What does that even mean?!
Your intuition is the way you getting in touch with yourself. It’s the little voice inside you that knows what it truly needs. It’s how you feel about things and what it means to listen to your gut. In regards to your health, your intuition guides you both with eating and self care choices. We are actually born this way. When you’re a baby, you cry when you need something and when you’re hungry. You only eat things you like and your stop eating when you’re full. It’s an innate nature we all have. As an adult, eating this way gives you the benefit of removing pressures around what you ‘should’ be eating and rather helping your body to give you insight as to what it needs to feel its best. Eating intuitively simply means that you consume foods without guilt and with the knowledge of how it impacts you. I want you to think about it like you’re tuning into your own magic. Our bodies are incredible vessels and we should treat these beautiful things with love and respect.
As we get older, we tend to eat what we want, when we want and a lot of us don’t really think about the fact that there could be consequences to our health. We tend to eat without thinking in general. We grow up thinking food is a reward such a dessert and drinking alcohol and we use to these to cope with stress. The diet culture is so prevalent and can actually be quite destructive to our health. Now, listen, I don’t want you thinking that everything you eat is either good or bad for you or that food has a negative effect on your health and wellbeing, but I do want you to think about how food makes you feel. Pay attention to when you are actually hungry and stop eating when you’ve had enough food to feel full and satisfied. There is always room for dessert when it’s being eaten for joy and not pressure on yourself. Learn how to pay attention to your instincts and you’ll soon find a more balanced approach to your food choices.
Physical hunger: when your body sends signals to nourish itself. Can be fatigue, stomach growling or being thirsty.
Emotional hunger: when you’re not really hungry, but you’re craving something. Driven by feelings of boredom, loneliness, sadness and guilt.
5 ways to eat intuitively
Stop eating a “diet.” Eating intuitively is not ‘black and white’ like diets. All foods are part of a diet and all foods can be part of a healthy diet. We have this idea in our culture that you have to be restrictive and have rules around what and how you eat so that you’re in more control of how food affects you. Ideally you just eat what is healthy for your body and pay attention to what’s in season so you get the most nutrients everyday.
See food as fuel. We need to eat to function. Food is meant to nourish us. It is not meant to be devoid of any nutritional value (think twinkies and GMO foods). Find food that helps you feel healthy and consume all of it!
Listen to your cues. What is your body telling you? Are you hungry or just thirsty or just bored? I know that I tend to eat more when I am working from home simply because I know there is food around and I am in an environment where I feel comfortable. That’s not to say that I shouldn’t snack on an apple, but I try to ask myself if I really need to eat or I just want to distract myself with food. Offices tend to have an abundance of crap to snack on. My advice is to take a second before your mindlessly eat that bag of chips in front of your computer while checking emails. How much food do you need right now in this particular meal? Please always eat enough nutrient dense foods so that your body gets what it needs. Slow down your eating so that you can truly pay attention to when you’re full.
Hydrate. Are you really just thirsty right now? That can be a very similar feeling to being truly hungry. Is it time for lunch or did you just work out? Then yes, you most likely need to eat for fuel. Be sure to hydrate in between meals so that your water doesn’t diminish the enzymes in your stomach to help you digest.
Plan your menu. I know this sounds like the opposite of what I am telling you, but if you can plan out your meals ahead of time while thinking about what your body needs at this time then you can get the most out of your food. I tend to plan my grocery shopping based on what I want to cook and gets me excited to eat and then I add even more vegetables on top of that list so I can be sure to always eat a nutrient dense meal. There will always be the exceptions of desserts and wine and whatever I fancy because I stay balanced.