I remember being both fascinated and terrified of intuitive eating. On one hand, I loved the idea of being able to listen to what my body wants instead of following strict meal plans that didn’t seem to align with my body nor my schedule. But on the other hand, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to achieve my health goals without a plan.
I was 40 pounds overweight when I started trying to learn about intuitive eating, and it seemed like anything I did in effort to lose weight worked against my intuition. But at the same time, there were moments when my intuition was telling me to binge on cookies. It was confusing to figure out how to go about intuitive eating when my cravings were out of control.
Usually, when you come across advice on how to eat intuitively, you’ll find a list of instructions to follow to help us become more aware of our eating habits.
But that’s where the problem lies: the aim of intuitive eating is to eat what your body needs without having to think about it. [tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Practicing awareness is actually the opposite of intuitive eating.[/tweet_box]
Awareness eating is where you’re focused on your food experience every time you are about to consume something. Intuitive eating is about eating according to your body’s needs without having to think about it, at all.
In order to truly become intuitive, you have to focus on rebalancing your body chemistry. Because it’s our body chemistry balance that determines if we have wild cravings, helps us know when we’re hungry and when we’re full, and signals to us what we need in a healthy way.
If all you do is practice awareness eating, then it’s going to be a challenge to eat in a healthy way during moments in your life when you are distracted or cannot control your food sources. These scenarios happen on a regular basis, so practicing awareness eating isn’t a long term solution.
But, awareness eating does have excellent helpful points. It can help you reconnect with your tastebuds to start figuring out what foods you really enjoy. It can help you slow down while you’re eating. It can help you live in the moment and be more connected with your food.
But if you’re aim is to have long-term body balance and never have to worry about your food choices or portion control or body fluctuations based on your choices, then balancing your body chemistry is the first thing you want to do.
This means spending time eating according to plans that will help you rebalance your gut so you can have proper digestion, getting good quality sleep so you can balance your serotonin and melatonin levels (serotonin helps us know when we’re full), checking our hormone balances, etc.
Once our body chemistry is balanced and our bodies are functioning properly, we can start to hear and become more sensitive to what our body is telling us that we need. This is how we can intuitively eat without even having to think about it, and enjoy our foods without worrying about negative health impacts.
Yogis, does this advice resonate with you? Share with us in the comments!