I had a fun conversation the other day with someone new to Intuitive Eating. I explained that with Intuitive Eating, all foods are available to you and that we don’t label foods ‘good’ or ‘bad’. You just eat what you want, when you want! Her eyes got wide and she said “but all I’d eat is lasagna and ice cream sandwiches!”. I love conversations like this because it reinforces how important it is to eat for satisfaction, as well as for your health.
I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it a million times more, but dieting and restriction make us feel out of control around food. I don’t have to tell anyone who’s been on a diet before, as we’ve all experienced it. When we restrict certain food groups, like sugar or carbs, eventually we binge on exactly that. Not only are we limiting calories, so our body thinks we’re starving, but the psychology of denying ourselves foods we enjoy creates the perfect conditions to overeat.
What if instead, we ate what we wanted, when we wanted, and ate enough until we felt satisfied? Not just on a cheat day or special occasion, but every single time we eat. Would you eat a lot of foods you’ve denied yourself at first and skip the veggies you dutifully ate during your diet? Probably. But it’s temporary. So, in our lasagna example, maybe she’ll crave lasagna everyday for a week or two, but eventually she’ll get tired of it and want to eat something else. This is called food habituation.
When we stop eating with guilt and shame, it frees our mind to listen to our body and how foods make us feel. Often my clients find that the foods they think they can’t live without, don’t make them feel all that well. But with information, comes power. They can decide if it’s worth feeling off, to enjoy the satisfaction that comes with eating what they want. Over time, Intuitive Eaters find themselves eating a variety of foods that satisfy both their taste buds and their desire to feel well. Balance will be achieved, even if it takes some time initially to accept all foods as equal.
If you’re ready to finally ditch the diets and learn once and for all how to eat for a lifetime, I’d love to help. Click below to schedule a free, 45-minute discovery session to learn more!