Very often people who are watching their weight will say “I always feel hungry!” , however, many people think they are hungry when actually, they may experience different emotions and feeling stressed, excited or scared, sad or happy, but more often they are just bored. It’s normal to occasionally eat when we aren’t really hungry. People who eat in response to feelings or emotions may have a hard time stopping, and end up overeating and, as a result, put on weight. Some people eat in response to physical cues, such as seeing an ad on television for a juicy fast-food burger or driving past a bakery and smelling freshly baked bread.
To help you gain better control of your eating and to lessen the chances of what is called “mindless” eating, try to use tool, with called the Hunger Scale. Here’s how it works:
Hunger scale ranks your hunger from number 1 to 10, from number 1 with being “starving” and 10 being “stuffed”. Before you start to eat try to rank your hunger. Try not to wait till number 1 (Starving, Ravenous) or number 2 (Uncomfortably Hungry) to start eating. At this point any rational desires for healthy, low-calorie-dense foods will be overwhelmed by cravings for calorie-dense quick and unhealthy food. Start eating at number 3 (Very Hungry – “I’m ready to eat now.”). You want to feel some hunger pangs but still have control over what you will eat.
Try to eat slowly and savour every bite, halfway through your meal, rank your hunger again using the same scale of numbers 1 to 10. It takes about 20 minutes after you’ve eaten for your brain’s satiety signals to get going. If you get up from the table when you’re close to full, 20 minutes later you will feel full, but not overly.
Stop eating at number 5 or 6 (Satisfied and Light — “I could eat more but…”). You could eat more, but if you did, you’d lose that lovely feeling of lightness and likely end up bloated.
Once again, don’t wait till you’re starving, irritable, dizzy. If you do, your next steps will likely be steps away from your health and weight loss goals.
The baseline is, try to be in control of your hunger and don’t let hunger to control you!
Don’t Starve, and Don’t Stuff- and Stay Healthy!
Good luck to all!