You’ve probably heard this… (and I may even be guilty of saying it) - “listen to your body.”
But what does that ACTUALLY mean?
I get it, you’re thinking all my body asks for is pizza and deep-fried Oreos.
You’re not alone. I think that so many people have disconnected from their bodies and their hunger cues in our fast-paced society which gives very little time to just be AND through years of chronic dieting which numbs hunger signals and the ability to recognize fullness.
I’m guilty too. I was raised to be a workaholic and I’ve tried countless diets throughout the years with very little regard to what was actually happening in my body.
BUT, you can reconnect with your body, so that you are able to recognize and respond to hunger and fullness cues appropriately.
First off, Hunger Cues may include:
feeling of emptiness in the stomach
gurgling, rumbling, or growling in stomach
dizziness, faintness, or light-headedness
irritability or easily agitated
lack of concentration
Learn to Listen to your body by...
Keeping an Eating Behaviours Journal. Track what you eat, what you were thinking & doing while eating, what emotion was present, the environment in which you ate, and how did you feel after eating – mentally, emotionally & physically.
Doing a Body Scan Meditation. Sit in a quiet comfortable place, close your eyes and take 6 deep belly breaths. Place your awareness on the top of your head and go all the way down to your toes, part by part. What do you notice? What do you sense? What do you feel? Don’t try and change anything, just observe.
Becoming Curious about Your Behaviours & Feelings. Ask yourself questions – What did you notice about your eating behaviours? What thought patterns are on repeat in your mind? Where did those beliefs come from? What are you feeling/sensing in your body? What triggered that emotion? When else do you remember feeling this way?
How to Follow Hunger Cues
Check-in with your body. Before each meal or snack and Rate your hunger. If 1 is stomach growling hunger where you may also feel dizzy or weak and 10 is 150% stuffed from thanksgiving dinner that its so uncomfortable that you almost feel sick. Where on the scale do you lie?
I suggest eating when you’re a 3-4 on the hunger scale. And stop eating when your 5-6 or 80% full. If you wait until you’re at a hunger level of a 1-2 then that can lead to overeating because at that stage you’re ravenous.