Ep #6: Building Awareness of Your Eating Habits & The Hunger Scale

In today’s episode I’m introducing you to the 1-on-1 framework that I use with new clients, beginning with step one: awareness. Last week, we talked about the confusion that makes you question what to eat, how to track your progress, and other hangups that can keep you from losing weight.

Now we’re focusing on building awareness: of what you’re eating; why you’re eating it; how your body is feeling; and how hungry you really are. It might sound like a lot when you read that list, but it’s very simple to put in practice, and you can start today!

I talk about two big tools in this episode: the food journal and the hunger scale. I’m sure you’ve heard of the food journal before, but the hunger scale might be new to you. They are both cornerstones of sustainable, healthy eating and I think you’ll find you benefit from them almost right away.

I also touch on why it’s so important to get back in touch with your body’s natural satiety responses, even if that means tweaking your eating schedule.

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • Why a food journal is one of the most effective tools you can use for building awareness of your eating habits.
  • How to use the hunger scale and understand how your body feels before and after you eat.
  • The scientific reasons why snacking all day isn’t good for your health & makes it harder to lose weight (hint: it has to do with insulin!).
  • How I got over the mental block of not eating dinner with my family, even though I knew I had to stop eating when I wasn’t hungry.
  • Why you shouldn’t rely on your memory to tell you what you have and haven’t been eating.

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Showing 5 comments
  • Kelli

    Just wanted to say that adding the hunger scale has been a game changer for me! I’m a psychiatrist in training, so the thought model is not new to me. And I’m fairly self-aware of my automatic thoughts around food as a result. Also, I’ve experimented with fasting for spiritual reasons in the past, and noticed it always “reset” my awareness of feeling actual hunger, so I’ve used that at times to get me back on track. But for some reason, I never thought to actually track of my level of hunger on a daily basis, before and after every meal. It’s really opened my eyes! Because of this, I’ve realized that I probably don’t eat enough fat at lunch, because I never really get full enough. Then, I’m “starving” during my drive home from work, which are typically my weakest moments. Also I’ve noticed it gives me an easy “out” to avoid eating when I’m not hungry. I can just tell myself (or my husband ha!) that I’m not at a -4, so I’m not going to eat yet. Such a little thing, but so helpful! Thanks for sharing!

    • Katrina

      That’s so great Kelli! The hunger scale is seriously amazing. A free tool we all have but most of us don’t take advantage of it at all. And yes, I agree, focus on more fat at lunchtime and see how you do on the drive home. It should make a huge difference!

  • Diane

    Thank you so much for this series. I’m on my second listen through. Not a physician, but I can still relate to so much of this, and I can superimpose the examples into my life well enough.

    This question is a little off topic, but you’ve mentioned before that you developed some vacation eating habits due to the words your mother chose then. I have a daughter of my own, and would like to avoid similar mistakes, so that she doesn’t have to listen to your show when she’s older (though she might anyway, because I’ll be listening again). What is your approach to your children at dinner and food? If they say they aren’t hungry, or don’t like something, do you just accept it as truth, because there’s always another meal anyway? Or is there a point when they are young and need those snacks?


    • Katrina

      Hi Diane! I will be recording a podcast about kids and food very soon. Be on the lookout for it in a couple weeks!

  • Heather Johnson

    Really enjoying your podcasts & content! Late to the party, but getting caught up. This episode had me nodding a lot. Love your hunger scale description. Looking forward to continued listening!

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