Successfully paying attention to your appetite and honoring what you body needs will result in you being more full and satisfied.  However, it may be hard to tell fullness from being stuffed. Satisfaction versus being full. When you have been out of touch with your eating for so long it may not come naturally.

Take baby steps. Learning to be attuned to your eating isn’t easy.

First, start with asking yourself what you are interested in eating. If you don’t know start with something like. Am I hungry for something hot, cold, crunch, or soft? This is important because your body will tell you what it needs.

Eating when you are hungry, but not starving is an important step. Going too long without eating can result in food insecurity and then result in you feeling overly full after eating. Sometimes this means sticking to a schedule. Schedules are a great way to get started because it gives you a time frame to check in with yourself and your body.

When it is time to eat try asking yourself how hungry you are:

How Hungry Am I?

1. I can’t think straight and can’t stop thinking about eaing. I think I should eat, but feel incapable of making a decision about what to eat and how to take care of myself. Just lie down and do nothing.

2. Very low energy, irritable, cranky, anxious. Snapping at people. Shaky. Difficulty concentrating. My stomach rumbling and feels empty.

3. May be preoccupied with my thinking about food. Energy lagging. Can’t concentrate. Slightly empty feeling in my stomach, but not uncomfortable.

4. Starting to think about food. Light in my body. Energized

Then, when you are done eating, check in with yourself again.

How Full and Satisfied Am I?

1. Comfortable. Energized

2. Feel a little heaviness in my stomach. A little tired.

3. Feel a little stuffed and heavy in my body. Lethargic or want to nap. Generally low energy.

4. Stuffed and heavy in my body. Lethargic and very low energy.

5. Uncomfortable, bloated. Tired. Want to sleep.

6. Whoops, it really hurts. Stuffed to the gills. Want to lie down.

When you really begin to check in with yourself you will start to notice how you feel before and after you eat it. This information can give you a lot to think about and learn from. Are you waiting too long to eat and you are starving? Are you eating when you aren’t hungry yet? In the beginning it may take a conscience effort to to identify your sweet spot where is most comfortable for you to be with hungry and fullness.

Truthfully, there really is no wrong answer. It only matters how it makes you feel.

Try it out! Today, before your next meal stop and evaluate how hungry your feel on the scale of 1-4. Then when you are done eating jot down how you felt after based on the scale of 1-6.

What could you change next time? You may have to do this for a few days. The more you get used to checking in with your body the better you’ll get at listening to it!

Tell me, what did you notice when you tried this?