When it comes to intuitive eating, it’s important to start trying to understanding why you eat when you eat.
Questions to consider when trying to analyze eating habits: Are you eating because you’re hungry? Are you eating because the clock says a certain time on it? How about your full/stopping signals? Do you conclude eating when you’re not hungry any more? Or do you clean your plate regardless of hunger? How do you feel when you’re hungry or full (both physically and mentally)? Are there emotional connections to eating when you do?
And lastly, a question that is asked all too often: How do you start eating intuitively? I’m touching on this question with three steps, to get you learning more about IE and how you can implement it in your life.
1. Find your hunger cues. Easier said that done, right? This is why I suggest starting with the first meal you eat of the day. What you’re going to want to do is wait until you physically feel hungry in the morning to eat, verse eating breakfast simply because you’ve woken up. Sure, it’s been eight hours since you’ve gone to bed, but give your body some time to wake up and tell you you are hungry. Once you start recognizing this with your first meal of the day, it’ll be easier to feel this same sensation throughout other times of the day.
2. Try a food/mood journal. Some people count calories or write tedious logs of everything they ate and drank throughout the day. While this works for some, it certainly doesn’t work for all. That said, I am a fan of food journaling – there is so much to be said for accountability, but the kind of journaling I favor is a food/mood journal. The basic premise is you write down what you ate and what kind of mood you were in before and after you ate it. You can also have a section for how hungry you were before and after too! See the box below to get the food/mood worksheet I made just for you!
3. RELAX! Getting in touch with hunger cues can be difficult! Go into learning about intuitive eating with an open mind. You will need practice. You will mess up. Each time you eat is a new opportunity to learn more about your relationship with food, your body, and how you feel when you put food in your mouth. Just by reading this post you’re on the right path of discovering more about your relationship with food – I am proud of you! You should be too! So, take a deep breath while you are learning and relax. Also, try to have a little fun too, k? 🙂
For topic requests on intuitive eating, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
More intuitive eating series posts:
- Post 1: A Brief Introduction to Intuitive Eating and the reaction I received from FitBloggin2011
- Post 2: My Personal Intuitive Eating Experience
- Post 3: The Role Self-Acceptance Played in my Intuitive Eating Journey
- Post 4: Intuitive Eating Challenges and Does It “Work”
- Post 5: Thoughts on Why Our Natural Born Intuitive Eating Skills Diminish
- Post 6: What Does the Scale Mean to You?