See all Meditation


Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
CommunityFor Work

Listening to Your Body

Melli O'Brien






Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on your phone

Listening to Your Body

Learn about the five eating styles and how to listen to your body's cues by using the 'hunger fullness scale'.

Hi, my name's Melli O'Brien

and a warm welcome to you to

the Mindful Eating course.

This course will teach you how to

use mindfulness based skills to

give you a more healthy, enjoyable,

and empowering relationship with

both food and with your body.

So maybe you've arrived here because

you've tried dieting and ended up

feeling frustrated or too restricted.

Or perhaps you're feeling

confused about conflicting

messages about how you should eat.

Or maybe you'd just like to try bringing

more awareness into your relationship

with food as an aspect of mindful living.

Whatever brings you here, this course

can help you bring more awareness to

the thoughts, impulses, sensations, and

emotions that drive your food choices.

Ultimately, leading to a more intentional

way of eating, a greatest sense of

appreciation and satisfaction with

food, and a more positive way of

relating to your body and its cues..

Research shows that when people eat

more mindfully, there's a reduction

in binge eating, emotional, eating,

overeating, and eating in response to

external triggers like advertising,

visually displayed food or other triggers.

Mindful eating, though, is not

a diet or an attempt for you to

change, fix, or improve yourself.

Instead, it's a journey into discovering

how to be more connected to yourself and

how to nourish yourself in a sustained

and balanced way so that you feel better

overall in body, mind, and spirit.

I really look forward to

taking this journey with you.

So on one practical note, some of these

sessions will involve you actually

eating as part of the session and

some wont, such as today's lesson.

At the beginning of each lesson, if there

is food involved, I'll let you know.

And by the way, don't worry if

this is the first time you've

tried anything like this before.

Everything I'm going to teach you

is really simple and accessible,

and I'm going to guide you

through every step of the way.

So, ready to get started?

Today, I'm going to talk

about the five eating styles.

So I like to categorize the way

we eat into five basic styles.

Fog eating, feast eating, storm eating,

strict eating, and natural eating.

So fog eating is when we're

just on autopilot mode.

So maybe we're distracted or

we're really busy multitasking,

and we just start eating without

even realizing what we're doing.

So maybe this is when you are shoving

a breakfast bar in your mouth on

the commute to work or eating some

toast or leftovers while you're

on the phone or managing the kids.

And so you're kind of lost

in a distraction during this

time and lost in thinking and

just eating without awareness.

Feast eating is eating just for fun.

This is like when we have popcorn at the

movies or an ice cream on a sunny day.

Maybe we're eating a bit of birthday

cake at a party or enjoying a

delicious meal with friends.

So we're eating more for enjoyment

than for fuel or for hunger.

We all enjoy feasting sometimes.

And when it's done in balance, it's

a really wonderful part of life.

Storm eating is emotional eating.

So storm eating mostly happens in

response to unpleasant emotions or

urges that we really don't want to

feel such as emptiness, loneliness,

sadness, frustration, dissatisfaction,

or feelings of low self-worth.

In these times, we might

binge eat, overeat or eat

comfort foods or junk foods.

So there's a feeling that you want

to stop eating often when you're

storm eating, but you just feel

like you can't control yourself.

And this is often followed by

feelings of regret or shame.

Strict eating is when you relate

to food and your body in a way

that can be really self-critical,

overly controlled or depriving.

While being focused on a healthy diet

is a great thing, when we become rigid,

perfectionistic and depriving, we often

end up feeling at war with our own bodies.

And this often ends up feeling really

draining rather than nourishing.

It doesn't tend to make

us happier in our lives.

Sometimes strict eating and storm eating

become locked in an unhelpful downward

cycle where we deprive our body and

then we binge over and over again.

Natural eating is when we

have a really instinctive and

balanced relationship with food.

We probably all know someone who has

this kind of relationship with food.

They just seem to know

how much and when to eat.

When their body needs

sustenance, they eat.

When the body's satisfied, they stop.

They don't seem to eat in an

obsessive way or a compulsive way.

And they maintain a healthy body that

mostly feels good after they eat.

And we were all born to eat like this.

But many of us have learned to override

the body signals through conditioning.

We see advertising telling us that we

should look a certain way or we just

get so busy we forget to prioritize

our enjoyment of food and our health.

Mindful eating brings us

back towards natural eating.

It does this by helping us to regulate

our emotions in healthy ways, work

with our thoughts more skillful, and

bring more awareness, compassion, and

appreciation into our approach to eating.

This doesn't mean we'll never

do the four other styles.

We will.

Even the most mindful eater will

enjoy a lovely meal or a sweet treat

just for fun or soothe themselves

with comfort food after a hard day.

They'll do it from time to

time, but just not all the time.

It's about finding a balance that

works for you and truly makes

you feel better after you eat.

So we'll be exploring how to

shift back towards natural

eating throughout this course.

And as a first step today, I'd like to

share the hunger-fullness scale practice.

So the hunger-fullness scale

helps us learn to listen to

our body's internal cues.

Just like a dry mouth tells us that the

body wants to drink and tired eyes means

our body might want to sleep, hunger cues

let us know that our body needs to eat.

This may seem really simple,

but many of us have become

out of touch with our bodies.

As we said, we may eat

for all kinds of reasons.

So when we listen to our bodies

and our hunger and fullness cues,

we can appropriately respond to

what our bodies are telling us we

need and eat in a more natural and

appropriate way for our body's needs.

So the hunger-fullness scale helps us

adapt and listen to our internal cues

so we can give our body what it needs.

Here's how you use it.

Think of a simple scale from one to

ten, where each number correlates

to a level of hunger or fullness.

One, you're absolutely ravenous.

Now, ideally you want to eat

when you're about a three on the

scale, hungry but not starving.

Five is neutral, neither hungry nor full.

And in terms of fullness about a seven

on the scale is where you feel satisfied,

which is ideally where you want to stop.

Nine is absolutely stuffed.

And ten is where you're feeling so full,

you're a physically ill from overeating.


So let's take a moment right now to

tune in to how your body's feeling

and where you're at on the scale.

So take a moment now to close your

eyes, if that feels okay for you.

Begin to tune into your body

and take a deep breath in.

And letting it out.

And shifting your attention into

your physical body and all the

way down into your belly area.

And tuning in to any feelings of hunger.


Or fullness.

It might be feelings of

emptiness or digestion.

Bloating, fullness.

Just tuning into all the

sensations here right now.

Seeing, if you can be curious and

open to noticing both the pleasant

and the unpleasant sensations.

And it's important to note that hunger and

fullness aren't only felt in the stomach.

In the body as a whole, there may

be feelings of fatigue, shakiness,

anxiety, nausea, bloating.

If you're very hungry or very full,

there maybe some of these other symptoms.

So being attentive to any other

signals in the body as well.

And now pick a number on the

hunger-fullness scale that best

fits how you feel right now.

So if you're ravenous, at a one.

Or just a little bit hungry, at a three.

Neutral, at a five.

Maybe you ate a little earlier and

you're feeling satiated, maybe a six.

So choose a number that

feels right to you.

And then when you're ready,

you can open the eyes.

So the more you can get into the habit

of pausing and checking in with your body

around feelings of hunger or fullness, the

more you'll find yourself also tuning into

the other messages your body sends too.

But for now, just inviting you to

keep listening to your body and

its cues of hunger or fullness.

Remember, this is not a diet in disguise.

It's about bringing awareness to eating

and to your body and to your life.

So today, whenever you feel like

eating, pause for a moment, tune into

your body and ask yourself, where

am I on the hunger-fullness scale.

Wishing you well with this practice

and thank you for your practice.

I look forward to being back here with

you for Day Two of the Mindful Eating

course, where we'll be learning about

urge surfing, a way to become non-reactive

to our urges, impulses and cravings.

Till then, take care.

Included in

Similar to this

Breathe for EaseMeditation by Vidyamala Burch
Vidyamala Burch

Breathe for Ease

Meditation · 10 mins4.6

More from this teacher

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.

Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.


Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!


Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Start 7-Day Free Trial

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.