Hunger and fullness must be two of the most questioned bodily feelings.
If I had €1 for every time I have heard people question hunger or fullness, I'd be rich!
Not sure what I mean? Have you ever said:
"I'm not sure whether I'm full yet"
"I'm full, but I have to eat more"
"You couldn't possibly be hungry!"
"You must be hungry"
"I guess I'm hungry"
"I'm kinda full"
"I could probably eat more"
It isn't that there is anything wrong with saying these things (except the comments directed at others, their hunger is none of your business), it is that we don't trust ourselves to tell us when we are hungry and full.
We question it.
But we don't question feelings of tiredness, or the need to do a wee, or almost every other bodily function- but put food into the mix and we're confused!
That's why today I'm sharing the hunger and fullness scale!
The scale itself is pretty basic, but it can really help us think about our hunger and fullness levels and ultimately help us better understand our body's signals of when to eat and when we've had enough.
I've attached a PDF of the scale here for you to download and save or print.
Here's how to use it & notes for use:
The scale goes from 0-10, with 0 being starving/empty stomach and 10 being about to burst/full as an egg.
All you have to do is sit still and think about how your tummy feels- how full or empty is it? Where would you rate your hunger or fullness on the scale of 0-10?
I recommend rating yourself on the scale before meals, halfway through and after a meal, and make note of any patterns you start to notice in your hunger and fullness levels. When do you feel most hungry or full?
Most of the time we don't go below 2-3 or above 8-9, but going above or below this is normal. If you find yourself at either extreme of the scale every day, get in touch so we can figure out why.
Remember that the scale is subjective, so all of us would place our hunger and fullness at different numbers even if we ate the same meal. It isn't a precise science, but rather a guide that will help you understand what your body already knows.
This is not a method of logging everything you ate to make a judgement on it- it is about reviewing how you feel before and after eating, to help you understand your hunger/fullness. Please remember to reflect on every meal with self-compassion and understanding. If you are struggling with this, reach out.
Why use the scale?
Understanding our hunger and fullness can help us become more in-tune with our body's needs for food and help us to understand the signals our body sends us to tell us when we are hungry/full.
Once we are attuned to the needs of our body, the better we can fulfill them. And I'm sure I don't need to tell you that when we are nourished we are happier and healthier!
If you have any questions or would like more support with understanding your hunger and fullness, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how I can support you.
Lots of love,
Little O x