The Hunger and Satiety Scale
Cutting down on your food intake can be a difficult task, as many of us have experienced. You may feel unsatisfied, “hungry”, or just not full. But what really is hunger? And why must we feel “full”? Typically, the beginning of any new diet is accompanied by the above feelings and sticking to it becomes hard. This is usually just a stage and can be overcome by listening to your body’s cues. Use the scale below to truly understand what your body is telling you. Start to really understand if it is true hunger you feel vs. emotional hunger, hunger from boredom, etc. Your body also has to become accustomed to not feeling as full as it may be used to. Use the scale below and assign yourself a number before and after you eat. Your ultimate aim is to most of the time eat when your body tells you (at “2”) and stop when your body tells you (at “5”).
0. Weak with hunger. You are so hungry that you may not even feel it, but rather be head-achy and faint.
1. Famished. Too hungry. This is the fist-banging stage when you’ll eat anything.
2. Hungry. The perfect time to eat, when the food tastes delicious, but you’re not so hungry that you’re indiscriminate.
3. Mildly hungry. Something light would suffice, or you could stand to wait another hour for the desire to develop more fully.
4. On the way to being satisfied. During a meal, you are in the pleasant stage of enjoying the food but you are not yet satisfied.
5. Satisfied. The perfect time (according to your stomach) to stop eating. You are sated.
6. A little fuller than “satisfied.” A few bites past “5,” due to the momentum of eating. The food seems less delicious, more plastic.
7. Very full. Beginning to be uncomfortable.
8. Painfully full; “thanksgiving full”
9. And so on.