Hunger – Fullness: Striving for satiety
Often heard at mealtimes:
“Are you full?”
“Did you eat enough?” Ah, a very different question!
“Eat your vegetables before seconds on bread/potatoes/meat.”
“No dessert unless you clean your plate. (starving children scenario)”
Add your own:________________________________________________
Do you need to eat until you’re full? Actually no, but you may want to. A “need” is necessary for life, a “want” is a desire. It’s important to distinguish the two in every choice you make. It is also important to teach children the difference between a need and a want. This is the essence of gratitude.
Tuning in to your hunger, fullness level will help you eat only what you need. The amount of food we eat becomes a habit; however our need for calories decreases as we age. So checking in before and after a meal can help you develop new portion sizes.
Use the following Hunger Scale to assess your physical need for food:
0 = Starving
10 = Thanksgiving Stuffed
Sit with a straight back, put your right hand on your stomach (left side felt just below the ribs), breath and ask yourself: “How hungry am I?”
No response: Check how long it has been since you ate a meal or snack. Physical hunger can occur every 3-5 hours during the day.
After a meal repeat the process? Do you need to stop eating sooner? Do you need to learn to leave food on the plate when your body signals satiety which is a few bites less than full – it’s just comfortable.
Slow your eating to listen and learn what your physical body is telling you. Distinguish physical cues from emotional or mental cues to eat. Then choose foods to nourish your body. You can always take more when you are truly physically hungry for more!
Eating activities to help you tune-in while eating:
· Set the table
· Turn the TV off
· Use smaller plates (8” for dinner, dessert plates for snacks)
· Use portion serving utensils (available at restaurant supply stores)
· Eat at the dining room/kitchen table
· Put your fork down between bites
· Eat Mindfully – be aware of texture, flavor, and savor each bite slowly
· Chew, chew, chew (yes, this is a good habit that aides digestion, and naturally slows us down)
· Wait 20 minutes before eating seconds
· Your ideas______________________
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