“Intuitive eating requires letting go of food rules, rigidity, and black and white thinking around food by building trust with your body”
Most of us in a Western society have been brought up with the standard meal routine of three meals a day, with the type of foods we eat being heavily influenced by government appointed scientific modeled food pyramids, which in turn has been, in most cases, influenced by the interests of big agriculture.
We have since learned that humans do not fit a “one size fits all” model and that we have a wide variety of individual needs and desires.
When it comes to eating, we are told so many things from so many different sources. Eat three meals a day, eat six meals a day, breakfast is the most important meal…and the list goes on…It’s almost endless. We listen to doctors, nutritionists, advertising, big agriculture, friends and family, but the one person we haven’t been encouraged to listen to is the only person that can truly tell you when it is time to eat, YOU.
Your body has the knowledge to tell you when to eat — Intuition.
It’s time we all take a different approach to food.
To eat when we are hungry and to stop when we are full — to eat intuitively.
I’m sure most of you have been told as a child to eat everything on your plate. This narrative alone can cause a person to develop an eating disorder of over-eating and is just one of the many we hear growing up. Instead it should be encouraged that we eat a wider variety of foods and to stop eating when we no longer feel hungry.
So, what does it mean to be ‘hungry’? — According to Healthline, there are two types of hunger…Physical and Emotional. The first being a biological urge to replenish nutrients which has indicators such as a growling stomach, tiredness, and irritability. The second is “driven by an emotional need” such as sadness, boredom or loneliness.
These feelings can bring about cravings for comfort foods, which can, in turn, generate feelings of guilt.
So next time you feel “hungry”, ask yourself – am I actually hungry? If the answer is no, perhaps have a glass of water and continue with your day. If the answer is yes, then eat something – ask yourself is this food nourishing my body? – will I regret eating it?…and if you don’t feel like sitting down to a meal at that regular time, then don’t.
Listen to your body.
These are all practices in becoming more mindful of what we eat and when we eat it, listening to our body’s needs and making our own decisions about what is best for ourselves.
Trust your intuition.