Learning to feel your fullness is an important part of eating the amount of food that is right for you as a unique individual.
Many people mistakenly see Intuitive Eating as a hunger and fullness diet. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Recognizing and honoring your hunger is important, but understanding when you’ve reached adequate fullness is also important.
It’s quite amazing how our bodies are designed to send us hunger signals when it needs more energy/nutrients, and then also give us signals to tell us when it’s full. Much like the gas/petrol pump when the handle clicks and shuts off the flow of fuel when the tank is full before it overflows.
Dieting disconnects us from these signals.
I often use a hunger and fullness scale with clients. It helps them learn to identify different levels of hunger and fullness and understand how each level makes THEM feel. CLICK HERE to download it.
It’s quite amazing when people start to really pay attention to these signals. Often, they realize they only recognize when they’re stuffed and when they’re ravenous.
Fullness manifests itself in different ways for different people. There is a clear sign when you’re very full and your pants are tighter, but there are also more subtle signs that you’re approaching fullness including a change in the taste of the foods you’re eating.
Try it sometime. While you’re eating, take note of your level of hunger, the flavors, smells, textures, temperature, and how enjoyable the food is. Pause in the middle of the meal and check back in with yourself again taking note of the flavors, textures, smells, etc. How have the sensations changed? In particular, how are you feeling as far as fullness? Comfortable? Not quite there? Approaching uncomfortable?
While this exercise is not something you would do every meal for the rest of your life, it can be a great tool to use early on as you begin to reconnect with your hunger and fullness signals. It’s a great way to discover how YOUR body communicates with your brain, but also, what is most pleasant for you.
Next, we’ll talk about coping with your emotions with kindness and in ways that don’t always involve food. Click here.