When I first began my Intuitive Eating journey, it was kind of by accident. I was so tired of the diet-binge cycle, and was desperate to be free from that, be happy and not so focused on what I ate or what I weighed. If you want to read more about how I started the process of Intuitive Eating, you can click here.
What I will say is that you just have to start somewhere and then you let it roll. It’s not an overnight process. It takes support, internal work and time. If you expect to make an immediate transition from the diet-binge cycle to Intuitive Eating, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Have grace, compassion, and patience with yourself, it will take time (and that’s okay).
If you are in the beginning stages of IE, here are five ways to set yourself up for success when it is just plain hard. I hope this helps!
1. If you think you are hungry, eat more
When you’re getting comfortable with Intuitive Eating, assume you’re hungry when you think you are and give yourself permission to eat. It’s important to keep yourself biologically fed, so you don’t let yourself get overly-hungry. This can lead to a binge, because your body is just needing fuel and it is worried that you are trying to deprive it of that food. Your body needs to learn to trust you again, and it will take time. But the more you listen to her, you will find that she will tell you exactly what she needs to feel satisfied and nourished.
2. Increase non-food sources of nourishment
Begin to think about food LESS, and about your LIFE more. Tune-in to the non-food areas of your life: the amount of fun you’re having, relationships, money, career, self-care, compassion, working through fears. When I began intuitive eating, I had just joined a church and found God. As my faith started growing, I became fulfilled. Before, I was feeling lost and unfulfilled (searching for satisfaction), so I turned to food. Church allowed me to get outside of myself, and I began to forget about food and my diet plans. Church doesn’t have to be your source of nourishment, but start to seek out what brings you that soul-filling love and fulfillment
3. Cultivate calm in non-food areas of your life
When you practice being calm in non-food areas, it will spill into feeling more calm when you eat (a key to eating mindfully). You can read more about why calm is my superpower here (I also teach you how to practice getting calm in Aligned Coaching), but a few moments you can practice calm in your life include:
- at work, when you’re having your coffee in the morning (breathe, relax, and feel the feeling of CALM slowly traveling through your body)
- when you’re talking to a friend, really listen (crowd out any other noise, be genuinely curious and interested, pretend like there is no where else to be — he or she is most important)
- your morning quiet time, phone free (journal, read, relax, pray… turn on soothing music, a candle, etc.)
- outside on a walk, focusing on the beauty and nature around you (take it all in, breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth, notice what’s around you — the leaves, the trees, the beauty).
4. Go to the grocery store weekly
Make sure that your home is full of both meal and snack items that you enjoy and look forward to. I make a loose meal plan each Sunday (or whatever day works best for you), and then grocery shop for exactly what you’ll need to make those meals. If you need ideas of simple, quick meals, you can search “Daily Eats” on my blog or look through my Pinterest for some inspiration.
5. Put everything in a bowl or on a plate
This isn’t something you’ll always have to do, but when it feels like intuitive eating isn’t clicking, this can be a helpful tool in engaging you to be more mindful with your food. When I first started intuitive eating, I would make my dinner look pretty and exciting. I would put it all on a plate, light a candle, turn on some music, and make it an event. I wouldn’t watch TV or look at my phone, I would just focus on being present and tasting my food (enjoying it!). This made such a difference and being present allowed my body to acknowledge that I was nourishing her.
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST…
- Read this post How I Started Eating Intuitively and the Challenges I Faced
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