Health Review 

Stress Management: Food Edition!

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Sammy Pappas is a co-founder of Dietitians of Palm Valley, registered dietitian and certified personal trainer. Pappas enjoys blogging about nutrition, fitness, and wellness.

Answer True or False to the following questions:

  1. I take the time to check in with myself during meals to assess my fullness level.
  2. I resist eating extra leftover bites of food while I am clearing food from the table.
  3. I am usually aware of my feelings and emotions before I order, prepare, or eat food.
  4. 90% of the food I eat is while sitting down.
  5. When I eat, I think about how nourishing the food is for my body.
  6. I don’t have to eat everything on my plate. I stop eating when I start feeling full.

If you answered false to the majority of these questions, you are categorized as a “mindless” eater. I want you to work on becoming a mindful eater! Mindful eating is a very important part of having a positive relationship with food. Circle the 2 questions above that you struggle with most. This week I want you focus on those 2 habits and work on reversing them. For example, if you don’t typically sit down while eating, take time this week to light a candle, fill up a big glass of water, put on your favorite music, and sit down to eat dinner. Being mindful while eating can help stress levels and decrease the risk of overeating.

Below is a Chart of Fullness

            Where do you fall on this chart throughout the day? I want you to be in the gray area. If you fall outside of the gray area, chances are that you aren’t eating frequently enough. If you go 5 or more hours without eating your blood sugars will drop and you will feel “HANGRY” (anger resulting from extreme hunger)! Make sure to eating your balanced meals and snack throughout the day. If you find you are commonly outside of the gray area, keep a food log or set reminders on your phone to REMIND you to eat every 3-4 hours!



Hunger/Fullness Feelings

10Uncomfortably full or “sick” – “Thanksgiving full”
9Stuffed and uncomfortable
8Too full, somewhat uncomfortable
7Full, but not yet uncomfortable – hunger is gone
6Filling up, but still comfortable – could definitely eat more
5Neutral – neither hungry nor full
4Slightly hungry, faint signals that your body needs food, but you can still wait to eat
3Hungry, not yet uncomfortable, clear signals that your body needs food
2Very hungry, irritable or anxious – you want to eat everything in sight


Starving, feeling weak, lightheaded, dizzy, or extremely uncomfortable symptoms of hunger


For more information on stress management related to mindful eating contact Dietitians of Palm Valley at 904-250-0075 and