If you have been eating more during the quarantine, you are not alone! Boredom, stress and emotional eating are at an all-time high. We are stuck at home with a stockpile of food and so many emotions, which can be a dangerous combo.
Intuitive eating is an approach that can help you to feel more balanced and in control. It’s a proven method to help you get out of that “on again, off again” mindset when it comes to food and dieting.
You may have heard of intuitive eating and wondered what it means. Intuitive eating is simply listening to your body’s cues and letting them dictate when and how much you eat. It seems very simplistic, and it really can be.
But if you’re like a lot of people I know, there’s a good chance you never learned how to … or have forgotten how to listen to your body. Many of us were raised to finish everything on our plate. I’m even guilty of encouraging my own kids to sometimes “take two more bites.” This may have led to the habit of eating more than your body actually needs at mealtime. When you eat more than your body truly needs, it can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.
Ignoring what your body is trying to tell you can lead you to constantly getting caught up in whatever current “trendy diet” that you see on social media or that your best friend tells you about. You can fall into labeling certain foods or categories of foods as “good” and “bad”. It can lead to a toxic relationship with food as well as overwhelm and confusion.
When you rely solely on “what’s out there” for guidance, it can lead to an endless cycle of guilt and disappointment. But here is the good news, everything you need to lose weight and be healthy is right within you! You just have to learn how to listen to it.
Intuitive eating simply means slowing down and listening to your body, and eating according to what it is telling you.
It means eating when you’re actually hungry, and stopping when you are comfortably full.
It also means eating foods that help you to feel energized and healthy, instead of bloated and tired.
As a result, no foods are “good” or “bad.” How freeing is that!
Eating this way as a lifestyle will lead you to your natural healthy weight over time. It does take time and patience, but it’s so worth it because at the end you will have developed a positive mindset around food and a positive relationship with food. Food is not the enemy. You can never stop eating food. So let’s start healing that relationship right now.
So … how do you get started? When you feel an urge to eat, ask yourself “Am I physically hungry?” And if you are, then eat a nutritious snack or meal until you are almost full, then stop.
If you are not physically hungry then ask yourself why you feel this urge to eat. Is it because you feel stressed, anxious, sad, lonely, bored, or because you just saw a picture of some delicious food on social media? If it’s any of those reasons, think of something you can do instead to relieve stress, or to feel more joyful or connected, besides using food to cope.
Why is this the perfect eating plan for right now? Because you don’t need to make fancy meals, you don’t need to buy specific ingredients and you don’t have to count, weigh, or measure anything. It doesn’t add anything to your already overwhelming life and actually makes your life more simple!