If you’ve browsed our site much you’ll know that we are big advocates for intuitive eating. While we promote a variant of the traditional intuitive eating method, one of the things we love about the original is the famous hunger scale in the official Intuitive Eating book by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

This scale goes from 1 to 10 and each number represents a way to view your hunger. This allows you to know when you actually need food vs, want it, and when it’s time to eat vs time to be done eating.

Even though the hunger scale is very helpful, it’s still just a guide. The whole point of intuitive eating is to get away from all the rules in order to learn how to eat in a healthful way that benefits you unique body. With that being said, below we will cover tips for using the original hunger scale to develop your own!  

The Scale

As previously mentioned, there is a hunger and fullness scale created by the authors of the official Intuitive Eating Book. 1 is the hungriest you can be and 10 is the fullest.  The authors label these as “ravenously hungry” and “so full you’re sick”. The best way to start developing your own intuitive scale is to use this original scale to mark where you are and then add notes and start creating your own by identifying your body cues.

Assigning Yourself A Scale

Another beneficial way to assign your hunger is to make your own scale. Just know that 1 is hungriest and 10 is fullest. Then, fill in the rest of the scale and assign your own hunger cues to each number.

You want to personalize it to what you feel, making notes about where you think you are on the scale when you experience things like fatigue, growling stomach, burning sensation in your stomach, dizziness, or increased salivation.

Be Open To Learning

Changing your lifestyle, ditching the diet, and learning about your body is not a linear process. Listen to your body signals, but also listen to yourself as you grow and change. It will be hard when you start because dieting teaches us to ignore our hunger and fullness signals. So establishing your own hunger and fullness scale can take time, revisions and patience.  

A Food Journal Helps

Obviously, journaling is optional, and if you’ve journaled your food before and feel like it might push you into a restricting mindset you don’t want to use the journal.  BUT for many people writing down what they felt prior to a meal, what they ate and how they feel afterward can be a great mindfulness exercise. You can also include information like whether you stopped when you were satiated. If you ate more than or less than that, and any mental or emotional things you feel about eating. Whatever you do, don’t write down macros or calories! There’s no place for that here.

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