Healthstyle Blog

Am I hungry for food?

Are you in tune with your body? Do you know when you’re hungry? Do you know when you are full? Do you know when to stop eating? Do you recognize any of these signals?

I use a tool called The Hunger Scale that has been very successful with my clients. The Hunger Scale is used for physical hunger as the name suggests. It starts from -10 which is starving to +ten which is stuffed and uncomfortable. Zero is neutral which means you are not hungry neither you are full. This can be compared toa fuel guage on your car, you don’t want it empty because you will have to fill it up and in your case that would mean eating a lot of food because you are extremely hungry.

The first distinction that needs to be made is the difference between the sensation of hunger and the feeling of hunger. This is very important because a hunger scale is used for physical hunger and not for an emotional need to eat.

The  sensation of hunger is a biological and physical reaction within your body. Physical hunger can be in a form of a headache, growling within the stomach or even nausea. Physical hunger starts in the body and travels to the brain. An emotional feeling of hunger can be very similar but it is harder to locate within the body. Most times emotional hunger is felt more in the chest or in the heart. It is not accompanied by a sense of lightness but more of a heavy emptiness. The emotional feeling of hunger starts in the brain and travels to the body.

The goal of the hunger scale is to teach you how to eat at minus two and stop at plus two. You should feel light after eating. I tell my clients “If you can do a few jumping jacks comfortably after eating, you are at plus two.” That won’t apply to everyone, however the objective is to feel satisfied in a comfortable, light way.

When you follow the hunger scale you will be eating more often, more likely about 5 to 6 times per day. That means you will need to plan ahead and have food available at all times. This can be a challenging tool to learn, however, if you learn it and apply it, you will begin to solve some of your weight issues. It is a hard practice because in the beginning when you stop at plus two, feelings and beliefs will surface and question “Why are you not eating more food?” However, listen to those subtle signs that your body tells you it’s time to eat. You know those signals. The signal that says “Hello, feed me” and respond by eating and +2. Try not to get to below -2 because we all know what happens when we get extremely hungry, yes, we eat whatever is in sight.

For some of my clients that require guidelines, I recommend the following, and remember even with these guidelines, it is still important to listen to the infinite wisdom provided to you by your own body.

1) Eat six small meals a day.
2) Eat a serving of carbohydrates and a serving of protein at each meal.
3) Make sure at least three of the six meals have a serving of vegetables.
4) Drink at least 64 ounces of water, which is about 8 glasses of water per day. Drinking a glass of water every 2-3 hours is a good way to get 64 ounces.

This is how I eat and I found that it provides me with a steady stream of energy throughout the day, keeps me within the range on the hunger scale and is in line with my body’s wisdom. Try this out!

If you need further information on the hunger scale or information about my program, contact me by email on

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