I developed the hunger scale in my first book, Inner Eating, to help you determine the quantity of food in your body. It is in Chapter 5, Rating Your Hunger.
Why is it important to take the time to sit and record before you eat? It establishes physical actions that you need to do to be consciously connected to yourself before you eat. But you may say, “I do not have the time to sit, record and then eat!” And I would say to you, if you don’t have time to sit, you don’t have time to eat.
Why again is this so important? Your natural start and stop boundaries have been overridden by thoughts and beliefs that were internalized over the years and have been covered with the haze of eating beyond what you need. Hence, covering over you – your identity with no storage – extra weight. So you need to establish you exist first before you eat. All the actions steps from getting the pen and paper, sitting, checking in with your hunger signal to writing down the number on the paper will establish the awareness and connection to yourself. This all happens before you eat! You are now consciously aware of the start of your eating. It is the ultimate mindful eating exercise.
When you stop eating, you go through the same process. Once you consume your last bite, check your hunger level and then record the number. This establishes the stop of the action of eating before you start your movement in the day. Now you are starting your day without nibbling to jump-start you into moving. And you do not eat while you are moving and doing activities throughout your day. Eating is very separate from living your life. Eating was meant to be the pleasure break in our life that sustained our energy. It was not meant to be fused with living our life, handle our feelings or jump start our movement in the day. You are creating strong boundaries around you and your eating. The structure is key to healthy boundaries.