Could you describe your hunger sensations? What happens in your body? Do you get moody? Lose focus? Feel empty? Could you rate your hunger and fullness on a scale?
One of the most valuable exercises I do with clients is connect them to their own hunger and fullness. I love this exercise as it allows for a connection to the unique sensations and signals that your body is sending you. And cultivating these is part of becoming a more Intuitive Eater.
- Before eating simply check in and ask yourself where you’re at with your hunger level?
- Whilst eating, do you notice that hunger changing or going away?
- After eating, check in and see how you’d rate your fullness?
The below scale is a huge help in this process where 0 = over-hungry and 10 = over-full.
✨0 - 2 OVER HUNGRY which can feel like intense feelings of hunger, quite irritable and anxious
✨3 - 7 NORMAL EATING RANGE which ranges from comfortable hunger in the lower numbers where you’re ready to eat and up to comfortable fullness where you feel satisfied and content
✨8 - 10 OVER FULL which can feel unpleasant, uncomfortable and maybe painful at the upper end of the range
Been dieting for some time? Do you see foods as “good” and “bad?" If so, you may understandably find yourself frequently eating at a 0 or 1 rating. It’s essentially when we’ve ignored our hunger cues for far too long and the hunger is unbearable.
This state of over-hunger is a completely normal biological response to restriction. In short the body says, you don't feed me and I'll get louder. It also means we’re more likely when eating at this level, to eat more than we need.
Staying connected to your hunger and fullness can be challenging initially; as any new skill is; though can soon become an automatic and welcome ally in feeling comfortable and empowered around food. Save this blog post and come back to it as much as you need to. See if you notice any patterns or trends in your eating? And if you’d like to dive further into this, you can check out my various offerings.
This is exactly the type of work you do with me guiding you step-by-step. You can expect to receive more insight into the hunger and fullness rating system, encouragement and ideas around how to notice trends and what is helpful to pay attention to. And that's just one exercise! Because this exercise isn't Intuitive Eating alone. It's however a key insight to cultivate.