If we’ve worked with you at A Strong Life in Hartford, CT, you’re aware of what intuitive eating is and know that once you learn it, you never have to diet again. For people who aren’t part of our program, intuitive eating means listening to your body when it comes to what you consume. You focus not on “bad food” or “good food,” but what your body needs to be healthy. You don’t worry about gaining weight or losing weight, but focus on what foods help you achieve your physical and mental best.
You don’t diet, but do have to learn how to listen.
Diets don’t work. I once met a woman that told me she lost 600 pounds. I was quite taken back until she told me it was the same 20 pounds that she lost 30 times. That’s what dieting does. While you may lose weight because of restrictive dieting, you gain it right back again. That dieting yo-yo continues until you decide there’s a better way. If you learn to listen to your body, it tells you what it needs.
Learn to eat only when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.
Rather than focusing on how much you have to lose or gain, in some cases, people who eat intuitively focus on hunger. It’s amazing, once you learn how. Your body directs you toward the nutrients you need, but consuming a variety of foods helps ensure that. Rather than ignore hunger, you need to act on it. If you wait, you’ll be more apt to eat whatever is available, rather than what’s healthy. Waiting can also cause overeating if you get too hungry and eat too fast.
Identify the point where you feel full and quit eating.
That might seem simple enough, but it’s not. Most people don’t pay attention to when they’re full, or they eat too fast and the message doesn’t register in the brain quickly enough. Identifying when you’re full means eating slowly and paying attention. Think about it for a minute periodically as you eat. Notice the taste of the food and as you do, identify your hunger level to see if your body needs more. Enjoy the experience of eating. That feeling of satisfaction is the perfect place to stop. Beyond that feeling, it becomes uncomfortable.
- When you eat intuitively, it doesn’t mean you have to give up any food. Sometimes, you might crave cake. You can eat it, just do it in moderation. One bite won’t kill you and will probably satisfy that hunger.
- Learn what role your emotions play. Sometimes, anger, loneliness, boredom and even anxiety can cause you to overeat. Identify the problem and learn new ways to cope with those emotions.
- A perfect example of not listening to the body is when you’re thirsty, but mistaken it for hunger. You find yourself craving food that is juicy and eat it when a glass of water might be the best solution.
- Research shows that people who ate intuitively tended to have lower body mass indexes and better mental health. It’s not meant for everyone, particularly if you have diabetes or hypertension and need to limit certain foods, so check with your doctor first.
For more information, contact us today at A Strong Life