Three Steps to Start Intuitive Eating

Last week, we talked about how to not bring dieting mentality into intuitive eating.  It was really a big old permission slip to not execute it “perfectly”. You know, since there is no perfection in intuitive eating.  But I’d like to get a bit more into the how-to.  

Intuitive eating can feel super unfamiliar and foreign after years of dieting.  And you can say to yourself, sure, I’m going to now intuitively eat. But what the heck does that mean anyway and how do I start to execute it??? 

Here are three steps to start the ball rolling. 

  • Cultivate a mindset of curiosity with food rather than hostility.  I wrote about this in another post with 3 steps included in how to execute this.  You can read the specifics here, but here’s the low-down. 
    • Being curious means having a strong desire to learn and understand. When we’re coming at the way we eat with a place of curiosity rather than hostility – we’re not judging.  We’re learning. We’re gathering data. We’re interested in how our body responds and how our emotions respond to foods that we consume.  
  • Leave the weight out of it.  So, this one is tough. All I will do is ask you to remind yourself throughout this process (because it is, in fact, a process) to ask yourself – How do I expect to listen to MY body and ITS unique needs if I have one foot on the physical and proverbial scale?  If deep down you’re concerned about your weight and want to reduce it, you’re not eating with curiosity. You’re eating with weight loss in mind.  When we’re eating with weight loss in mind, naturally, you’re going to restrict and old dieting habits (and nutrition myths) will creep in. 
  • Listen to your body. After years of dieting, this can be really challenging because for so long – we’ve been trained to IGNORE our body, it’s hunger cues and its needs. We’ve been taught that we can’t trust ourselves and our body’s physical hunger. Many of us can’t even FEEL it anymore.  This can be a serious barrier to entry in the mindful/intuitive eating approach. What you need to do to start listening to your body is paying attention to its cues. We’re going to dig into this more deeply in another post soon about hunger cues and how to re-ignite them (it’s too much for this post!).  A quick way you can start to execute this is simply by thinking about it more. Ask yourself the following questions when you’re eating::
    1. How does my body feel right now?
    2. Do I feel physical hunger pains?
    3. How do I feel emotionally?
    4. Am I satisfied? 

I hope this is starting to make intuitive and mindful eating feel more accessible and not just a pie in the sky theory that is only achieved by few.  Here’s what I do know about it – it takes time, it takes access to resources, and it takes access to support. I’m here for you and please feel free to comment with any questions.  

 

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