Let's take a look together at the hunger scale. This is a tool you can use to help you identify your physical hunger cues and be able to respond to your hunger cues in a loving and compassionate way.
If we've been caught in the restrictive dieting pattern, most often we've let ourself get to the point of ravenous or even starving. At that point where we're hangry, upset, uncomfortable. We might be having a headache, we might feel irritable, we might feel even lightheaded or just a general sense of not feeling well.
On the other hand, those of us who have binged can experience the bloated, stuffed, bloated or even nauseous feeling of having eaten too much. What we want to do is set an intention of how we want to feel when we're done eating and to begin to eat at the first signs of hunger.
That would be around the sign of hungry or even neutral before we get to the growling, rumbling, ravenous or starving mode and not when we're full or stuffed already or not even when we're really satisfied.
By doing so, our body will more likely be inclined to not overeat, will enjoy the process of eating more because we're not ravenous and we're more likely to fuel our bodies with food that is healthy for us.
Use the scale as a visual tool to help you understand where your hunger gauge is before you begin to eat and set the intention of how you want to feel when you're done eating before you begin to eat. Remember, it takes our body and brain about 20 minutes to realize that we are eating, that we are fueling our body.
Allow yourself to begin to eat when you are feeling hungry. By doing so, you'll set the stage for an opportunity to be able to eat slower, to eat more mindfully, to have more appreciation of where your food came from and how it arrived on your plate.
Remember, Mindful Eating is a practice. Use the hunger scale to help you determine where you are on the gauge of hunger and fullness. Use this visual tool to help you remember to set intention of how you want to feel when you're done eating before you start to eat.