Intuitive eating is not just for those recovering from a restrictive eating disorder or disordered eating. Intuitive eating is also very much the way to freedom from binge eating disorder (or any degree of binge eating) and establishing peace with food and your body.
So, as you’re here, I am guessing you are a sufferer of a binge eating disorder, know of someone who is, or simply wants a better relationship with food, and requires help? — I gotcha —
I have suffered with binge eating since I was a little girl & I am still on the mend to battle it, however it’s nowhere near as much as it used to be & all thanks to intuitive eating! — I will discuss binge eating in further detail on another post.
The journey towards becoming an Intuitive Eater is not necessarily easy. I’m not going to tell you it’s super easy, and in no time you’ll lose weight and end up the happiest and healthiest you’ve ever been in your entire life. I wish we were all superheros, and everything was so simple, easy to accomplish and done in seconds, but I am afraid we’re not superheroes, and nothing worth having comes easy, got it?!
That’s just like the empty promises diets tell you, right?! — However it is totally possible to achieve a sense of freedom from food, regain positive energy from it all, and achieve your desired results without so much stress and guilt.
Intuitive eating is all about getting back to your roots and learning to trust your body again — I shall be touching on a few principles on that matter below.
1. Reject the Diet Mentality – Throw out those diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently — it’s all a load of nonsense! Been there & worn the t-shirt about ten times! This includes those calorie counting apps, that you then obsess about eating under 1200 calories per day, and hey what do you know, 2 weeks later your stuffing your face with chocolate cake! Yes I am talking about myself.
Just checking – I am not telling you to never use a healthy cook book when you fancy trying out a recipe that could be an alternative to the meal you have in mind, in fact I encourage this. I am also not telling you to never use the calorie counting app, just simply be careful how you use it.
2. Exercise – Feel the Difference – Forget exercising to simply punish yourself. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise – Working in the fitness industry I see & hear far too many people focusing on the calorie count, and the time spent on the treadmill. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for your favourite home workout programme, or hitting the snooze button on your alarm, and turning over back to sleep with those expert excuses you have made up over and over again in your mind for the past god knows how many years!
3. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food – Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, depression, boredom, anger, irritation are emotions we all experience throughout life & we have to learn to deal with them in a healthy way. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food coma, but food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating. All this becomes a vicious cycle, and I had been in this rut far too many times for my liking, can you agree?
Note – Sounds far too simple to work, as in my mind everything has to be complicated, but even phoning a friend to distract myself works, or engaging in more conversation with my partner over a coffee helps – or lets go all out and watch Harry Potter, that always makes me feel better! It’s all about changing your train of thought, and eventually the feeling of having to use food for your feelings will fade away with time.
4. Honor Your Hunger – Hunger is a normal, biological process. Your body needs to know, and to trust, that it consistently will have access to food. If you try to override feelings of hunger and don’t eat enough calories and carbohydrates, your body reacts with cravings and binges. Are there times when you feel hunger, but didn’t eat? How come?
5. Respect Your Body –We’re so quick to judge ourselves and criticize our bodies. Learning to respect your body for how it is at this moment is an important tenant of Intuitive Eating. If you are too critical of your body and don’t accept yourself as you are, it’s hard to reject the diet mentality.
Start practicing self love affirmations to yourself each & every single morning, when you find time to be alone. I used to do this a lot, and I still do from time to time. In fact I need to start doing it more often again, lets do it together!
6. Balance. Balance. Balance – Being healthy doesn’t mean eating perfectly. Consider how certain foods make you feel, in addition to how tasty and satisfying they are to you. One meal, one snack or one day of not eating correctly will not cause you to gain weight or have a health problem. It’s the consistency of what you eat over time – it’s not all or nothing. Please come to terms with this, and realise everything is good in moderation. I’m a huge believer on this.
I hope this helps you understand a little more on intuitive eating, and how important it really is for our mind, body, & health. It really has helped me with my binge eating disorder, as I used to reach for the cupboards & fridge all day, every day! Hence why I got to the size I was.
Feel free to ask me any questions & don’t forget to subscribe!