It’s called the Hunger Quotient and it can help you lose weight and stop overeating.
Some days your berry yoghurt bowl, and coffee does the trick, taking you through to lunch. Other days, you’d give up your unborn child just for that satisfying feeling of fullness and a break from thinking about food.
Yep, in the world of healthy sustainable eating, figuring out how much to eat to reach your goal is just as important as choosing what to eat.
It can be tricky, though. When you don’t have hard numbers or definitive meal plans to guide you, how are you supposed to know for sure whether you’re eating the right amount?
Meet the Hunger Quotient, a game changing tool devised by registered dietitian Keri Glassman that makes it easy to figure out exactly how much you should eat—and when it’s time to have a kitchen hiatus.
“It will be one of your greatest nutrition tools in your knowledge base (regardless of the food you eat) and get you closer to the healthy eater you were meant to be,” writes Glassman on her blog Nutritious Life.
Basically, your Hunger Quotient is a number on a scale from 1-10 that helps you rate how hungry you are. By using it, you can figure out what your appetite is at any given moment. A 10 on the HQ scale means that you’re famished and ready to pass out. A 1 means that you’re so stuffed, you’re swearing off solids for the next 24 hours.
“As an adult, you eat for so many reasons other than true hunger, and sometimes you eat without any hunger,” Glassman writes. “Stress, your previous meal experiences, emotions and hundreds of other factors influence your appetite.”
What the scale provides is a tangible way to eat mindfully, without counting calories – and you can use it any time. If you’re in the mood for food, your HQ can tell you whether you’re actually hungry or wanting to eat out of boredom or stress. Rating your HQ while you eat can also help you know when you’ve had enough.
Glassman reckons you always want your HQ to be between a 4 and a 6. “When you are at a 4, slightly satisfied, you are “just right” because you have eaten just enough to feel content without needing to loosen your belt or take a nap,” she writes.