Intuitive Eating: Where to Begin

Disclaimer: Intuitive eating is not a diet for weight loss. It’s a lifestyle that shifts your mindset with food to eat more in tune with your body. If you feel a little lost when it comes to listening to hunger cues and tend to overeat, this might be for you!

Intuitive eating sounds like it should be simple: You listen to your body. You eat what it needs. And you feel better, right?

But maybe it’s not that easy… think about all the years that you’ve felt hungry but not eaten because you didn’t think you should or have eaten waaaay past your limit because something tasted too good to pass up. These are both times in which we did NOT listen to our body. I used to cycle through these options regularly, and I know I wasn’t alone.

These are now habitual, meaning we’ve done them so often that it’s going to take a lot of time and dedication to unlearn. 

I see this in a lot of women I coach (definitely the majority.) When I ask them to rate their hunger levels on a scale of 1-10, many will say, “Wow… I don’t think I even know the differences between hunger levels… I’m usually ‘pretty okay’ or ‘I’m starving’. I don’t really feel the inbetween.”

Does this resonate with you? It really was an eye opener for me at the beginning of my health journey. 

There are many ways to begin your intuitive eating journey, but one thing I recommend doing first is making a hunger chart. Rate your levels of hunger from 0-10. Or if that seems too daunting to start with 0-5, a lot of people find that more manageable.

Your chart could look like this:
0- Not hungry at all
1- A tiny bit hungry (just beginning to think of your next meal)
2- Not very hungry side of the “I could eat.” phrase
3- Pretty hungry side of the “I could eat.” phrase. Break out the snacks on hand
4- Starting to get very hungry. Eat soon.
5- You are HANGRY! Get food NOW!

 

Intuitive eating promotes healing our body and mind from the notion that foods are bad for us. In order to find success with eating intuitively we cannot exclude any food from our diet out of fear! Allow yourself to eat your favorite dessert and honor your cravings. A good way to practice this looks like: Eating a nutrient dense meal or snack until you’re satisfied  (not overly full) and then have the sweets you’ve been craving. Or you can incorporate treats into well rounded snacks: carrots, snap peas, greek yogurt dip, and your favorite chips. Eating foods you previously labeled “bad” alongside nutrient dense foods will only help your perspective with them!

Recognizing your hunger cues and allowing yourself to eat all kinds of food will go a long way in healing your mindset and body. Everyone should be able to eat the food they love!  Try to implement these two shifts and DM me how its going on instagram @justget.fit 

 

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