BodyPositive® Boosting body image at any weight

Home Ring Portal

Body Intelligence
Body Vote
Mindful Meals
Your Body Hears

Knowing when to eat & when to stop:

The Hunger and Satiety Scale

If you have problems with eating, you may have lost touch with your body’s signals.  You may be making choices about when to eat or not based on emotions, ideas, or habit. To get back on track, you need to get re-acquainted with your body’s cues. It takes time to re-connect after many years of living "above the neck," but remember that this capacity is something you can observe even in the youngest infants. It’s "hard-wired" into our bodies because motivating ourselves to eat is a matter of survival.

0 Weak with hunger.
You are so hungry that you may not even feel it, but rather be head-achy and faint.

1 Famished.
Too hungry. This is the fist-banging stage when you’ll eat anything.

2 Hungry.
The perfect time to eat, when the food tastes delicious, but you’re not so hungry that you’re indiscriminate.

3 Mildly hungry.
Something light would suffice, or you could stand to wait another hour for the desire to develop more fully.

4 On the way to being satisfied.
During a meal, you are in the pleasant stage of enjoying the food but you are not yet satisfied.

5 Satisfied. 
The perfect time (according to your stomach) to stop eating. You are sated.

6 A little fuller than "satisfied."
A few bites past "5," due to the momentum of eating. The food seems less delicious, more plastic.

7 Very full.
Beginning to be uncomfortable.

8 Painfully full.

9 And so on.

Your ultimate aim is to most of the time eat when your body tells you (at "2") and stop when your body tells you (at "5"). You might have some fears about trusting your body to tell you what it needs. Take some time to write about your feelings. Over time, the practice you get checking in with yourself will make this process easier.

Back to Top

 Up ]

This is a Health at Any Size site.
  Previous 5 Sites | Previous | Next | Next 5 Sites | Random Site | List Sites  

The Body Positive Dancer

Body Positive: Change Your Mind, Change Your Culture, and Let Your Body Be

WWW.BODYPOSITIVE.COM is designed for educational purposes, and is not a substitute for professional medical or psychological care.  Email sent to this site asking for personal advice is discouraged.  If you require medical or psychological services please consult a qualified professional in your area.  Local psychotherapy inquiries may be made through Dr. Burgard's office phone only (650-321-2606).

Copyright 1999-2011 Debora Burgard, Ph.D.   Please do not use without notice or attribution.  This website is privately and individually supported by Dr. Burgard.  We do not accept advertising at this time. Products, projects, and services are mentioned on the BP site because of their relevance to the mission of the site.  "Body Positive" is a registered trademark.
Privacy policy: does not collect names and addresses.  If you provide your email address to  to subscribe to the email list, the Body Positive site also has access to it.  We do not sell or release the email list. Please read's privacy policy for information on how they may use your email information.  Please remember that the email you write to Body Positive and the responses to forums are not encrypted.  Please do not send email requesting personal advice.  Responses to forums are considered public, equivalent to "Letters to the Editor," and will be considered publishable.

For problems or questions regarding this web contact Dr. Burgard at 650-321-2606 or bpositive at spamex dot com
Last updated: March 05, 2011.