Feel Good Sisterhood

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3.2 The Hunger Scale

Using the Hunger Scale to Eat the Right Amount for You


Okay. So in this video, what I want to do is I want to teach you what’s called the hunger scale. And so at this point, hopefully you’ve been starting to get familiar with how your body tells you that it’s hungry, that it’s not hungry, that you’re full, that you’re satisfied that you’re over fall, that you’re over hungry.

So all of those different. Points within the scale. All right. And so what I want to do right now is teach you how to apply that information and what to do about it. And so what I want to teach you right now is the hunger scale. So. I like using a 20 point hunger scale. So on one side we have, what’s called hungry and that’s at a negative 10.

And then on the other side, we have the positive 10, which is completely full on the hungry side. Negative 10 is so incredibly hungry that you feel like you’re gonna faint. You feel like you’re gonna die sometime soon. Very few of us have been at this point on the hunger scale. What typically happens is we feel like any source of hunger is an emergency.

And so therefore we soothe with hunger. Okay. Neutral is zero and it’s in the middle and so neutral. It’s kind of like, well, I’m not hungry. I’m not full. I’m just. Normal. Okay. And so hopefully you’re spending most of your time, most of your day in this neutral zone. And then over here on this side, we have fullness.

Fullness is like Thanksgiving day fullness. Like I have eaten so much, I feel pain. And if I have even like a sip of water, I think I’m going to puke. Okay. So this is not fun. This is not fun. We don’t want to live in the extremes. What we want to do is we actually want to live pretty close to the middle.

And what I’m going to suggest is that we want to stay in between a negative four on the hunger scale and a positive two. And so let me explain what exactly that means and why we’re doing it this way. All right. So, Okay. Oh, here’s something else. I have a a worksheet for you below, which allows you to kind of identify what your hunger signals are at each of these different points within the hunger scale.

So you may want to take that out and take a look at it and try and fill it in so that you can be more aware of what the signals are what the sensations are in your body when you are feeling those different levels of hunger and fullness. Okay. So now. This is a hunger scale. Now, if we were to take this hunger scale and flip it on its side, that’s what I’ve drawn right here.

And so what we’re going to do here is I’m going to chart out what your meal time or after your meal time might look like so that you can start to become aware of, yeah, just how you feel within a day. So here’s what we want to do. We want to stop eating at a positive two. Okay. And so that’s just past neutral.

Now, let me back up for just a second and let you know that when I started eating to the hunger scale, I had a lot of emotion around it. Feeling over full from my meals was actually a very comfortable, or I shouldn’t say comfortable, but familiar feeling for me. And so when I moved to just feeling satisfied after I ate, it was really uncomfortable emotionally for me, because I wasn’t feeling how I was used to feeling, and I really still wanted to keep eating.

And so stopping eating when I could still eat theoretically, right. Just felt really uncomfortable. And I had a lot of emotion that came up around it. So if you have this experience, Be aware that it’s totally normal.

The other thing I want to tell you is that it took me a good 18 months of practicing eating at the hunger scale in order for me to feel like I really mastered it. And so just be aware that if you don’t master it within the first few weeks, or even within this program, that’s totally fine. As long as you are committed to still trying to learn, to eat to the hunger scale, that’s all you need.

Just keep trying, what’s going to happen is one day you’re going to overeat and you’re going to be like, shit, I over ate. Why did I do that? And then you’re going to learn better. And so what’s going to happen though, is that if you’re used to overeating at your meals, Eventually that overeating is going to be a negative reinforcement and it’s going to feel really bad and you’re going to not want to do it anymore.

And so therefore you’re going to be more motivated to try to master it. Okay. So that’s all I have to say about that.

Now, what we, what this is going to look like. So what this chart is going to look like after we eat, as I mentioned. We want to stop eating at the positive two. And so the reason that we want to stop eating at the positive two, is because you’ve probably heard the phrase or the saying, or the advice that it takes 20 minutes for our stomach to send the signals up to our brain that we’ve eaten enough.

And so, I talked about this a little bit in, I think it was the carb video about what are the ways that our body feels satisfaction or satiation from eating. And so there are three main signals that our body uses in order to send the signals to our brain that we’ve had enough.

One is the stretching of the stomach lining. So because of that, we want to eat foods that are bulky. So we want to eat vegetables because vegetables tend to be large. Okay.

And then number two is we want to eat foods that are heavy because the weight of the food that’s in our stomach will also create that sensation that we’ve had enough. And so we want to eat foods that are high in water content.

Now the third piece is. We want foods that have some fat in them. So if you’ve ever eaten a lovely salad that had a squirt of lime on it or lemon and some shrimp, or maybe some. You know, lean chicken, it was probably delicious. But then after you ate it, you were like, okay, what’s next?

And in those situations you just didn’t have enough fat in your diet. And so we can’t be afraid of fat. We need to have some because it contributes to being satisfied. Okay. We can’t just have foods that are bulky. We can’t have foods that are just heavy cause like thinking about it. If you ate a whole bowl of like an enormous bowl of steamed broccoli, it would be tasty, but then after you were done, you’d be like, I still need something.

And so that’s the fat that we need. All right. And so those three things are what our body needs in order to feel satisfied with a meal.

Now what happens is it takes about 20 minutes for the hormones to travel up to our brain to tell us, Hey, we’ve eaten enough. Okay. And so hopefully if we stop eating at the number at a positive two, what happens in 20 minutes is we get to that positive.

Okay. Now, if we stop eating at a positive four, then what happens in 20 minutes is that then we become overfull. So we go up to a positive six, a positive seven, or a positive eight. And so we don’t want that. That’s overeating at that point. And so, what will happen then is after we go up to the positive four, then we’ll slowly go down and we’re going to hang out in this neutral zone for awhile.

And. You know, who knows how long it is, you know, whatever. And then what’s going to happen is we’re gonna get hungry at some point. Okay. Now what typically happens is if we ignore this initial hunger signal, our body will go back up. Okay. And so this initial little kind of blip is our negative two, and that’s kind of what I think our brain, our body and brain are sending out a signal to us saying, Hey, we’re going to need to eat soon.

Okay. And so just be aware of what that feels like. Okay. What that feels like for you, because then what’s going to happen. And for everyone it’s a little bit different, but what typically happens is we go up to neutral again and we’ll hang out there for like anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour could be longer.

And then what happens is then we go down to that negative four. I realized that this isn’t to scale here, but. This is actually where we want to eat. However, we’ve heard the advice that we don’t want to get too hungry, otherwise we’ll overeat. So here’s what we want to do.

I don’t want you to decide what you’re going to eat at this meal here. I don’t want you to decide on the spot. Oh, I’m really hungry now. What do I need to eat? I want you to decide what you’re going to eat here either. Here, here, here, here, or. The day before. Okay. So deciding ahead of time, what it is that you’re going to eat so that when you get to this point, it’s already been decided you don’t have to figure out portion size.

You don’t have to figure out if you have enough protein. If you have enough vegetables, if you have enough, any of that, it’s just going to be following the plan at that point. Okay. Now here’s the other thing that I need you to know. Well, there are a couple of things.

One is from this point where we stop eating until this point where we eat again, we want that to be about four hours.

Okay. And then the other thing that I haven’t talked about is that the reason that we don’t want to eat here has to do with something called fat adaptation. What we want to do is we want to start training our body to use the fat that’s on our body as fuel, not the food that’s in our stomach. And so what typically happens is our body would rather use the food that’s in our stomach as fuel because it’s more easily turned into energy.

And so what happens is when we eat that. Our body just takes that energy, that food that’s in our stomach and it converts it into energy for our brain for thinking and for movement and all of our other organs. Now, if we hold off and don’t feed it right away, what it’s going to do is it’s going to be like, okay. I guess I have to tap into the fat stores. And so, although I don’t ever want you to be hungry, hungry, hungry, I do want you to start to realize that hunger is not an emergency and so that you can totally handle being hungry for like 45 minutes. Totally fine. Okay. And so if you don’t feed yourself at this negative two then try to notice that your body is going to go back to normal.

And when it goes back to normal, that’s when your body starts to use the fat that’s on your body as fuel, instead of using the food, that’s in your stomach as fuel. And that’s what we want in order to lose weight. Okay. So I think that’s everything. Let me know what questions you have.

Put it into the community and I will answer them there. All right. See you in the next video. Bye.

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