It seems like an easy concept, eating when hungry, but for most of us we have trained ourselves to ignore hunger cues and eat when its convenient or when we are stressed out. After eating this way for a long time, it takes time and practice to become attuned to hunger signals.
There are a couple of ways to retrain your body to associate eating and hunger together. Initially you will need to create a reasonable schedule for eating your meals, which will train your body to expect food at certain times of the day. Eventually your body will respond, but eating in between set times can throw the body off.
The second way is to spend a few days only eating when you’re hungry. During these days, it will be extra important to exercise and drink plenty of water to keep up energy levels.
It will be important to grade your hunger throughout the day to figure out when you are hungry. There is a scale from 1-10 that will help with this exercise:
1: Very, very hungry
2: Hungry, just past time to eat
3: Time to eat
4: Feeling just slightly empty
5: Satisfied after a light meal or snack
6: Full after a moderate meal
8: Stomach feeling distended
9: Too full
10: Thanksgiving Day stuffed
Some claim they never feel hungry and eat only because it’s a normal mealtime or because they see food on advertisements. If you aren’t hungry when it’s time to eat, try eating a lighter meal or a smaller serving and then expect to be hungry for a snack later on.
This is a technique that will assist in changing your lifestyle and controlling your weight once and for all. Schedules do often rule when we eat so learning subtle differences on the scale will help control portion size.