How do you know WHAT to eat when you’re eating “intuitively”?
If you’re brand new to Intuitive Eating the “intuitive” part of the term might conjure up the idea of an automatic, other-wordly knowing of some deep food selection truth. The notion that you can trust your body might suggest that at the “perfect” point of hunger, your body & mind will create a mental menu of the exact food you need that very moment. A menu imbued with the nutritional precision to raise your iron levels if you’re low or to reduce your sodium if you recently had a high sodium meal.
If you’ve believed this and subsequently felt inadequate when this alleged “intuition” (that we’re all supposed to have) didn’t kick in, you’re not alone.
The truth is Intuitive Eating isn’t that precise. And that’s okay.
Intuitive Eating isn’t about moment-by-moment micro corrections that lead to perfect eating–because perfect eating doesn’t exist. It’s about the big picture of trusting your body to get it “close enough” over time and to make up for the misses. For the times you thought a sandwich was enough and found yourself hungry one hour later. For the times you ate a few bites extra because the casserole was amazing and were left feeling full than usual. Even for those days when life got busy and grazing was all you could do.
The body’s food regulation system works over days and weeks and months when you respond to its signals of hunger, fullness, appetite and satisfaction. As opposed to farming out those choices to an external decision maker: a diet, a calorie level, or food guru.
Intuitive eating means that you are capable of making food decisions. Good ones. But you’ve got to measure your success by different standards than you’re used to. Diet culture has taught us that our food choices and eating capabilities should be assessed by whether or not we fit into a certain size. That’s a really difficult box to break free from. But for long term peace and freedom with food, letting go of that measure of success is necessary.
So what does this knowing what to eat really look like? Practically, it can manifest in several ways. Here is one example with a few legit possibilities that all count as intuitive eating:
Are you starting to get the picture? When it comes to choosing what to eat, Intuitive Eating is about considering what you enjoy and what nourishes you and combining those in a way that makes you feel good about the process. It may involve planning ahead, but it’s also flexible and accommodating and allows for spontaneity. Knowing all the while that, over time, your body will give you a general sense of direction. And because you’re not forcing yourself to eat foods you don’t care for, or depriving yourself of foods you like, you’re not going to be bouncing between extremes. And best of all, no guilt!
If you’re ready to get off the diet roller coaster and learn how to apply Intuitive Eating in your life, learning joyful and realistic ways to take care of yourself with good nutrition, schedule a 15 minute FREE discovery call with me: Click here