Eating is fun, period. Over the years, it has become an anxiety-inducing activity, which makes food a mortal enemy. Blame it on the obesity problem around the world, or the Barbie and Victoria’s Secret phenomenon that the media has cultivated to make women who belong on the bigger scale feel bad about themselves.
Since then, diet programs have popped up here and there,and promised you the road to a thinner future. Unfortunately, not all diet plans work. Worse yet, even experts and health advocates agree that these diet plans are not your ticket to a Victoria’s Secret angel body.In fact, they even recommend the “eat whatever you want, whenever you want it” mantra when it comes to food. This is known as intuitive or mindful eating.
Here Are 12 Ways To Learn What Your Body Needs By Listening To It:
1. Make peace With Food
You should enjoy food, not fear it. Apparently, living in the world where sporting a size two is sexy, it is normal for most women to restrict themselves with certain kinds of food and say goodbye to the rest. If you’re one of them, then you’re doing it all wrong.
Therefore, make peace with food. Restricting yourself to certain foods leads to overeating and incessant cravings. Check the food pyramid and make sure you are meeting the required nutrients your body needs in order to function properly. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself taking a trip to the kitchen in the middle of the night, looking for chips or donuts.
2. Say Good Bye To Diets
Diet plans, especially the unhealthy ones, have one thing in common: they make you lose weight – temporarily. If you look into the long-term effects, it creates more harm than good to your body.
If you’re concerned about your health and nutrition, then you should start saying goodbye to your diet, or any other diet plans invented.
Dieting gives you strict rules on what and what not to eat. It also tends to restrict certain food groups, which your body needs. If you start paying attention to what your body is telling you, you become the expert of your own body. Eventually, you will realize there is no perfect diet that will work for you.
3. Allow Yourself To Eat
Yes, you read that right. Intuitive eating promotes eating whatever you want and whenever you want it. Don’t restrict yourself with foods only the World Wide Web told you to eat. Cheat days are okay.
If you want a slice of pizza, then go ahead and get one. If you are craving for donuts, then eat one or two, and don’t feel guilty about it.
However, this doesn’t give you a license to become a glutton. Even if there is no good and bad food for intuitive eaters, there is still a difference between apples and apple pie.
The purpose of this article is to help your learn how to listen to your body. You can eat when you are hungry anytime of the day. Just make sure you learn to stop once you feel you’ve had enough.
4. Listen To Your Body When It’s Hungry
The truth is, your body knows what it wants and when it wants it better than what you may think. It’s only a matter of how you activate your hunger-o-meter to detect hunger cues. Here comes the problem: most people find it difficult to distinguish gentle hunger and extreme hunger.
The key here is watch out for mild hunger cues, which means you are not too hungry, but your body tells you that you need some kind of nourishment. Once you felt that, go ahead and eat. Waiting it out until you felt extremely hunger could lead to overeating. Start checking your body and ask yourself how hungry you feel. This will help you identify the different levels of hunger.
5. Stop When You’re Full
Consequently, you need to listen to your body when it starts to feel full. Learning to honor hunger also means you should pay attention to satisfaction cues.
Keep in mind that you are not aiming for extreme fullness here, as if you can’t stand up and move. You should be able to learn and identify when your body is comfortably full.
This means you are no longer hungry, and the food you are eating starts to become less enjoyable. Your body tells you you’ve had enough and respect that. Don’t pressure yourself to finish everything on your plate, if you can no longer eat it.
6. Manage Mind Over Emotions
Food and emotions are inter connected. Whether you are happy, sad, depressed or feel the need to celebrate, food will always have a special place on the table. However, there is a difference between eating for nourishment and eating for comfort.
Eating is fun, but it should not be your main source of joy and comfort. Stop eating your feelings, and don’t justify the need to do so just because you need to feel better. If you are going through something, talk to a friend, take a walk, write it down or do something that doesn’t involve chewing. Whatever you are feeling, find ways to deal with it, sans chocolates and pizza.
7. Challenge The Food Police
There will always be one person in the group who tells you not to eat this or eat only that, also known as the food police. Even if you’re not dieting, you felt the pressure from them and it makes you feel guilty for eating a slice of pizza. If you know someone, stay away from them as much as possible.
Or this person could be you. In that case, stop categorizing food into good and bad, healthy and unhealthy, or eat this, but not that. Eating intuitively doesn’t require any rules and regulations to follow.
Just because you can eat anytime you want, that doesn’t mean you have to sit in front of the couch with a big bowl of popcorn for as long as you want. Intuitive eating is all about health and nutrition. This means you need to stand up and work out, too.
Just like food, you need to think of exercise as more than just calorie-burning activity. In fact, it is something you should enjoy doing, so you will do it regularly. Find a physical activity that interests you most – and stick to it.
8. Discover The Satisfaction From Eating
Here’s the tricky part. Since eating often becomes a stressful activity, finding the joy and satisfaction in it can be a bit challenging. It’s not supposed to be that way. Once again, remind yourself that eating and food should be an enjoyable, pleasurable and a satisfying experience.
Take time to make every meal special, even if it means bringing out your special plates from the cabinet. Sharing meal with someone also adds to the pleasure.
Once you discovered the satisfaction from eating, you will be able to realize that you’ve had enough already. At the same time, you’ll realize that you don’t need a slice of cake or a pint of ice cream on the fridge to make you feel better.
9. Simplify Your Life
How many hours do you spend in front of the mirror as you get ready for date night with your man? It’s okay if you want to look perfect in your man’s eyes. However, worrying about the tiniest things is one of the recipes for a complicated life.
The same goes with food. You don’t have to stress over the little details that go inside your body. Even Warren Buffet eats like a six year old, and it helped him stay young and energetic.
You have enough on your plate already, and what you eat or drink is something you should worry less about. It will also make your life simpler and more efficient.
10. Accept And Love Your Body
Time and again, you will always hear this phrase: “Accept yourself for who you are.” Most intuitive eaters will tell you and encourage you to respect your body, regardless of the shape. This is because if you are critical about your body shape and size, it will be difficult for you to accept and look at food in a positive way.
There is no such thing as the perfect size. Don’t let people dictate what you should look like, and don’t let them make you feel bad about your size. Again, your body knows what it wants and when it wants it. Listen to your body more than what other people say about you.
11. It’s All About Your Health
More importantly, intuitive eating is about health. You might find it contradictory because it teaches you to eat whenever you feel like eating. But, as you go through this process, you will realize that there are some foods that make you feel better.
Therefore, always strive for food that you find tasty and at the same time, food that works well with your overall diet. Your body will tell you if it’s not happy with what you are feeding it, so make sure to pay attention to those cues.
Pay attention to how your body reacts to different kinds of foods and use that to motivate yourself towards a healthier path.
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