Eating 0-5 is THE major premise of all of my books and workshops. It’s how I lost 50 pounds over 22 years ago and have kept it off since then. Eating 0-5 works to lose weight down to your goal size and stay there for life.
Here’s how to eat 0-5:
On a scale of 0-10: 0 is when your stomach is empty and you feel a hunger pang. This is the only time when it’s time for you to eat. In other words, if your stomach isn’t hungry, don’t eat. If it is hungry and you feel a hunger pang, then it’s time for you to eat.
5 is comfortable.
It’s when you’ve eaten enough food but not too much food. It’s a feeling of being satisfied without feeling the slightest bit full.
7 is full.
Most people eat until they’re full. Feeling full is a slightly uncomfortable feeling. You may not be able to take in a deep full breath. You may feel you need time to digest your food. Eating until you’re full will make you gain weight.
10 is stuffed.
Definitely an uncomfortable feeling. Will make you gain weight.
To lose weight, start eating when your stomach is a 0, and stop when it’s a 5 – when you’ve eaten enough food to stop the hungry feeling, but not more. This isn’t a large amount of food-it’s about as much as the size of your fist.
So far this sounds simple, but it’s not so easy if you’re accustomed to overeating
So here are some helpful hints for eating 0-5:
- Put less food on your plate than you want. Your body doesn’t need as much food as you may think.
- Restaurants always serve more food than your body needs.
- Become sensitive to how your stomach feels. Pay attention when you’re eating to that first soft signal that your stomach doesn’t need even one more bite.
- Be sure to eat the “best” foods first as you may not have room left for them later.
- If you want to eat dessert, save room in your stomach. So eat your meal 0-4 so you can have a couple bites of dessert.
Eating 0-5 is based on your physical body’s needs, and not your mouth or emotional hunger.
One client said it this way, “I don’t want to abuse my stomach space by eating too much food.”
It’s OK to eat 0-2 for a snack, provided that you are definitely a 0 when you start eating. Eat slowly so you can sense your stomach number as you eat. Pay attention to the food and your body when you’re eating so you can feel your hunger numbers.
- Don’t let yourself get below 0. If you do, your body can go into starvation metabolism and slow your metabolism such that you’ll start storing fat.
- If you get to 0 often, pack along snacks. On trips I take packaged tuna, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, sometimes fresh fruit or veggies.
- Don’t skip meals when you’re hungry. This messes with your metabolism.
- Don’t reduce your caloric intake by force of will. Instead, tune into your body as to when to eat and what it wants to eat.
Eating 0-5 takes patience and practice because you’re breaking old habits and learning new ones. If your metabolism is slow, your stomach will naturally want less food. If it’s higher, it will want more.
But here are some barriers to weight loss:
Some people can’t feel their stomach hunger very well, if at all. Barriers to feeling stomach hunger are high stress levels, being too busy, eating on the run, eating junk food or artificial foods. Another is “drinking” your meals rather than chewing your food. The stomach doesn’t register hunger numbers accurately when you drink protein shakes. This is because digestion starts with saliva and chewing.
Other barriers include chronic health conditions such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, MS, thyroid disorders, autoimmune disorders, adrenal fatigue, and hormonal imbalances. If you have any of these, you’ll find that wearing the BeThin Patch can help you regain your ability to feel your stomach’s hunger numbers and lose weight.
So you may be asking, what about all those types of eating such as low fat and low-glycemic? Think of them as diets that guide you to better health and perhaps to weight loss. But even on those types of eating plans, a person can still manage to overeat and gain weight. In fact if a person is bound and determined to overeat, no diet or eating plan in the world can lead them to staying at their ideal size for life. And if the person is determined to eat enough food, but not too much food, they’ll lose weight down to their ideal size and stay there for life.
I have weeks or months when I tend to overeat, usually when I’m working towards a book-writing deadline (stress) or during a time of lots of entertaining and eating out (not paying attention to eating). But I still manage to fit into my clothes. There really isn’t much magic to this. When I notice that my jeans are getting tight, I simply start keeping a daily food diary in which I record my hunger numbers before and after each feeding. Within a day or two, I’m back on track and faithfully eating 0-5. Just a side note here. If I start exercising more when I my jeans get tight, I don’t get thinner, I simply start making more muscle from my new fat. So I keep my exercise balanced and constant.
Here’s how to start eating 0-5:
Keep a food diary and list beginning and ending hunger numbers. Do this until you instinctively feel your hunger numbers. If you ever get off track, return to your food diary and within days, you’ll start feeling a difference in how your jeans fit.