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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. Okay. 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. Satisfaction. 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.

Meditation

4.5

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'.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

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. Okay. 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. Satisfaction. 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.

Meditation

4.5

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