How to Stop Overeating (and actually listen to your hunger)

Do you know what hunger feels like to you? Do you listen to it? 

Intuitive Eating Series Principle #2 - Honor Your Hunger

Do you ever find yourself waiting too long to eat and then binging at the end of the day because you're literally STARVING for something, anything?! If this sounds like you, stick around because today I'm going to help you stop that binge and subsequent post-binge guilt cycle of not honoring your hunger daily. And the best news... it just takes a simple step!

 

WHAT HUNGER FEELS LIKE

The first thing I have to ask before we move on is, do you even know what hunger feels like to you? When was the last time you listened to your body telling you it was hungry? What did it feel like?


It's actually pretty common for many of us to not really know what hunger feels like! Maybe you've been on a diet most of your life so you've learned how to ignore hunger signals and just eat what the diet told you. Or maybe you're a busy bee and skip meals because... ain't nobody got time for that! Am I right?


Some of the most common ways we suppress hunger include numbing it and trying to ignore it, dieting and not having enough calories or points left, staying busy, and skipping meals throughout the day.


But, you know how it goes when you ignore hunger. Sooner or later you get really hungry, and I mean reeeally hungry. You'll pretty much each anything in sight (and the "healthy foods" don't look appealing at all at that point, right?). Then, you binge. Then, you feel guilt because you WAY overate. You feel gross and frustrated. And you repeat the cycle day after day, week after week. You feel like you have no self-control with food. 


But, there's a happy ending to this story because you've committed yourself to make peace with food and today is all about taking the simple step to recognizing and honoring your hunger.

 

FIRST, TRUST YOUR BODY


Did you know that you can trust your body? Yep, it's true. It might feel a little scary at first, but I need you to know first thing that you CAN TRUST YOUR BODY. As you learn to listen, your body will get really good at telling you what it needs and you'll get really good at honoring it.

So, let's talk about hunger. Have you ever stopped to think about what hunger feels like to you? Everyone experiences hunger in a different way, so it's important to know what it feels like to you in order to start honoring your hunger every day.


In fact, now is a great time to go download my hunger and fullness workbook (it's linked in the button boxes above below this post and will help you create your own guide for honoring your hunger). 

 

COMMON HUNGER SIGNALS
 

Ok, now that you have your guide, let's talk about some common hunger signals. These include stomach gurgling, lightheadedness, having a hard time concentrating, possible stomach pains, feeling irritable, feeling faint, headaches, or feelings of nausea. 


Now, think about the last time you felt hunger. What symptoms are yours? And don't worry if you're not sure, it might take some time to pay attention and feel those feelings again, especially if you've spent most of your life suppressing them.


Take some time to write these down. Then, the next time you feel one of these signals, you can pay attention to it. 

 

 

WHEN TO EAT AND HOW TO STOP


Next up - how do you know when to eat, what to eat, and when to stop? Pull out your workbook or visualize a scale from 1-10. 1 is extreme hunger - literally starving. 10 is what I like to call Thanksgiving stuffed (because we all know what that is). Take your list of hunger symptoms and put them on the scale.

When I'm REALLY hungry, like starving, I get really nauseous. When I'm moderately hungry and maybe just need a snack, I tend to get feelings of fatigue or needing a little extra boost. Knowing these signals can help guide you in knowing how much you need to eat (do you need a meal or a snack?), and also when to stop. In fact, think about what number might feel satisfying to you. You know that reaching a level 10 is overboard, so what about a 7 or 8? Our goal is to avoid extremes when it comes to hunger and fullness, so pay attention to where you feel your "happy middle" is. 


That's it! That's all you have to do! Start to listen to your body's hunger signals, pay attention to what it's telling you, and then FOLLOW THROUGH. With practice, it will become automatic for you. You will eliminate that binge, post-binge guilt cycle we talked about earlier and finally make peace with food.


So, remember to grab your hunger and fullness workbook to help you get started and subscribe to the channel to keep going on your intuitive eating journey.