Intuitive Eating is a nutrition philosophy that focuses on listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Intuitive Eating focuses on forming a healthy relationship with food and your body.
One tool commonly used in Intuitive Eating is the hunger scale. The hunger scale is a way of assessing your level of hunger on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being ravenous and 10 being uncomfortably full. By checking in with yourself throughout the day and rating your level of hunger, you can become more attuned to your body’s needs and make better decisions about when and what to eat.
Here’s how to use the hunger scale:
1. Rate your hunger
Take a moment to check in with your body and rate your level of hunger on a scale of 1 to 10. Be honest with yourself and try to avoid letting external factors (like the time of day or social expectations) influence your rating.
2. Decide whether to eat
Based on your level of hunger, decide whether it’s time to eat or not. If you’re at a 3 or lower on the hunger scale, it’s a good idea to eat something to fuel your body. If you’re at a 7 or higher, it may be better to wait until you’re a little more hungry before eating.
3. Choose what to eat
Once you’ve decided to eat, use your hunger and fullness cues to guide your food choices. If you’re at a 3 or 4 on the hunger scale, choose a balanced meal with a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. If you’re at a 7 or 8, opt for a lighter meal or snack that will satisfy your hunger without leaving you feeling overly full.
4. Check in with yourself
As you eat, continue to check in with your body and assess your level of fullness. Stop eating when you’re comfortably full (around a 6 on the hunger scale) and save any leftovers for later.
By using the hunger scale and practicing Intuitive Eating, you can develop a healthier relationship with food and your body. Remember to be patient with yourself and trust that your body knows what it needs.