Rather than count calories, points or any do any other forms of laborious measuring it’s easier and more natural to listen to your body’s innate signals. We’re all born with the ability to know when we’re hungry and full; children tend to ignore food if they’re not hungry and when a child has had enough they turn their head away, they haven’t yet learnt to override the system. Mind you it doesn’t take that long when adults keep trying to force them to finish what’s in their bottle or bowl! We have this inbuilt fear of starvation.
We give our clients a framework of weekly meals, and to start with we help them to reset their eating so that they rediscover natural pleasant hunger (not hanger!), then we coach them to eat intuitively. It’s our aim that when people leave fitnaturally they can eat without counting anything. No number crunching at all. They can simply enjoy eating food. We do a gentle ‘reset’ because so many people’s hunger and fullness systems have been blown apart by eating lots of fast release foods, so creating a blood sugar roller coaster; or they’ve simply lost touch with natural physiological feelings. It’s a delicious reset that involves adding foods to the diet, not eliminating them, at the same time as living life happily between meals.
How to use the hunger and fullness scale
Are you hungry?
Each time you get the urge to eat something, stop for a few seconds and explore your hunger. Where does it come on the scale? About a 3 is a good place to be eating. Of course there’ll be times when you eat at other points on the scale, thats life, but in the main it’s good to wait until you’re a 3. If you feel like eating at a 4 or 5 think why that might be. Could it be habit, stress, boredom, emotion or anything else that’s making food seem like the answer. Or simply love of food! It’s great to love food, food is gorgeous, just if you find yourself regularly overeating and that feels like a problem to you then it’s worth having a bit of a checkpoint.
You might also enjoy our blog post on peaceful, easy eating.
Are you full?
Similarly, when you’re actually eating stop and take a mental note of how you feel now and then. It’s all too easy to motor through food without registering how much you’ve eaten; then you can end up overfull and uncomfortable. It feels nice to stop at about a 7, comfortably full. You can always have something else a bit later if you get properly hungry again. Once again, most of us eat ’til bursting now and again, and enjoy it, but if it’s a regular thing it may not be so good for your health.
Restore your balance
Once you’ve got used to consciously checking in with your body for a while you’ll find it comes back naturally, without you thinking. You’ll be happy to wait until you need to eat, and happy to stop eating when you’ve had enough. No more numbers!