We already talked about how intuitive eating is all about learning to tap into your body’s own cues … but if it has been a while since you’ve tuned into them, that can take a little practice.
I’ve come up with a Hunger Scale that I thought might be helpful! It’s adapted from one used by the Derbyshire Healthy Futures Service in England.
It helps you rate (on a scale from 1-10) how you’re feeling on the hunger/fullness scale.
- You’re beyond hungry. You feel absolutely ravenous, might feel light-headed or headachey, and your body is weak.
- Uncomfortably hungry (or “hangry”). You’re grouchy and might feel a little tired.
- You want to eat and your stomach feels empty.
- You are thinking about food and starting to feel hungry.
- You’ve eaten enough food to stop the hungry feeling, and your mood is good.
- You’re satisfied and feeling full.
- Your body is full but your mind wants to eat more, so you take a few extra bites.
- After taking a few “extra” bites, you begin not to feel as well. You begin to regret your decision. You know you should probably stop eating.
- You keep eating, and with even more food, you feel bloated, tired, and uncomfortable.
- You STILL continue to eat. You might be sweating, your heart pounding, and you feel miserable.
Most people feel best when they stick within the 3-6 range. Here’s the scale:
One of the things I like about this scale is that it’s relatable. I definitely have been everywhere on that scale at one point or another.
Here’s why it matters …
- When you get too hungry, it sets you up to overeat … and when you overeat, you feel tired, sick, and tempted to skip meals. It can turn into a yo-yo cycle.
- Finding your sweet spot is a big part of intuitive eating.
It might take a little practice … but it’s definitely worth it!
How hungry do you get before you eat – and how “full” do you feel before you stop? It can take some retraining to live within the 3-6 range, but it’s definitely worth the effort! 🙂
Have a great day!
Sara Karman; Owner