Are You Really Hungry?

Are You Really Hungry?

I sound like a full on mean girl with that title. Are you sure you want that extra scoop of Ice cream? Look at that one piece of lettuce, yum right? 


I digress. 


Before we talk about if you should really eat 4th meal, let me tell you a bit about my backstory.


At the age of 10 months I collapsed in the middle of my older sisters dance photoshoot. I was rushed in an ambulance to the hospital where I had emergency surgery to untangle my intestines. I had a diaphragmatic hernia which meant I couldn’t digest any of my food, therefore the food was backing up into my lungs. (Bet you aren’t hungry anymore.) At this point in my life I was just starting to eat the kind of baby gup that food porn is made of. Think puréed jars of sweet potatoes, fruits and greens that have been sitting on the grocery store shelves for years months.


It was no surprise to my doctor that as I grew up, I had a strong aversion to fruits and vegetables. My doctor (the same one that operated on me) associated my fear of fruits and veggies to the fact that when my digestive track got in the jam, it was full of those baby foods that I had just started trying for the first time. He saw it as more of a mental block than a distaste. 


Sometimes doctors are very right. 


When I got over the mental block at the age of 21, my whole life changed. Since I had never experienced how fruits and vegetables made me feel, I was a bit blown away by the whole experience. Looking back, I sometimes reflect on that phase of my life as a little manic. I was so excited about everything. Luckily I don’t hate on it because it led me to Ayurveda. And with that, it led me to a way healthier relationship to food that I have today.


And while I always struggle with figuring out how much pizza is too much pizza, or figuring out if there is a way to make buffalo chicken have the same affect as green juice, I do have one Ayurvedic trick that is sometimes really annoying, but 90% of the time makes me feel like a million bucks. 


The satiety scale or as I like to call it the are you really hungry? scale. If you use this scale, it will change your life. 


Here is how it works: There is a scale of 1-10. 1 being I am so hungry that no pizza is too much pizza and 10 being I ate so much I’m going to collapse in my bed for 10 hours. (Ed note: please don’t make me move.) 


Here are the key things to know: When you go to eat a meal you should be at a 2 or 3. Hungry enough that your body has digested your past meal (4-6 hours following the previous meal), but not so hungry that you are going to get hangry (sorry for using that word). 


You should stop eating when you are at about a 7-8. You want your body to have room to digest the food. If you mess up sometimes, which we all do, lying on your left side for 10-15 minutes helps alleviate any discomfort. 


The best part of all of this, is that when you listen to the are you really hungry? scale, you have more opportunity to get away with pizza. But don’t tell anyone I said that. This is Ayurveda after all. 


On a heart to heart note, if you have a strange/annoying relationship to food, just know that you aren’t alone and that there is always another way. Start slow using the satiety scale and find the balance that works for you. For more information I recommend this book. You can also check out Banyan Botanicals guide to achieving your optimal weight. 


If you try the are you really hungry? scale let me know! What works, what doesn’t? Remember the best kind of eating is when you are happy about it. 


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