All July, the Joslin Blog is highlighting stories about taking care of yourself emotionally. This story was originally posted on Feb. 28, 2011.
This guest post is written by Amanda Kirpitch, M.A., R.D., C.D.E., L.D.N.
“Eating in a developed country like the United States becomes a social, business, and family event, an act of pleasure, that goes far beyond the ingestion of necessary nutrients to sustain life.” Kennedy and Blaylock, Economic Food Choices, and Nutrition
Amanda Kirpitch, MA, RD, CDE, LDN is a nutrition educator in the Joslin Clinic at Joslin Diabetes Center. She works with individual patients, as well as patients enrolled in the Center’s weight management programs.
Over time, we may to lose our ability to recognize hunger. This may be a result of the various reasons we eat that have nothing to do with hunger- we eat for pleasure, stress, boredom, or just because the food is there. Many people struggle with cravings for foods that may trigger a particular memory or just plain taste delicious- these foods tempt us, healthy or not.
In the Joslin Clinic, one of our goals as providers is to help people get back in touch with their bodies and their true need for food. We do this using hunger scales.
The use of hunger scales does not guarantee one will never overeat again. In fact, many theories on the use of hunger scales encourage people to push the limit a little – whether that be once per week or once per day to discover what we like to call “wiggle room” (or boundaries). The goal in assessing hunger is to become more mindful of our meals and snacks in an effort to curb overall excess and control weight.