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Eating what you want, when you want, appears to be the new mantra of many health professionals advocating a more holistic approach to nutrition where self-awareness and hunger cues are your guide. Easier said than done? Not always! Here are a few tips to help you on your journey.
🍴 What is a satiety?
The feeling of satiety is the impression of having eaten enough, without being - too - full! What’s important to remember is that satiety is not a reflection of stomach distension, it is an important physical sign that lets you know when you are full. Satiety can also occur when your desire to eat is satisfied.
🍴 Knowing how to recognize the two types of hunger
Is your hunger internal or external? It is often said that internal hunger is considered real hunger, while external hunger is false hunger. Real hunger appears gradually and is characterized by signals sent by the body such as a drop in energy, the impression of having an empty stomach, a rumbling sensation, etc. False hunger, on the other hand, is mainly caused by external factors including emotions (in reaction to external factors) or your environment, the influence of your peers, whether the food is perceived as healthy, or “eating your emotions.” These are all considered false hunger.
🍴 Before a meal
Occasionally you may feel tired or even have a headache before a meal. These same symptoms can also occur when you don’t drink enough water. The first thing to do when you think you’re hungry is to drink water and wait a few minutes to see if the symptoms subside. If they don’t, it’s probably time to eat!
Before you eat, first ask yourself how hungry you are. Is it a small, medium, or large hunger? Then, adjust your portion accordingly. Going for the same portion every meal is a sign that you aren’t listening to your body! It’s best to reduce your portions, take a short break during your meal, and then help yourself to seconds if need be. This short break will allow you to identify how your level of hunger has changed throughout the meal.
🍴 During the meal
Take your time. Savour and enjoy the food! Plan to eat for at least 20-30 minutes and do it as slowly as possible. Try to avoid browsing on your tablet or smartphone and stay away from the TV or computer! Electronic devices interfere with your hunger signals. Try to share meals with your family or with friends and colleagues.
Halfway through your meal, do a hunger check. Do you still feel hungry? Is your belly full? A good way to do this is to ask yourself if the food tastes as good now as it did when you first started eating. This indicator is a sign that satiety is fast approaching. Stopping when the food doesn’t taste as good will make eating more enjoyable!
🍴 After the meal
When you are first experimenting with listening to your satiety cues, keeping a food diary might help. Before and after each meal, record your mood and indicate your level of hunger on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being “I’ve eaten too much” and 1 being “I’m so hungry I’m fainting”). The ideal is between 4 and 6. The more you tune in to your body, the easier it will be to quantify and qualify your satiety.
Most importantly, identify the reasons that led to satiety:
External reasons Internal reasons
I feel guilty I feel full
My plate was empty I feel satisfied
The others finished theirs  
The internal reasons will always be the most truthful and representative of your state of hunger!
No law or rule of nature prevents you from eating anything! You can eat what you want, when you want, but make sure you listen to your body. If you feed it oversized portions, it may be telling you to postpone your next meal or regulate your hunger by reducing your appetite.

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