An Intro To Intuitive Eating
Intuitive eating is better than any of those crash and fad diets out there. It teaches you to listen to your body, and it is more sustainable than one of those diets, it can actually become a way of life.
I fell in love with this concept right away is because it is so different than any other diet out there! Intuitive eating is all about listening to your body, unlike those “lose an absurd amount of weight in a matter of days!” (Yeah it sounds great but it’s honestly a crash diet. And it will not benefit you in the long run!) They’re restricting, and they also have an expiration date. A few days, 2 weeks, etc. point is they end.
Intuitive eating doesn’t have a set amount of time for how long you do it. Because it’s a mind set, it’s a way of looking at food and eating healthy, it’s a lifestyle. And here’s how you create that healthy relationship with food, your mind and your body:
Pay attention to when you are hungry, and how hungry you are.
You should aim to be eating when you are at a #4 and stop when you hit #6.
If you eat when you’re at a #1, 2, or 3 you will end up over eating. Which is why people gain weight, they don’t know when to stop eating because your body is saying, “I am starving put all of that dang food in my belly NOW!”
To prevent this I’M GOING TO EAT EVERYTHING alarm from going off, if you are often in the 1-3 range throughout the day pack yourself some snacks. Don’t be starving yourself! It’s okay to have snacks in between meals, in fact I have a whole list of healthy snacks, and Healthy snacks for road trips. This way you make sure that no matter what you’re doing you’re staying around a #4, so when it’s time for a meal you’re not going to be over doing it.
By practicing intuitive eating you’re making yourself aware of the food you’re putting into your body. You will be able to make better food decisions. When you’re on a restrictive diet and cut all sugar and chocolate out of your diet…What do you think about most? That sugar and Chocolate you’ve cut! You think about what you can’t have, and you want it more and more!
This is why diets don’t work. Because once the diets is over, you suddenly have all this freedom to eat whatever you want.
But guess what intuitive eating is all about listening to what your body needs. It’s eating because your hungry and paying attention to those cues that your body is sending you all day long. This means that if you want a piece of chocolate and you haven’t had some in a while then why not? Because after practicing this way of eating you’ll realize that you don’t always want that piece of candy or the doughnuts from the break room, but every now and then if fine.
By paying attention to what you eat you realize how food makes you feel. You’ll notice when you’re eating because you’re bored, or because you’re upset. Intuitive eating takes introspection, and if you want to see change in your body you need to ask yourself a series of questions.
- Do I want this?
- Am I really this hungry?
- How is this going to make me feel later?
- Am I just wandering the kitchen because there’s nothing else to do?
- Is this food going to give me lasting energy? (If you’re picking up a bag of chips and gulping down soda, then in 20 minutes you still feel hungry so you go back to the pantry and grab twinkies and the pretzels, and so on. This type of munching will set you easily at a 7 or 8)
Or for those who have a hard time with eating food. You will realize that you are happier when you are eating the right kind of foods. You don’t have to restrict food, be obsessive over calories, or work off what you just ate. Intuitive eating is about finding peace with food.
You’ll realize that you need to food to be strong, to accomplish your goals. I had a hard time eating through high school and college. My hair was thin, I felt very weak, and I would workout a LOT!! And I would get dizzy all the time while I was exercising, or walking to my classes.
I wish I would have discovered intuitive eating sooner. Because now I see the difference that it makes. Food isn’t my enemy, I just have to eat the right kind of food to fuel my body so I can feel my best. I’ve honestly found through so many tough years with food that restricting my food will Not help me lose weight. But respecting my body, and paying attention to what I put inside it will.