A few weeks ago, I touched on something important that has been happening around here…no longer focusing on any macronutrient, just eating my 9 servings of freggies and eating intuitively. I realized this was a huge topic and reached out to the very smart Sports Dietitan Kristina LaRue to help define it and give some tips!
Intuitive eating is a way of eating that gives your body the power to determine what, when, and how much when it comes to food.
It’s that quality that we were all born with but somewhere along the way lost it—whether you find yourself too busy to slow down to eat anymore that by the time you get to a meal you are famished and overeat or maybe you’re depriving your body in a quest to lose weight it’s hard to determine what hungry feels like anymore.
There is hope that you can get that power back to fix your broken hunger and fullness meter and by eating intuitively. I’ll explain.3 Steps to Recalibrating Your Hunger Fullness Meter
1. Eat in a regular pattern. If you’ve lost touch with your hunger and fullness cues, often the first step is to start eating nourishing food in a regular interval. Depending on where you are starting from, it can be helpful to consult with a registered dietitian to help you rebalance your food again. Eating a mix of proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fruits and veggies at each meal is not only necessary for health but also satiety.
For example, ever eat a bowl of cereal only to be starving in 30 minutes, or maybe right then for that matter? But how about if you at oatmeal made with milk topped with peanut butter, fresh berries, and flaxseed? That’s going to last you a longer and you will get fuller quicker too.
Eating about every 3-4 hours keeps your energy levels stable and helps you to get in touch with gentle hunger and fullness rather than extremes.
2. Accept your body as it is. Sure you might have hopes for your body to look different but focusing your attention on changing your body is futile and it doesn’t bring happiness—even at a different weight or body composition. Instead accept your body here and now, it’s curves, flaws, and imperfections. This self love and renewed outlook will motivate you even more to be your best self each day—fueling well and exercising daily.
Weight loss and improved body composition are side effects of intuitive eating, not the end goal. For some this might mean tossing out the scale, finding an activity that you actually enjoy, or cleaning out your closet and buying clothes that actually fit today.
3. Knowing your number. When you sit down to a meal, as yourself, “How hungry am I right now?”, and give it a number from 1 to 10 with 1 being ravenous and 10 being stuffed like a turkey at Thanksgiving. This simple practice will allow you to tune in. As you are eating check in with yourself, asking yourself… “How much more do I need to eat so that I feel energized for the next 3-4 hours or so”.
Eating to a gentle satisfaction (6-7) not stuffed (8-9) is a learned skill that only becomes easier with practice. Eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re satisfied turns the focus from the food and gives your body the energy that it craves.
Re-learning how to eat intuitively can take some time, so give yourself some space to experiment as you discover to how to nourish your body with food again. Want to read more about intuitive eating? Check out one of my favorite books Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole.
She loves to CrossFit, run and hang out with her husband and our furry “kitty” child.
Connect with her on twitter @KristinaLaRueRD or if you’ve got questions about intuitive eating at kristina(at)dietdiva(dot)net.
Thanks again to Kristina for these amazing tips!!
3 easy steps to tap in to intuitive eating from @KristinaLaRueRD
Are you an intuitive eater?
Do you listen to your hunger cues?