Ever wondered what is intuitive eating anyway? I’m sharing what it is and how to easily start doing it today! This is something that will change your life!
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PIN What is Intuitive Eating and How to Eat Intuitively
I’ve been sharing a lot about my journey through recovering from disordered eating and hypothalamic amenorrhea (when you lose your period due to low weight and/or too much exercise) on Instagram, but I haven’t shared much on here!
Except briefly with the post about a perspective shift on gluten a weeks ago.
I am going to be sharing lots more in the upcoming months, but I wanted to touch more on it today.
Learning to practice intuitive eating has been the hardest and scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. BUT, it’s also been the most amazing, freeing and BEST thing I’ve ever done for my life.
Things that I don’t do now that I feel like I am an “intuitive eater”
- Think about food all the time. I used to think about it every waking second of every hour of the day. Now I only think about it a couple times a day, and that’s usually when I’m hungry
- Count macros. I can trust my body that, if I listen to what it is telling me it wants, it will make balanced choices most of the time. Sometimes it wants a donut and that’s cool too.
- Count calories. Along the same lines as above. I’ve learned that the human body is not a calculator and I don’t need the same amount of food every day. Some days I need more and some less.
- Write down what I am going to eat for every single meal the next day, and sometimes even a few days after, in a note on my phone. I did this for real. Mostly because I felt so restrictive towards food.
- Don’t have to do “meal math.” IE: if I eat THIS now, then that means I can’t have THIS later.
- Make different dinners for Mr. FFF and for me because mine need to be small and “healthier.”
And the list goes on. Now, I am not saying I am perfect at this. Some days I eat less than I probably should have and some days more. Some days I can’t figure out my hunger cues and if I am hungry or if I am full. I’m still on the journey and learning but, for the most part, I am feeling very solid in where I am at.
What is Intuitive Eating?
Now, you may have heard of this before and you may have even read the Intuitive Eating Book (which I HIGHLY recommend) BUT you may not have. In a world that is so obsessed with dieting, weight loss and being smaller, this message can get lost in “Diet Culture.”
Intuitive Eating is about making peace with food and your body. It’s about learning how to listen to your body and what it is telling you in regard to the food you eat, your hunger and fullness cues and even exercise and movement. It’s about learning to honor yourself and your needs and find acceptance for the way that God made you to be.
It is NOT a diet. It doesn’t promise weight loss. In fact your weight will either go down, stay the same, or increase. Mine increased, which was a very good thing. Hard. But good.
It is a lifestyle that, once practiced, leads to peace, food freedom and acceptance.
It gets rid of the restrictive behaviors around food which you may or may not be aware you have. I always thought I just really liked food which is why I thought about it all the time. Turns out, our brains are hard wired to think that we are in famine when it senses food is scarce (which could be that its sensing that you are RESTRICTING food of some sort. Doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t eating enough) and so it thinks about food ALL the time because it is hoping it will make you eat.
When you finally start to eat without restriction, your body feels safe and that its not in famine. And then, you stop thinking about food. You stop craving sugar all the time because sugar is now “on limits.” You know you can have it if you want it. So, you begin to be able to take it or leave it instead of feeling like you have to go on this all-out crazy binge on it before you have to start avoiding it again.
The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating
I am going to also go more in depth on these later. But the 10 principals (which are in the book) are:
- Reject the diet mentality
- Honor your hunger
- Make peace with food
- Challenge the Food Police
- Respect your fullness
- Discover the satisfaction factor
- Honor your feelings without using food
- Respect your body
- Exercise and feel the difference
- Honor your health
How to Eat Intuitively
Eating intuitively is TOUGH. Especially in a world where we are told we need to be hungry, never feel full, eat diet foods and only eat a certain number of calories.
The first step for me was to learn what I TRULY wanted to eat. So, I made a FREE starter cheat sheet!
This is a flow chart that will walk you through the questions I asked myself every time I sat down to eat, to help me determine what I TRULY wanted to eat, instead of eating based on numbers, macros, or what I thought I SHOULD want!
Would love to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comments!
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