Why is it that when we “go on a diet,” there is an unwritten expectation to be hungry? Most diets call for restrictions, lowered calories and an associated feeling of gut-gnawing hunger.
The Fat-Burning Machine eating plan is not like most diets. I don’t want you to be hungry, I want you to feel satisfied. That satisfaction comes from the foods you eat, how satisfied they make you feel and how those foods affect your hormones. One way to begin to re-calibrate your thoughts about hunger is to use a hunger scale.
- MISERABLY FULL: This is way beyond full. You feel physically miserable and ill. You feel like you never want to see food again.
- BLOATED: You ate more than “a few more bites.” Now you feel heavy, tired and bloated. This often happens at special occasion meals, where you justify eating as if there will never, ever be a chance to enjoy these foods again.
- STUFFED: Now you are uncomfortable. You tell yourself you shouldn’t have had those extra bites – but you did.
- OVERFULL: Your body is giving you signals that it is full and satisfied, but your eyes and mind are wanting “just a few more bites.”
- SATISFIED: You have enough fuel in your tank to feel good and accomplish everything you want to do. It is easy to concentrate and be active. You’re not feeling the need to eat something else.
- FEELING FUELED AND NEUTRAL: You feel physically and psychologically satisfied.
- A LITTLE HUNGRY: You’re starting to think about food and your body is signaling that you may want to eat soon.
- HUNGRY: You feel that your stomach is empty and you have a strong urge to eat.
- ON THE EDGE: You feel very hungry, famished, low energy and cranky. Your stomach is growling. Any tasks that require concentration take twice as long to accomplish. You might even feel uncoordinated.
- BEYOND HUNGRY: At this point, you are beyond feeling hungry, you may no longer feel hungry at all. But, you feel terrible and extremely irritable. It is hard to concentrate and you may feel an urge to just lie down. Hangry.
Most people feel best when their hunger ranking is between 5 and 7. Hunger feelings on either side of this mid-range are not preferable. If you are too hungry, it is easy to make poor decisions about food – not to mention it’s miserable.
When you’ve overeaten, you are miserable. The misery is both physical and emotional.
Try ranking your hunger today and tomorrow. Jot down the numbers on a couple of sheets of paper where you can reflect on how hungry you were before you ate something. As you collect rankings over a day or two, you may notice patterns that emerge. Once you see patterns, it is easier for us to design strategies to minimize your trouble times – or maybe trouble foods.
Let me know what you discover. I can help.