You constantly hear people say: “Eat intuitively” but do we really know what that means?
Intuitive eating is about trusting your inner body wisdom to make choices around food that feel good in your body, without judgment but always in a conscious manner.
Since we were born, we have had people telling us when and how much to eat. But the thing is: as babies, we cry when we’re hungry. We are all born with the skill to eat, to stop when we are full, to eat when we are hungry and to eat satisfying foods.
There is no “right way” to eat intuitively, which is why it can be so confusing for people who have struggled with diets and/or emotional eating patterns in the past. In fact, it is an essential piece in the prevention of eating disorders. Of course, there are obvious cases where you should steer clear of a food, if you are allergic, for example. But generally speaking, if we tell ourselves not to eat a certain food, we feel deprived, uncomfortable and guilty afterwards.
When starting intuitive eating your weight might go up, stay the same or go down. Each body and mind is completely different from one another; outcomes will be influenced by past factors (was the person diagnosed with an eating disorders in the past? Has the person been dieting since his/her can remember?, etc). But honestly, most people loose some weight first and gain a healthy moderate amount again. Usually this is the weight the body feels comfortable with and so it doesn’t have to constantly fight with its hunger and reserves.
Most of the time weight is influenced by primary foods, since we are no longer worried about gaining weight or eating those “bad foods”, our body starts connecting with ourselves and we unconsciously start listening more carefully.
Stop fighting with food and allow yourself to balance your primary food with your secondary food.
Primary foods consist of external factors that satiate our hunger for life as opposed to hunger for food. While secondary food is everything related to the real/physical food on our plate.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean than we can eat all of the unhealthy processed food we want, without including veggies, fruits, healthy fats, etc. After all, is eating consciously without feeling deprived while maintaining balance.
I know intuitive eating is easier said than done. It is easier when you are at home or your work is flexible so you can eat whenever you get hungry. For others, on the other hand, it is difficult to follow this approach but you can always find a way.
Here are my top 3 solutions for eating intuitively and healthy at the same time:
- Always, and when I say always is ALWAYS, ask yourself what do you want for breakfast, lunch or dinner first thing in the morning.
- Plan your meals in accordance to your schedule, time and activities
- Bring healthy snacks along with you all the time. It doesn’t mean you will need to consume all of them, it means that you are more likely to avoid junk food if you are not hungry.
In my case, I always carry around some snacks so I can wait until I get home and eat a hearty meal. Other days, I carry around with me food I crave.
I just listen to my intuition and I try not stressed about it.