It starts with changing your intentions.
I’ve recently been implementing a principle called Intuitive Eating into my life and my clients lives and let me tell you, it’s a game changer.
Intuitive Eating is about trusting your body. We inherently know how to feed ourselves, but for some reason have been conditioned into thinking that we’ve lost this capacity. We rely on fad diets, calories and other markers to determine whether foods are “bad” or “good”, and that then determines whether we “should” or “shouldn’t” eat them.
Well what if I told you that no foods are bad and no foods are good?
Of course, nutritionally speaking, a chocolate bar does drastically different things to your body than a kale salad. But when it comes to our mental health and food, we need to distance these words like “bad” or “good” from our vocabulary – you are not bad because you ate a cookie, nor are you good because you ate broccoli. You are simply living.
Intuitive eating is about letting your body have what it wants but then listening to the response it gives you. Let’s say you are craving pizza, have the damn pizza girl. But instead of feeling guilty afterwards, simply listen to how your body feels. Do you feel sluggish? Okay great, then maybe don’t have pizza tomorrow.
When it comes to intuitive eating, it’s all about intention. It all comes down to self-control vs. self-care. Let’s use an example. You’re at a family dinner and one of your aunts brings out her famous brownies…
Scenario one is that you tell yourself that you “can’t have it” even if you want one. The issue is that deprivation leads to more intense desires/cravings. Often, when we give into these desires we go nuts and over-eat. So instead of having the 1 brownie you wanted, you end up having 3 the next night.
Scenario two: Alternatively, let’s say you are simply feeling so full and satisfied from dinner that you don’t feel like you even need the dessert. You don’t want it because you feel great, not because you can’t have it.
Same action, different intention. In both cases, you didn’t eat the dessert. But in scenario one, you leave feeling deprived and like you need to have more “self-control” and in the second scenario, you practiced more “self-care”.
If you want the brownie, eat the brownie. Now, I’m not telling you to go buck-wild and eat the whole plate, but listening to your body is important for your mental health and your relationship with food. When you remove deprivation and guilt from the equation, you become a lot more trusting of your body and end up being happier to feed it foods that make you feel vibrant and energized.
Often, if we just let ourselves have what we want, we reduce cravings and binges later on.
We feel as though we are being cared for, not controlled by our diet.
WRITTEN BY STELLA SPEIGEL