If you remember last month I posted the #1 Weight Loss Tool I Give ALL My Clients. I recommend you read that article before venturing into this one which discusses how to implement that weight loss tool, AKA the hunger scale.
The concept of the hunger scale is pretty easy to understand but implementing it can be difficult for many. Even I used to struggle with stopping my food intake when I was satisfied and comfortable. Sometimes food just tastes too good to stop and other times it is just too easy to use food to deal with emotions or boredom. That is why I feel the hunger scale is rather useless for most people without some practical tips on how to implement it.
3 Strategies to Make Following a Hunger Scale Easy
- Avoid Mindless Eating: Mindless eating basically means you are not mentally aware and present while you are eating. You are either pre-occupied with the emotions you are feeling, you are distracted with an activity (TV, driving, reading, etc) or you are simply eating too quickly to even pay attention to what you are eating. When you eat mindlessly your brain doesn’t fully register the signals that your tongue and stomach are sending its way. This makes it difficult for your brain to process how much food you have eaten, the components of that food and how full you are getting. Instead the brain is focused more on the activity you are doing and less on the food you are eating.
- Practice Mindful Eating: So mindful eating is, simply put, the opposite of mindless eating. It is being mentally present and aware while eating. While it is best to always be mindful when eating I am also realistic and understand being mindful 100% of the time is a pretty high reaching goal. You might start with the meals/snacks you are most likely to overeat at. For example, if you tend to over snack in the afternoon that would be a good time of day to start practicing mindful eating. You could also start by focusing on mindful eating when you eat out. But be sure to have the to-go box ready, it will make it easier to stop when you are satisfied. Stay tuned as I have a whole blog post planned on mindful eating.
- Slow Down: Eating quickly is often habit which means it can be broken but it may take practice. It is common to eat quickly if you live a very stressed or rushed life. Even if you aren’t stressed or rushed at the moment it can be hard to turn it off when you sit down to eat. If you are stressed or rushed when you are eating then slowing down will feel nearly impossible. Which is okay if it’s only sometimes, but if you are frequently feeling stressed or rushed while you are eating then I am going to guess you need to make some fundamental changes to your schedule and start making your health a priority.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of The #1 Weight Loss Tool I give ALL my clients. I will be discussing why we want to eat when we aren’t hungry, alternatives to eating when we aren’t hungry, and the 15 minute rule.
If you are looking for a non-diet approach to living in a body you love without constantly worrying about what you eat then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free strategy session or schedule an appointment online.
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