The Hunger Scale
It can also be helpful to rate your hunger on a scale --
- 1 -- just starting to notice hunger
- 10 -- starving and willing to do anything for some food!
So a "1" is very subtle. (Again, tune into what that actually feels like for you individually.)
When you reach a “2" on the scale, it is a good time to start planning for when you will eat next, so that by the time you reach a “5” or "6"on your hunger scale, you are actually eating.
It may seem counterintuitive to eat before you get higher on the scale. ("Don’t I want to only eat when I’m REALLY hungry???") But when we allow ourselves to get overly hungry, it limits our choices.
Our blood sugar may plummet and our energy level can dramatically drop. And in that state, it is listen to what will truly nourish our body, we just eat whatever we can find to satisfy that uncontrollable hungry. At that point, you just wants quick, easy energy. We are much more likely to overeat or to make less nourishing and satisfying decisions when we are overly hungry.
So this week before you eat, take a few seconds to tune into what your unique physical hunger sensations feel like and when you get to a “2” on your personal hunger scale, start planning your next meal or snack and start eating when you get to a “5”or “6.”
You will start to recognize when you are normally hungry throughout the day and then you can plan ahead to have a smart snack ready to go. Check here for great snack ideas.
If you notice that you aren’t experiencing actually physical hunger, but the food cravings are still there, you may be experiencing emotional hunger. For ideas on how to approach emotional hunger, you might start here, here, and here.