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For Overeating and Weight Gain, There Are Benefits to Monitoring for Hunger and Satiety

Posted Mar 24 2013 1:19pm

Once you’ve gone down the path of overeating and weight gain you might have desensitized yourself to your feelings of hunger and fullness. The signals you pay attention to now probably have more to do with your feelings, thoughts, and external cues than your own physiological sensations of hunger and fullness. Or you could be relying on some rule about when to eat.

It helps when you are trying to lose some weight to redirect your attention to your own hunger and fullness sensations. You can do this by carefully monitoring yourself at meals, snacks, and binges (if you have them).

You can use a subjective rating scale from 0 to 5 for hunger, where 0 = not hungry at all, and 5 = ravenously hungry. First, try to see at what hunger point you are characteristically eating. You can do this by calculating your hunger rating for each eating episode. Once you have an idea of at what hunger point you generally eat, you can then try to eat when you are moderately hungry, at a 2 or 3.

For fullness, use another subjective rating scale from 0 to 5, where 0 = not full at all, and 5 = uncomfortably full. Once again, see what your general pattern is, and then try if you can to stop eating when you are moderately full, at a 2 or 3.

While most women who are dieting or on a weight-loss regimen of some kind usually monitor for kind and amount of food, monitoring for hunger and fullness is another helpful, less thought of weight-loss aid.


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