11 – Intuitive Eating
Today we are going to talk a little bit about our mindset toward food and something that we like to call “intuitive eating.”
Intuitive eating can go by many different names and definitions, but for us, it means just listening to your body while eating.
Eat when you are hungry; stop when you are full. No more counting calories and calculating how long you need to exercise just to burn something off.
Too many people will start a diet to try to lose weight.
They start eating what they think are healthy foods to see the scale move. When it doesn’t happen right away, they start eating less and less food; thinking it will eventually help. While most people eat too much food, there are also plenty who eat too little. This can mess up your metabolism and make weight loss even more challenging.
Instead, change your mindset toward food.
Don’t just eat something because you think it is healthy or it will make you lose weight. Eat foods that make you feel good. And not just good at that very moment. Eat foods that make you feel good all day long, provide you with sustained energy, and don’t make you bloated.
But what if you’re never hungry?
I once was working with a client who said that she was never “really” hungry, then listed all the healthy meals she would often cook for herself and her family. She said she didn’t eat bread or get take-aways and cooks most things from scratch. She never finished a meal, and didn’t actually enjoy her meals even though she knew she could cook really well. So why was she struggling to lose weight, and was constantly lacking in energy and motivation?
The long story short was that she was a picker. Whenever she unpacked the shopping, she’d pick at the food as she was putting it away. Whenever she was cooking, she’d pick at the ingredients. It was so automatic, that she didn’t even realise it until I brought it to her attention.
She had it in her mind that sitting down to a proper meal was making her gain weight – she associated anything on a plate with weight gain, and subconsciously programmed herself to almost fear food. To the point that it was actually her “little and often” approach that was working against her goals.
If your meals are balanced, substantial and taste great, there is absolutely no need to pick or snack – you do not need to starve yourself to lose weight. Intuitive eating means when you listen to your body most of the time, you’ll have wiggle room to indulge if you fancy some of the time – nothing is off the menu when you listen to your hunger cues.
Think before you eat.
Next time you think you feel hungry, take a second and actually think about it. Are you actually hungry or are you looking for a source of pleasure? Food has become synonymous with pleasure for so many of us that we often mistake the urge to eat for hunger. Write down all the activities that give you pleasure. Next time you are starting to feel hungry, take the list out and perform one of the activities. See how you feel afterwards and if you are still feeling hungry, grab something that will just get you to 80% full.
The only way to actually achieve intuitive eating is to change your beliefs about food. Remember, our beliefs drive our actions. Our actions drive our results. If you want to get different results, you have to start with your beliefs.
Try this out and see how you feel. Remember, our bodies know what foods are best for it. Learn to listen to your body and start blocking out all the other outside noise telling you what is best. Change your mindset, change your life!
Things to do Today:
- Rate your hunger 0-10 before and after you eat.
- Aim to plan your meal times for when your hunger is around a 3 or 4 and stop eating when you’re at a 7/8