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Eat the right amount with a new scale!

Toni-Ann DiSantis

Eat the right amount with a new scale!

Whether you’re trying to avoid a post-holiday “food coma” or day-to-day overeating, you may just need the right scale. We don’t mean a bathroom scale that measures your weight — or a kitchen scale that measures your food. We’re talking about a hunger scale. Listening to your hunger works much better than relying on willpower.  Imagine a scale that goes from 1 to 10, with 1 being ravenously hungry and 10 being completely “stuffed.” Rather than ricocheting between the extremes of the scale, aim to stay in the middle, between a 4 (slightly hungry) and a 6 (satisfied). When you let yourself get too hungry, i.e., “hangry,” you’re more apt to overeat and choose food that’s not nutritious, like, say, the chips at the checkout counter or anything under the Golden Arches. Eating when you’re not hungry, or until you’re in the “stuffed” zone, means eating more than your body needs, which can lead to indigestion, weight gain, and, eventually, chronic illness. To know where you are on the scale, practice tuning in to your body and assessing your level of hunger throughout the day, and before and during meals. Your eating patterns may be decades old, so be patient with yourself as you try to change them.