Listen To Your Hunger
In these past few days, did you find yourself practicing your first Simple Strategies of "Slowing Down & Drinking More Water? We want to hear about your success! Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to your second lesson titled, “Listen to Your Hunger.” This week you are practicing 2 Simple Strategies:
1. Practice noticing your full signals.
2. Pay attention to the amount of water you’re drinking each day.
Today’s lesson is designed to help you remember to be aware of your hunger levels. We’re going to ask you to stop and talk to yourself before eating. Ask yourself, “how hungry am I?”
We’re also going to ask you to see if you can notice 1 of the 3 full signals that occur while you’re eating.
Is it time to eat?
First, let’s discuss your hunger levels.
Hunger can be ranked on a scale of 1-10.
Levels 1-2: little to no hunger.
Levels 3-4: slight hunger, but nothing serious.
Levels 5-6: noticeable hunger, but you can easily wait to eat.
Levels 7-8: it’s time to eat.This higher level is definitely hunger and not thirst. It’s probably been 3-4 hours since you last ate.
Levels 9-10: you’re so hungry you’ve become unpleasant to your family or co-workers and you contemplate chewing on your arm.
Now that you know about the hunger level scale, let’s talk about being aware of how hungry you are before you eat. Slowing down and taking time to stop and think before eating is a big part of your simple strategy this week.
For this week, every time you eat, stop and notice,
“How hungry am I?”
If you’re a level 7 or higher, then go ahead and eat.
Here’s a frequently asked question: What if it’s my lunch time and my hunger isn’t at a level 7 or higher? If you don’t have the option of waiting another 30-60 minutes, then eat lunch but don’t eat the entire meal. Eat slowly, drink a glass of water with your meal, and stop eating when you’re full. Pack up the rest of your meal for your afternoon snack. Or, save it for the following day.
Is it time to stop eating?
Next, let’s talk about knowing when it’s time to stop eating.
Have you ever eaten so much that you caught yourself saying out loud, “I wish I would’ve stopped eating sooner?”
It’s quite possible that all of us have been in that situation a few times in our lives. We missed the first two full signals, which are 80% and 100% full.
In Monday’s lesson you learned about what 80% full might feel like. It’s that subtle signal that tells you, I’m content.” You’re not stuffed, and you could easily keep eating. 80% full is a gentle sensation where your body is trying to tell you, “That’s enough for now.”
Your 100% full is a more noticeable full signal. You can tell you’re clearly full. However, if you’re in a situation like a buffet, where you don’t want to stop eating at this 100% full signal, you can and do continue eating.
It’s after that point that you get to the uncomfortably full stage where you hear yourself saying, “I wish I would have stopped eating sooner.” Or, “Why did I eat so much?”
We also want to point out that the type of food you’re eating makes a big difference in full signals. Here’s an example: It’s very possible to consume an entire bag of chips and not feel full. Compare that to a meal of lean protein, vegetables, and a healthy carbohydrate, like grilled chicken, garlic roasted broccoli, and sweet potatoes. The full signals with the grilled chicken meal will often be very noticeable.
Remember it takes at least 15-20 minutes for your brain to send you signals that you’re full.
Goal: Set a timer for 15 minutes and see if you
can make a meal last until the buzzer goes off.
To practice being able to notice your 80% full signal, set a timer for 15 minutes and eat slowly. See if you can make a meal last until the buzzer goes off. We know there’s a strong chance that your body will have sent you the 80% full signal towards the end of your timed meal.
As you learn proper portion sizes in the next few weeks, you’ll gain confidence that the meals you create will help you notice your full signals and keep you satisfied for several hours.
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