Start listening to your body's NOT hungry cues
In 1957 a researcher cleverly inserted the words "eat popcorn" and "drink Coca Cola" into a single frame on a movie reel. No viewer could actually see any of these words but the subconscious absorbed them quite nicely. The next thing we knew, Coke sales increased by 18 percent, popcorn sales increased by 57 percent, and subliminal messaging was born.
Even though that story turned out to be a hoax, a 1999 Harvard study showed there is some merit to the concept of subliminal advertising although it is minimal. The thing about the 1957 slight of hand is that it does raise an interesting point: If a person has popcorn on the brain will the person want it even when not particularly hungry? It seems that person might.
The Hunger/Satiety Scale
People often choose to eat even though they are not hungry. What we eat and when we eat it can be based on emotions, situations, and habits that have nothing to do with the growling of our stomachs.
[Read: The Satiety Index: A New Weight Loss Weapon** _]f we pay more attention to our body's natural signals, we can improve our eating patterns. Healthy eating patterns start with a recognition of the physiological signs of hunger and fullness and reacting to those signs appropriately. The Hunger/Satiety Scale can help identify those signals.**
The scale begins at 1 and ends at 10, with 1 being a feeling of starvation and dizziness and 10 a feeling of being full to the point of physical illness. At center scale is number five, a neutral feeling of being neither hungry nor full.
[Read: How to Really Lose Weight, Q&A with Susan Harrow Rago MS, RD, LDN** ]**
The Hunger/Satiety Scale reads as such:
2. Very hungry
3. Hungry and ready to eat
4. Beginning signals of hunger
6. You might prefer to eat a bit more
8. Very full
9. Uncomfortably full
10. Painfully full
Throughout the day, before and after meals and snacks, assess where you fall on the scale. Record your findings and begin looking for patterns. Are you eating when hungry or are you just eating? Are you skipping meals? Do you stop eating when you are full or do you keep going?
Identify those areas that need adjustment and make an effort to become more aware of your habits. If you are more at the low end of the scale, you might be at risk for nutritional deficiencies. The high end of the scale can put you at risk for obesity and all of the accompanying illnesses. If your pattern is a drift from one end of the scale to the other, make an effort for greater central consistency.
Being able to read the signs of hunger and respond to them appropriately can not only help with food choices but also help to make sure we are eating only when physiological bells go off, and not for other reasons.** More great articles:**** Boost Your Metabolism by Eating these Foods!**
Weight Loss Goal Setting Checklist
Weight Loss: Reframe Your Thinking and the Pounds Will Drop
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NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR FITNESS AND SPORT