Hunger is our body’s way of telling us it needs food. This may sound weird, but some people are better are feeling their hunger than others. This is called “interoceptive awareness” which means having an ability to feel sensations from our body.
Test your own interoceptive awareness: Close your eyes while sitting down. Can you can feel your heartbeat? If you can, you probably have good interoceptive awareness.
WE CAN FORGET HOW TO FEEL HUNGER – WHAT?
At birth, we can all feel our hunger. For example, a baby cries when it wants food. As we get older, we’re conditioned to listen to outside signals telling us to eat instead signals from our bodies. For example:
“myfitnesspal said I’ve reached my kcal limit for the day so I shouldn’t want more food”,
“Its not lunchtime, how could I be hungry?”.
We second-guess our bodies and eventually, lose touch with our hunger signals.
FEELING HUNGER (AGAIN)
Luckily this is something that we can work on. A good place to start is by creating a scale from 0 to 10. In this scale, 0 is RAVENOUS, 10 is Christmas-dinner-full, 5 is neutral and not thinking about food.
During the day, ask yourself: Where on the scale am I now? What does a 4 feel like to me? Am I satisfied at a 7?
It’s also useful to realize that hunger is felt in many ways, not just a rumbling stomach. It may be feeling cranky, fatigued, having thoughts about food or not being able to concentrate.
NOT ANOTHER DIET….
We shouldn’t use this as a hard and fast rule to dictate when we’re “allowed” to eat. We’re always allowed to eat! If this becomes a food rule, then IE is just another diet, and we’re trying to Ditch the Diets! Instead, this can be used to help you to feel hunger approaching so that you can nourish your body and prevent arriving at the starving-eat-everything-in-sight mode which promotes binges and feeling sluggish.
Honouring our hunger is a process and it takes time to tune into the signals. This is really just a starter guide. I’ll be posting more about this over on instagram. In the meantime, good luck and take care.