Hunger Fullness scale (when & how much to eat)

The Hunger / Fullness scale helps us tune into our body’s signals to determine when and how much to eat. It gives us a better understanding of our hunger/fullness cues and can help guide us to better honor those cues.

On this scale, 1= ravenous, 5= neutral, 10=stuffed/sick (think of a Thanksgiving kind of full 🦃). Ideally, we want to aim to eat when we are at around a 3 (physically hungry) and stop when are at a 7-8 (politely full and satisfied).

I encourage you to start paying attention to what each of these numbers feels like in your body. What does ravenous feel like for you? What does stuffed feel like for you? 

The key is to stay away from the extremes on either end because if we wait until we are ravenous to eat, chances are we will overeat. So we want to find our sweet spot and avoid getting overly hungry or overly full.

The more you get to know your hunger and learn about your appetite, the easier it will be to find a way of eating that will best fuel and satisfy you. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

Am I hungriest in the morning or in the evening?

Do I prefer to have three substantial meals a day or do I like to graze on smaller meals throughout the day? 

What time of day do I feel most snacky? 

What prompts me to eat even when I’m not hungry? (Emotions like stress/boredom, habit, seeing others eat, etc).

Do I tend to eat past fullness, and if so, why? (Distracted, overly hungry before eating, etc).

For example, if you come to realize that your hunger is strongest in the morning, you can then make your breakfast more substantial and perhaps have a lighter meal for dinner.

Or let’s say you notice that you tend to overeat at dinner because you’re distracted watching TV. You can make an effort to turn off distractions and eat more mindfully so you are better able to honor your fullness levels.

PS. you are human, no one is perfect, and you’re not going to always stay within the 3-8 range. We all eat past fullness sometimes and we all eat for reasons other than physical hunger sometimes and that’s okay! Simply honor your hunger and fullness levels as best as you can. 🙏🏼

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