Intuitive eating has emerged in the health, and wellness world. People are raving about it and I think it is something valuable to look at. What is Intuitive Eating? Can you lose weight eating intuitively?
We all have intuition about what is right for our body. What makes the difference is whether we listen to that intuition or not. Can we interpret what our body is actually trying to tell us?
Intuitive eating is amazing when done correctly. I sort of fell into intuitive eating but I didn’t start there. I wasn’t ready for it. It was not until I dove deep into my beliefs about my body and what it meant to actually care for it.
The real question you should ask yourself is, how are you using it? Is it to justify devouring an entire box of Oreos this week? Please don't take that out of context either.
Everyone loves a good Oreo. Oreos are a childhood staple and not eating something “bad” is everything wrong with our restrictive dieting culture.
It could very well be that you needed a cookie on a soul-ular level (yes I made up that word.) I am all about balance and enjoying yourself. Still, I wonder if eating the rest of the box was actually an attempt for you to feed something else.
Is it possible that you are actually hungry for something more? There are so many ways to feed ourselves besides food. Stay with me here, this is important. Are you feeding yourself in other ways than with food?
No judgement because I have been there. Once I changed my relationship with food, literally EVERYTHING changed. When you see food for what it is (energy) you can see it for what it is not.
Food is not comfort, food is not aliveness, food is definitely not security. Food is energy and it provides us with what we need to survive. No more, no less.
So the question then becomes what are you ACTUALLY hungry for?
If you want to change your mentality around food and create a healthy relationship with your body, I am here to help. If you want to try out eating intuitively this is a good place to start.
Here are five ways to start changing your mental radio station. To tune into the channel that your soul can dance along with and your body will positively experience.
1.) Let go of foods that do not make you feel good. In order to learn a new way to eat (and live for that matter) we must first unlearn all the ways which have not worked for us.
If you don’t feel great when you eat certain foods, stop eating those foods. Gradually, phase them out. There are so many substitutions available now and you would be surprised how amazing food can taste when you know how to prepare it.
It doesn’t have to be that you never eat them again. I have food intolerances and it took me a while to accept that. I was stuck on what I had to give up, instead of focusing on how much better I would feel.
Just because we want something does not mean it is good for us. You wouldn’t stay in a relationship with someone who constantly makes you feel like doggie doo.
It is something to look at in all facets of life. You have to be willing to let things go, in order to feel and experience what you really want.
2.) Start listening to your body. Cravings are your body asking for something it needs. If you are craving sugar, you may need some carbohydrates. Carbs have been demonized and it really is unfounded.
Don’t feed into that blanket type of dieting. It really is the quality of our food that we should be focusing on. Complex carbohydrates are essential for our bodies.
If you are scared to eat carbs, try adding sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, and fiber rich fruit and vegetables into your diet. See how good it feels and your body will thank you!
3.) Track your progress by how you are feeling. When I started my weight loss journey, I wasn’t in a place yet mentally to do this. I was stuck on the number on the scale, having picture perfect abs and counting calories religiously. I wasn’t ready to look deeper than that superficial and shallow perspective.
You may not be there yet and that is okay. We are all living our own unique path. Read this when you are ready and see how much your life changes. When you look at weight loss as a means to feel better, it changes the tune. It then becomes about living your best life and feeling good in your own skin.
4.) Take a long look at the reasons you eat. There are no wrong answers here. This is simply to see where you are at. Is it to feed your body the nutrients you need? Are you attempting to cope with stress or dissatisfaction with life?
Most of us could agree that excessive drinking and drug use is not good for us. Same goes for food if we are eating for the wrong reasons. You could deprive yourself or you could consume in excess.
Neither are healthy or “good” approaches. You can convince yourself of anything. It’s all about realizing why you are doing something. Getting to the bottom of it.
Addicts typically don’t drink because they like alcohol or drugs, at least it doesn’t start off that way. They use that substance to feel better or to escape their current reality.
Emotional eating or binging is the same idea. This is why I suggest starting a food journal. It helps you to notice patterns of eating and how you feel afterwards. It helps you get into awareness and out of your own way.
5.) Be kind to yourself and practice self love. Have patience with yourself and know that you will make mistakes along the way. You don’t have to be perfect. None of us are. Stop waiting to live your life and to love yourself.
You would be surprised how good you will feel when you make choices that are right for you. It’s all about being okay wherever you are on your journey. If you just started out, you may not be ready to be full on body positive.
That is totally normal and will come with time. Tell yourself the stories you would share with your children. Lead with love and understanding. Give yourself a break!
If you are using intuitive eating correctly then it can absolutely lead to weight loss. Use it to gauge your hunger, listen to your body and learn which foods work for you.
Jumping right into intuitive eating may not work if you are still holding on to negative beliefs about food and your body. Unlearning a behavior can be a challenge but it is possible. People do it everyday.
Just be open and willing to let go of what has not been serving you. Be patient with the process and don’t have unrealistic expectations about instant results.
Weight loss is made simple when we learn to tune into ourselves rather than searching for the answer outside ourselves. This is exactly what intuitive eating is all about. Start to tune into your own music and feel the energy shift that comes with it.
Go ahead and get hungry! Feed yourself with all the nourishing parts of life. It’s all around us, you just have to be willing to listen for the music.