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HDE – better known as Hunger Directed Eating, is the method behind the eating behavior of naturally thin people. The term was shaped by Josie Spinardi (http://www.thingenious.com/) and will be the topic of today’s post.

Yesterday I told you that the first steps towards intuitive eating are to throw out your scales, eat when you are hungry and eat what you want. Today we will focus on the second advice. A lot of people have forgotten how real hunger feels like or confuse hunger with appetite. I know that many people also have problems to listen to their hunger signals and just ignore them because they are to busy – when they are finally starting to eat, they feel like they are starving and overeat terribly, until they feel stuffed and sick.


I made and still make a lot of mistakes when it comes to listening to my hunger. During the first days of my journey I took notes whether I was eating out of hunger (green) or other reasons (red) and this is how my overview looks like:

week1 week2

I would say Monday was perfect, and I also notice that the second week got better, especially when it comes to how often I need to eat. In the beginning I’ve been eating like all the time and now I am adjusting my portion sizes, which results in less frequent meals. I do still have problems with eating out of appetite, boredom and dessert lust (the feeling that you need something sweet to finish off your meal). So the following tool will hopefully help me to focus more on my hunger and satiety signals, since obviously I am doing fine with the “eat whatever you want” advice.

I present you: The Hunger Scale.

The Hunger Scale breaks down hunger and satiety into ten levels, starting at “starving” and ending with “so full that it hurts”.


A naturally thin person aims for a balance between 4 and 7 without thinking about it. So it might help you a lot when you track your hunger and satiety levels in the beginning of your journey back to intuitive eating.

I decided that during the next 7 days I will ask myself which level I am at, before I start to eat and which I am at when I am done. I will share the results with you next weekend and invite everyone who would like to, to join me.

Have you ever used the Hunger Scale? What role does Hunger Directed Eating play in your eating behavior? At what level of the Hunger Scale would you say you usually stop eating?