First of all, what exactly is it?
Intuitive Eating = trusting in your body and allowing it to guide you to what foods feel good for you, how much you need and when.
Mindful Eating = being present, slowing down during your meals and being honest with yourself about what you’re intuiting.
I personally believe, you can’t do one successfully without the other.
OK, so why should I try it?
For so long we’ve been subconsciously programmed to think that food is the enemy, we can’t be trusted and nor can our bodies. Which is why we need RESTRICTIONS and plenty of RULES to keep us on track!!! No carbs after dark, fat makes you fat, your diet has to be boring to get results but this is simply not true.
We assume that food is the problem every time when in actual fact, it’s often not food but our behaviours and actions around food that are really holding us back.
This is where intuitive and mindful eating comes in…
They allow you to get back in tune with your body and work with it, rather than punishing and pushing against it all the time.
Our bodies know best, they have the answers to guide us, if we can simply listen to their cues and symptoms.
We were designed to have an appetite, it’s not a sick joke that someone is playing on human kind. If you’re hungry, your body wants food. When you’re full, you’ve had enough and should stop eating.
Listening to your body and your appetite sounds simple but for many of us, we’ve been stuck in poor patterns for so long, we’re not even sure how “hungry” and “satisfied” feels. Does "body" actually want a whole pizza followed by a block of chocolate or is there something else at play here?
This is why Mindful eating is so important. Breaking down those interpretations of your intuitive eating.
Mindful Eating requires you to slooooow down with your food. This means actually being PRESENT, no distractions and actually tasting, enjoying and experiencing each meal. It should take you 15-20 mins to eat.
If we don’t slow down with food, we shovel it all in, we miss cues that we’ve had enough, we don’t get the pleasure from our meal and we’re left either unsatisfied and wanting more, uncomfortably full or both!!
Understanding your hunger and satiety cues are vital in this process. As humans we use food as a strategy for maaaany things. To de-stress, to celebrate, to feel love, to numb our emotions, to ease discomfort or boredom and that’s just to name a few.
So if we are intuiting that we need food, when we’re not in fact hungry, you can see how things can become a hindrance in maintaining your wellness and a healthy body weight over time.
How do I get started?
Follow these simple steps:
- Start to pay attention to what true hunger feels like in your body
- Slow down with each meal, aim to build to 20 mins
- Taste your food and enjoy it
- Don’t eat food you hate, if kale doesn’t do it for you, try something else
- Learn to put your food to the side if you’re starting to notice you’ve had enough. You can come back to it later when you’re hungry again
- If you finish your meal and you’re still truly hungry, have more!
- Stop eating foods that are not working for you, if dairy gives you a belly ache, experiment without it to see how you feel
-Listen to your body, Listen to your body, Listen to your body. I cannot say that enough!
- If you find yourself eating and you’re not actually hungry, get curious, ask yourself- “What am I really hungry for?” Love? Pleasure? Company? Stressed? And is there another way I can fill that void or deal with that emotion?