Intuitive Eating is a method of achieving and maintaining health by eating and becoming in tune to the body’s hunger and satiety cues. Relearning this instinctual tool has been what has maintained my weight through 3 children in the last 5 years and ultimately for the last 10 years!
You might notice babies and very young children tend to eat only when hungry and stop when full. It is this inborn intuitive ability to judge food intake that allows us to maintain a healthy weight. With life and aging many factors can affect this intuitive ability such as taught behaviors as a child as well as emotions, stress, pure food enjoyment, and developed habits. Some other factors ( I will go into more depth in another blog post) such as dieting and unhealthy thinking toward food and body take away from our body’s natural ability to maintain a healthy weight. Often we become less connected to our biological cues of hunger and satiety as more of the above mentioned factors occur in our life.
2. Be honest with yourself and honor your true food preference in the moment without food or self judgment. (Heck, I just ate homemade peach cobbler for dinner tonight..HA!) It’s balance and honoring ones preferences without judging your food that enables YOU to be in control of your weight. When no food is judged as “bad”, moderate intake is achievable. Ask yourself what flavor, texture and temperature of food you would like.
3. Take time to enjoy your food without distraction. This gives you the ability to give your food choice “one-on-one” attention. It allows you to check in on your internal cues of satisfaction, contentment and ultimately satiety.
4. Savor your food. Take time to enjoy the aromas, flavors and textures of your food. Savoring your food increases your satisfaction. Satisfaction will help you to be able to stop when your body is signaling you are physiologically full.
5. Be connected to you satiety cues. Stop eating when you are full. This state should be comfortable physically and you should feel content with hunger cues not returning to you for generally 3-4 hours. You should feel satisfied and energized NOT lethargic and uncomfortable. (Refer to the free intuitive eating printable.)
These basic tips are a great starting point to regulating your weight and food intake. I have found it quite effortless to consume 80% of my diet in nutrient rich wholesome food when I gave up dieting and judging food! I generally crave healthier food when I know that no food is “forbidden”. I am confidant that my body will regulate my hunger and maintain a healthy weight. As a Registered Dietitian, I have found this tool to be extremely helpful for my clients. I hope Intuitive Eating helps you with your journey toward the HEALTHIEST YOU, simply!