I recently had the opportunity to co-lead a weekend workshop with a Boston-based organization called Feeding Ourselves, which aims to help people learn how to feed themselves based on internal cues (i.e. hunger and fullness) rather than for emotional or social reasons. The Feeding Ourselves approach combines psychological awareness with behavioral techniques for establishing a positive relationship to food. Through this experience and through a lot of the counseling that I do, I’m often reminded that a lot of people have a hard time determining whether or not they are actually hungry!
One important way to establish balanced eating is to try to eat for physical reasons most of the time (shoot for 80%). And an easy way to determine if you are actually hungry is by using THE APPLE TEST. The idea is that you choose a neutral food, like an apple (something you like to eat, but wouldn’t be tempted to eat it unless you were hungry). And the next time you are reaching for a bit to eat but aren’t sure if you are actually hungry, ask yourself if you’d eat an apple (or another neutral food). If the answer is no, you probably aren’t hungry.