I also discussed this briefly in another segment on Daytime [HERE]. There appears to be much interest in mindful eating lately. As a dietitian who works in media, I feel it is important to stay up-to-date on current nutrition and food issues and trends. Therefore, have covered this topic diligently :)
But first, let’s talk about hunger.
There are 3 Types of Hunger
Ex. Walking by the bakery – that fresh baked bread looks and smells DELICIOUS, and you end up buying and eating it.
Head Hunger – Hunger that comes from emotional or mental thoughts and feelings. There are often learned behaviours around food and eating. For example, snacking due to boredom, or eating because we are stressed.
Stomach Hunger – Physical hunger. This is real hunger, that comes from below the neck. Side effects include tiredness and low energy. These feelings are signs that we need energy and “gas” to fill our tank to keep us going.
The Hunger Scale
Think of The Hunger Scale, as a range:
0 = very hungry
2 = hungry
4 = somewhat hungry
6 = slightly full
8 = full
10 = uncomfortably full
A happy place to stop eating is at 8. Therefore, when you are about 80% full.
Remember, this feeling would be different for everyone.
With mindful eating, what we want to avoid is waiting until we are at a 0, which is very hungry. This is when we are most likely to overeat until we are at a 10 and are uncomfortably full.
For example, try to eat when you are at 2 or 20%. This will help avoid getting to 10 having the guilt that comes with it.
Mindful eating takes practice.
This will take some time and practice to get to where you want to be. It will take a bit of trial and error. Therefore, next time you eat, try to focus on your own feelings of hunger and fullness.
For more information, check out the Centre for Mindful Eating!