The Hunger Scale – Experience Lightness of Being

Lightness of being feels so good and you can experience more of it. One way I am lightening up is by eating less using the Hunger Scale. It’s a simple tool to connect more deeply to our body by feeling our hunger and fullness.

Summer is a time of light and energy and I have been love it. Recently I’ve experienced a profound lightness of being in meditation and I want more of that. Throughout the day I say to myself “lighten up.” There is much chaos in our world right now and it’s easy for me to slip into how heavy it all is, but we don’t have to. Life is so much better when we feel light and free.

Lightness of being means being in flow, seeing the good in our life and appreciating it. It’s also welcoming the challenges knowing they are leading us to a higher state of awareness, to make life more wonderful than it’s been before.

Lightness is about being in the present moment, not thinking about the past or worrying about the future. When we’re present, we have more clarity, we’re more relaxed.

I love lightness of being and I want to experience more of it.

One way I am lightening up by eating less.

 

Now I’m not a person who is into dieting or deprivation. But I noticed if I eat less, by that I mean only until I’m 75% full, I actually feel better. When I eat a little less, I feel lighter and have more energy.  My intention is to eat until I’m satisfied but not too full.  For me that full feeling is a bit heavy. You know how you feel after Thanksgiving dinner, it’s really heavy right?

What has helped me is noticing how hungry and full I feel.

When you pay attention to signals from your body, you’ll get more information because you’re listening.

Your hunger and fullness cues are like a good friend communicating with you about what your body needs. By listening to the cues you’ll always know when you like to start and stop eating. You’ll start trusting your body more.

The simple act of tuning into what your body feels like at various points throughout the day will help you better understand what different levels of hunger and fullness are like for you. One way you can do this is with the hunger and fullness scale. As you do you’ll begin to notice what level makes you feel light and free!

The Hunger Scale

  1. Ravenous, starving, feeling weak
  2. Extremely hungry, uncomfortable emptiness in your stomach

If your hunger lands from 1 – 2, it’s easy to overeat without even being aware of what you’re doing when you get this hungry. Carry snacks with you and plan ahead so that you don’t feel this way often. 

  1. Hungry, wanting to eat, needing energy
  2. I could eat, maybe a little hungry
  3. Neutral, comfortable, not hungry or full

At level 3-4 you are hungry and food sounds great. You have more awareness of your food than you do from 1 – 2. In this part of the scale you can really enjoy eating, savoring every bite. It’s best to eat until you feel good, it may be a 6 or 7.

  1. Slightly full, and I’ve had enough
  2. Satisfied, pleasantly full, don’t need to eat more

Level 8-10 is the “I’m full and should stop eating” section of the Hunger Scale. If you find yourself poking around the fridge, ask yourself “what is it that I really need?” Maybe you are tired, bored, procrastinating about something but you don’t need to eat. Sit down, take a few deep breaths and feel your body, let it guide you to what you really want. Ask “what can I do right now to soothe myself or satisfy myself?”

  1. Stuffed, a few too many bites
  2. Uncomfortably full, bloated you may need to unbutton your pants
  3. So full you have to lie down and you never want to eat again

Eating food with lots of fiber is an ideal way to feel full and satisfied.  Also, remember to slow down – it takes at least 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that you are full.  So chew well and slowly, and savor every bite.

This week keep track of your hunger level when you eat.  Simply make a note, a number from 1 – 10 (using the Hunger Scale) before eating each meal or snack. Your body may gift you with some insights as you begin listening to it and trusting it.

Here is a link to a printable handout of the Hunger Scale.

If you feel like you don’t know what number your hunger is, guess.  Ask if I did know, what would it be?

I’ve discovered I like the feeling of being hungry and don’t want to eat until I’m at a 3.  I’ve also discovered I feel lighter overall with more energy when I stop eating at a 6.  But like I said we’re all different.  Play around with it and see what is comfortable for you.

Most of all have fun with it, be playful. Life is meant to be fun. Lightness of being brings more fun into our life.

Here are a few light delicious light recipes for you to enjoy:

Eggplant Rollatini with Grilled Tomato Sauce

Easy Blueberry Compote

Cauliflower Buddha Bowl

Please leave me a comment and let me know if you too enjoy lightness of being.

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