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100 Days restart - Day 33: Fullness scale

Jenn J

Day 33: Fullness scale

Now you know how to recognize hunger. But how do you know when you're full or you've eaten enough? Unlike what you might think, to recognize fullness, you have to listen to your stomach instead of looking at your plate.

As you are eating, your stomach muscles begin to expand in order to accommodate the food. By paying careful attention to how your abdominal area feels, you can actually determine the precise amount of food your body requires.

The fullness scale

To recognize fullness, you can use a three-point scale similar to the one for levels of hunger. Remember that zero on the eating scale is neutral-you're not hungry, not full. Usually you're at this level about midway between meals, when food isn't on your mind at all.

Fullness levels

0 Neutral, not hungry, not full

+1 Satisfied, comfortable, just right

+2 Too full, a little uncomfortable

+3 Stuffed, miserable

The next time you're enjoying a meal, pay close attention to how you feel as you're eating. At some point, you'll begin to notice a slight pressure or change within your stomach area. Soon after that, you'll reach a level where you feel satisfied, and your abdomen feels comfortable or just right. You've now reached a plus one on the fullness scale.

Suppose you are really liking your food, so you keep eating. Before long, you'll notice your abdomen starts to feel slightly puffy and you'll realize you're too full. This equals a plus two on the scale. Sometimes you'll notice this level after just one extra bite; other times it will take a whole extra serving of food. But either way, you'll still be too full.

Now picture eating a holiday meal such as the kind you might have on Thanksgiving Day. Because you love the special foods, you keep eating long after you're already full. At some point, you'll realize you feel stuffed, almost miserable. That's when you reach a plus three on the fullness scale.

Work at being able to recognize when you reach a plus one or the exact spot where you feel totally satisfied or just right. Then regardless of what's left on your plate, stop eating right at that point.


Next time you eat a meal or snack, place your hand on your abdomen and monitor how your stomach feels.

Notice when you feel comfortable or satisfied, the exact level of plus one. When you reach that point, stop and look at the amount you've eaten.

Write down how much food you ate, and then add a few notes on how it feels to be satisfied, not full. Practice this skill until you can recognize the plus one level at nearly every meal.

  Jeanne- CE! Replied:

I have to stop eating when I am still a bit hungry, because my body registers satiety so slowly. If I am still hungry after 20 minutes, I will eat a bit more, but usually my body catches up and I am no longer hungry. This does not come naturally to me; it is always a conscious effort.

  Lyn💛 Replied:

When I am eating healthy food this is not a problem, but when I revert to less than stellar food, I have a tendency to overdo it. I am getting better at this though. Much better, actually.

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.