Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fullness scale

Yesterday, we talked about the physical sensation of hunger.  Today, we're hitting the fullness side of things.

Be warned:  Fullness assessment is trickier than hunger assessment because we have trouble admitting just how full we let ourselves get.  Remember -- NO JUDGMENT!! This isn't an indicator of what kind of a person you are!!  We're just looking for room to leave some of what we currently eat uneaten.  (That's how we're going to reduce our intake by 9 bites per day and lose .5-1 pound a week....without dieting!!)

7 No Longer Hungry
At this point you are no longer hungry but you have no sensation of anything in your stomach.

***if you think you mostly eat to a 7, I can almost guarantee your being overly optimistic in your assessment.  If you start out at a level 3 hunger, 7 is roughly 150-250 calories away.  Think about the size of a 100 calorie snack pack -- not very much volume! 

Or think of it this way, a bite of food averages 35-50 calories.  When was the last time you sat down at dinner physically hungry and only ate 5 or 6 bites.  That's roughly what it would take to get to a 7.  Most of us are eating beyond this most of the time (otherwise you wouldn't be trying to lose weight!)

8 Full
You feel the first sensations of fullness
Anytime you have any sensation of anything in your stomach you are at least an 8

 9 Very Full
Your stomach is starting to physically stretch

10 Extremely Full
There is a large enough volume to cause the stomach to feel significantly stretched

It's been my experience that when a person first starts working with me (and for myself when I first started working on my own mindfulness) that most are regularly eating to a 9 (stomach is starting to stretch) or 10 (it has actually stretched).

Thanksgiving is a 13 -- way off the scale!!  Don't use the most overeating holiday to anchor your 10 point scale!

So, today, work on figuring out what your fullness level feels like every time you get done eating.  Write it down!  I know you just want to do this exercise in your head because writing it down is such a pain -- too bad!  If you want to increase your skill level at anything, you have to do the work.

Don't be lazy -- write it down.  Once you get the scale mastered, you will have a whole new appreciation for how little you really need to eat to be satisfied (which is different than full or stuffed) and managing your weight will be that much easier.

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