Friday, February 4, 2011

Back to basics -- Lucky Number 7

So...the magic number 7.

Yesterday, I said that 7 is the trickiest but possibly the most useful number on the scale. Here is why...

When you are physically hungry and start to eat, there is a space in time when you have eaten enough calories that the physical hunger is gone but you have no sense of fullness.

A good example of this is if you have ever run home to pick up the kids before heading out to some kind of kid activity and grabbed an apple off the counter. Before you start eating, you are at a level 3. You eat the apple (one of the smaller apples not the ones the size as your head)and when you are done, you are no longer hungry -- but you have no sense of fullness either. The reason you stopped eating was probably because the apple was gone -- had there been more, chances are you would have eaten more. But there wasn't, so you didn't.

Maybe you haven't ever paid attention to what that feels like but trust me -- it is possible, as you are eating a meal, to notice that you are no longer physically hungry and not full either.

The reason it is helpful to recognize a 7 is that if you are eating something that has no value to you (for me, an example is boxed mac and cheese -- gross but it takes care of the hunger). I do not want to spend my precious, hard-earned calories on boxed mac and cheese -- sometimes, it is necessary to eat it (if the kids cook it)to get rid of the hunger -- but I don't want to fill up on it!

Recognizing when hunger is gone, gives you one more opportunity to stop eating if the goal is just to get rid of the hunger.

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