Do you have to feel famished all day long to know that you’re in a calorie deficit and losing fat? Are you unsure of how to know if what you’re eating is the right amount to support your weight-loss goals? NASM-certified personal trainer Sam Altieri posted this visual about the hunger scale to show how you can use it to gauge your hunger and lose weight.
The hunger scale ranges from one to 10, one being starving, and 10 being so stuffed you feel sick. Sam said, “Most of us only know TWO extremes of eating: STARVING or STUFFED. Very rarely do we actually slow down to mindfully eat our food, be aware of our hunger levels, our body and its cues.” Here’s what Sam wants you to know about how to use the hunger scale to lose fat:
“❌Zones 1-3: Try to stay out of these zones to avoid binging, overeating, or becoming ravenous or lightheaded.
✅Zones 4-7: The sweet spot of fullness. Zone 5-6 is where you want to be after a meal. Like you could eat more but feel good 🤗
❌Zones 8-10: Try to avoid this zone! This is what you may typically feel like after Thanksgiving 🍗”
Registered dietitians Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition agree. They told POPSUGAR ignoring hunger and getting to the point where you’re so ravenous you could eat the entire refrigerator is not good on many levels. Aside from the headaches, dizziness, and stomach pangs that go along with waiting too long to eat, it also makes you eat tons more than you would if you were just moderately hungry, and that my famished friends, can cause weight gain.
If you overeat at every single meal, and you never feel hunger at any point during the day, you’re probably eating too many calories, which won’t help you reach your fat-loss goals. If you want to lose fat, slow down and eat mindfully so you can recognize the signs that you’re full and don’t overeat. Using the hunger scale to control your portion sizes and help you understand when to eat and when to stop is they key to helping you lose fat.
Image Source: Getty / Stephanie Rausser