Metro Bariatrics - Amir Moazzez MD, FACS

Hunger Signals – A Few Tips On Taking Control!

Although we all have hunger signals sometimes those signals are hard to read.  Understanding hunger and listening to those signals is imperative to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Hunger signals are hard to interpret when distractions get in the way.  Distractions come in many forms including:

Essentially anytime you are eating and not focused on sitting down at the table to eat your meal there is risk of distraction occurring.

Over time, when you continue to ignore how hungry or how full you are, the ability to hear and obey those hunger signals diminish.  The key is to listen to those signals once again.

So, you may ask, how do you start to listen to these signals?  Use a hunger scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being starving and 10 being so full you feel sick.  If you rate yourself a 5 or 6 this means you are comfortable; neither too hungry nor too full.

  1. Starving, weak, dizzy
  2. Very hungry, cranky, low energy, lots of growling
  3. Pretty hungry, stomach is growling a little
  4. Starting to feel a little hungry
  5. Satisfied, neither hungry nor full
  6. A little full, pleasantly full
  7. A little uncomfortable
  8. Feeling stuffed
  9. Very uncomfortable, stomach hurts
  10. So full you feel sick

Get in touch with what “satisfied” is for you.

 The signal for satisfied and fullness takes 20-25 minutes so take time, slow down allowing the signal to be sent and listen for the signal.  A few tips to help you keep your hunger from taking control. 

Try to avoid your hunger dropping to a 1 or 2 on the scale; when hunger hits those levels we eat too fast and generally too much. 

Mild hunger is a good thing, but as you approach a 3 and 4 you should be working towards satisfying the hunger before it gets the best of you.