The Hunger Scale is a form of measurement from one – ten. If you think about one as being in an extreme amount of hunger you would feel dizzy, tired, lethargic and sick. You’ve gone far too long without eating any food. Now on the opposite end of the scale, you’re at a ten, you feel stuffed, like you’re going to throw up. You’ve eaten way too much food.
So when we’re eating food, we want to try and stay in the sweet spot of this scale, anywhere from a three – seven. This means that we eat when we start to feel hungry, and stop eating when we feel satisfied.
So how does the Hunger Scale help us lose weight? Simply put, if we let ourselves go to a ‘one’ on the scale, chances are that we are going to eat anything and everything when we finally get the chance to eat. We’re going to be craving energy dense foods, and we’re probably going to overeat to overcompensate for that feeling of being really hungry. This leads to an over-consumption of calories, overtime leading to weight gain.
On the opposite end of the scale, overeating to the point of feeling sick and wanting to throw up is an obvious sign that we have consumed too many calories than your body can handle. Eating an excessive amount of food frequently will lead to weight gain if those calories are not required for energy by the body.
So how can you keep yourself in the ‘sweet spot’ of the Hunger Scale? Firstly, it is important to head to work each day prepared with your snacks and meals. This will help keep you satisfied through the day, and less likely to reach for the chocolates at 3pm.
Most importantly, learn to be mindful of how you are feeling, try not to ignore your hunger or fullness cues. By responding to these cues, you will be less likely to under or over-eat at each meal. By eating slowly, undistracted and mindfully we are more likely to stay within the ‘sweet spot’ of the scale.