Like you, I wish the COVID-19 crisis had never happened; and as we all adjust to the “new normal” it’s easy to get bored, feel overwhelmed and anxious. And when boredom sets in; you’re likely to grab something to eat even if you’re not hungry. That’s what I use to do until: I discovered intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating is a non diet approach to health and wellness that began in 1995 by two registered dieticians. Their philosophy rejects traditional weight loss diets that promote restriction and deprivation and instead encourages you to get in touch with how hungry or satisfied you are. Then you use this information to decide what and when you eat.
Here’s how it works. Hunger and fullness are regulated by a part of your brain called the hypothalamus. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your stomach to signal the hypothalamus that it’s satisfied and you can stop eating.
But as children, our parents trained us to “clean our plates” causing us to ignore those natural signals leading us down the road to obesity and other chronic diseases. We are told that certain foods are good and others are bad-making us feel good about ourselves when we eat the good food and guilty when we don’t.
However, when you adopt an intuitive eating mindset, you can finally make peace with food. Rather than relying on the clock to tell you when to eat, you rely on your internal hunger and satiety cues; trusting your body to tell you when and how much to eat.
Intuitive eaters also give themselves unconditional permission to eat whatever they want without feeling guilty; some days they want to eat lots of veggies and other days they may feel like having dessert.
Isn’t this approach to health and weight loss sound much more appealing than a calorie restricted diets?
If you’d like to try intuitive eating, here are some useful tips to get your started.
Start by making sure you’re adequately hydrated by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
Slow down your eating. Chew your food thoroughly and put your fork down in between bites. Remember it takes 20 minutes for your stomach and brain to connect!
Challenge the food police by getting rid of the thoughts in your head that declare you as “good” for eating a salad for lunch and “bad” for having French fries for dinner.
Respect your body by not being so quick to judge and criticize every flaw. Learning to respect your body for how it is now is an important part of intuitive eating. Without respect, it’s hard to reject the diet mentality.
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Let's make the most of this quarantine and use the time to change those habits for the better! I look forward to hearing from you!