Hunger-Fullness Scale

Hunger-Fullness Scale
When it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, we must manage both our physiologic hunger cravings as well as any emotional eating cravings that come up. The Hunger-Fullness Scale is a great tool for helping us with both!
Dr. Woodbury always says we must address Physiologic Hunger first. It’s so true! How can we manage our weight if we’re hungry constantly? By becoming familiar with the Hunger-Fullness Scale and checking in with our Hunger-Fullness Number every so often, we can gain awareness of how well we are managing Physiologic Hunger. If you start tracking and notice that you are getting down to a 3 or 4 within an hour or two after eating, your Physiologic Hunger is not well-managed. At the Healthy Steps Therapeutic Lifestyle Center, we have two different meal plans, customizable to your individual needs, both of which are designed specifically by Dr. Woodbury and the Nutritionists here to manage your Physiologic Hunger. Well-managed Physiologic Hunger results in getting a hunger cue 3 to 4.5 hours after your last meal  (2 to 3 hours after a snack).
After your Physiologic Hunger is addressed, the next step is to manage any emotional eating cravings that come up. I’m a (recovering) emotional eater myself, and I know how hard it is to say no to emotional cravings when they arise! But I’ve spent my career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in Emotional Eating and Weight Management, and I can offer specific tools to help you let go of emotional eating. One of the best tools is the Hunger-Fullness Scale. Begin by becoming familiar with exactly how it feels in your body to be physically hungry (not over-hungry) and comfortably full (not over-full). Then start asking yourself “Where am I on the Hunger-Fullness Scale?” every time before you put food in your mouth. A good goal is to start eating at a 3 or a 4 (dropping lower than that results in overeating and slower metabolism) and to stop eating around a 5 or a 6. If you notice you are a 5 or higher and you are suddenly craving food, you’re having an emotional eating craving. That’s your clue to slow down and figure out what your emotional need is. If you want help with this process, as well as ideas on how to respond to your emotional needs without using food, come in and see me!
Nutritionist Lindsay
Lifestyle Educator
Healthy Steps Therapeutic Lifestyle Center
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Climbing Back Into the Saddle…. Again + COUPON

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OK, by a show of hands, how many of us fell off of our healthy living plans during the holidays? (Can you see my hand waving?) I’m hoping your landing was softer than mine. I fell face first into the Thanksgiving appetizers, waking weeks later with a smear of fudge on my chin. Today I am eight pounds heavier than I was two months ago.
As a barbaric surgery patient who has lost and regained hundreds (and hundreds) of pounds in my life time – weight gain is scary. Feelings of hopelessness and failure pop up as my brain chatter shifts to “Here I go again, I’m doomed to live my life in a 300 lb. body, why do I even try?”
It’s been said that even the most skilled riders fall off their horses now and again. They say the trick is to get back up, dust yourself off, and climb right back up into the saddle.
Getting back into the saddle is a concept that is still new for me in relationship to my weight and health. Owning where I am and how I got here requires a new level of accountability – these 8 lbs. I’m wearing are the result of choices I made. Some of those choices were mindful, many of them were made unconsciously as I stumbled into old habits or outdated modes of stress management. It requires a new level of love, compassion, and forgiveness – for myself. Beating the hell out of myself, name calling, shaming, all-or-nothing thinking, brutal unsustainable regimens, and guilt have never made me healthier. In fact, they contributed to the 175 extra pounds I carried. It requires that I open myself up to new ideas & possibilities, learn new skills, challenge old beliefs, fears, & thoughts, allow for both mistakes and for the possibility of success beyond my wildest imagination. It requires  that I admit that I need support, that I reach out for and accept help.
Our weight is about so much more than calories in and calories out. Healing what got us where we are takes courage, commitment and the belief that we are worth the effort. Today I know that I am worth the effort.
There’s no time like the present. So I am back in the saddle with the intention of entering this new year back on track. You know, that’s an interesting phrase, “there’s no time like the present”. The truth is that there is NO time BUT the present. The only moment we have to do anything is the present moment. We can’t change the past or the future… we can only change this present moment. But every changed present moment affects the decisions we’ll be able to make at some future moment. If I want a future that’s better than my past, I can’t change it in the future; I can only change it in the present. That’s a monumental realization for a master procrastinator like me!  I don’t like to start anything unless I can see the entire path to a successful completion. I want all of the specifics nailed down before I start; but in reality it’s impossible to see all of the details of a challenging project up front. This makes it easy to delay starting. And even when I do start, and then fall off my horse, I want to make sure I can see the end of the trail before I climb back into the saddle again.
Well this time I’m making a new choice. I’m getting back on my horse RIGHT NOW, even though I can’t see beyond the first bend in the trail. I am choosing to deal with each day as it comes, to make choices in my present that will support my future health and well being. I’m choosing peace instead of perfection. Accepting reality instead of fighting it. Opting to look beyond the mountain of fearful “what ifs” and trust that in this present moment the Universe is always for (versus against) me.  I’m choosing to live my life NOW , instead of putting conditions on my “happily ever after”. (You know what I’m talking about… When you’re: smarter, thinner, wealthier, fitter, retired, married/single, prettier, or “have it all together”.)
Life is a wild ride, and no doubt I’ll race around a curve too quickly or attempt to pass through uncharted territory in the dark, falling off my horse again. And again. I will get back in the saddle every time I fall because I am worth it, as is the freedom that comes with good health.
Along the way I’ll continue to learn about myself, exchange habits that don’t serve my well-being for those that do, restock my tool chest with new tools and shake the dust off of some that I’ve forgotten, expand my network of support, and keep returning to the one thing I can change – this present moment.
I’m inviting all of you to dust off your sore backsides, climb back onto your horse and join me as we confidently ride in to 2015 back in the saddle!
If you are feeling like you’ve fallen off your horse and need support getting back up into the saddle, if you’re experiencing the pain of weight regain or are struggling with an extended plateau – there is hope and help! Join me for the Back On Track program beginning 1/13/15. Designed by  WLS patients and medical professionals for weight loss surgery patients in need of support, education, and direction to get back on track. Participants report great success towards meeting their weight loss & wellness goals, and complete the program feeling rejuvenated, rededicated, and confident in their ability to manage their weight long term.
For more information contact Healthy Steps or Sharon McKenzie at:  (Please note the 0 in Sharon is a zero)
Article by: Sharon McKenzie, RN, Licensed Bariatric Educator and Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Patient
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Back on Track Class – with Sharon McKenzie

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2014 Holiday Office Hours

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Quick Tips – How to Stay Active and Exercise During the Holidays

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“It’s hard enough to exercise the rest of the year, but add holidays to the mix and many of us find exercise becomes less of a priority as to-do lists grow longer and longer. The last thing you want is more stress and, for many of us, trying to keep to our usual workout program does just that. At the same time, staying active in some way will give you energy, reduce stress and tension and, of course, help mitigate some of the extra calories you may be eating. So, how do you find that balance? These quick tips will help you plan ahead, prepare yourself for any eventuality and provide workouts to help you stay active this holiday season.”

-By Paige Waehener



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Dr. Robert Woodbury received “Article of the Year” Award


Earlier this month,  Dr. Woodbury was given an award for “Article of the Year”  by the Sonoma County Medical Association.  His article, “Emerging Concepts of Obesity” was published in the spring 2014 issue of Sonoma Medicine and was voted for by a panel of his peers in the medical community.  We are proud to have Dr. Woodbury as our Medical Director here at Heatlhy Steps and to help him care for his bariatric, cancer and general surgery patients here in Sonoma County.  You can read the article here and also see his presentation on the topic at the NCMA symposium here:

Article HERE

Video HERE

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Mediterranean diet keeps people ‘genetically young’ – article review



According to BBC Health News, a “Mediterranean diet keeps people ‘genetically young’”.  Dr. Robert Woodbury and his staff at the Healthy Steps Lifestyle Center have been teaching this for over 5 years and seen it first hand.  Here at Healthy Steps, we have had successful and healthy weight loss with hundreds of patients and we credit it all to a Mediterranean diet and exercise. Read the article HERE for the recipe to a genetically younger  yet long life.


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Crock Pot Chicken Vegetable Soup


Thanks to Healthy Steps’ nutritionist Lindsay Pasdera, we have another simple, delicious, warm, low-calorie recipe to help you make up for any holiday splurges. This recipe fits the bill…and the crock pot practically makes it for you! As is, it’s low-carb, low-calorie and packed with protein and vegetables to fill you up.





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10 Tips for Holiday Weight Loss


Healthy Steps’ Nutritionist Lindsay says: “Research indicates that the average American gains 2-3 pounds each year, and that the obesity epidemic is built on these tiny, consistent increases. (For example, if we are a healthy weight at age 20, by age 40 most of us will be 20-40lbs overweight). The other thing research tells us is that most of us are actually pretty good at maintaining the same weight for most of the year, right up until the period between Thanksgiving and New Years (when we gain, on average, 2-3 pounds). It turns out, our national weight problem is in large part a result of holiday weight gain, pounds that are never successfully lost.  Essentially, if we don’t manage our weight during the holiday season, we’re not truly managing our weight at all. So let’s make this Holiday Season different!”

Check out tips 1-10 on Lindsay’s blog HERE!


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Back on Track January 2015

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