The holidays create opportunities to indulge in all types of treats!  If you want to be a mindful eater as well as manage your weight in a healthy way during this season, it’s really important to understand the cues your body is giving you, including true physical hunger and satiety. We tend to overeat when we wait too long to eat or eat for emotional reasons when we aren’t really truly hungry.

Signs of Hunger

The physical signs of hunger include stomach contractions, gnawing, pains and aches. Your hands and feet may feel colder than the room you’re in. You also might feel tired, lightheaded, weak and empty. Psychologically, you might crave foods, have difficulty concentrating, and feel anxious and stressed out.  You can also get cranky.

Signs of Fullness

When your hunger is satisfied, you might feel a sense of peace or control, as well as a loss of interest in eating. If you keep eating, after satiety comes fullness, which can be uncomfortable. For example, your stomach might hurt and feel bloated, and you might feel lethargic. Your goal should be to eat just enough to achieve fullness. In Japan, it’s “hara hachi bu” or 80% full. Be sure to chew your food well so that it’s easier to tune into the fullness cues.