are at a 3 or a 4, and to stop when you are at a 5 or 6. You never want to allow yourself to be in the danger zones at 1 to 2 and 9 to 10. Begin using this toul simply to stimulate awareness—it is not about keeping tabs, shaming, or guilt-tripping.