Deliberately start paying attention, non-judgmentally. Encompass your internal processes in external environments. Mentally, emotionally and physically be present and aware in the moment. Free your reactive self, habitual patterns of thoughts, feelings and actions. This is all you being mindful.
Mindful eating is all about awareness, if this is the case then what is intuitive eating? The Marriam-Webster dictionary defines intuitive eating as “an immediate understanding or knowing something without reasoning.” Allow yourself to become aware of the positive opportunities that come from food, from prep all the way to consumption. It is about choosing food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing your body by using your senses to explore, savor, and taste. There are multiple principles when it comes to intuitive eating.
- Rejecting the Diet Mentality- Toss the diet feed that offers false hopes of quick results. Stop feeling like a failure every time a new diet fails and you have to start over. Stop waiting for a new or better diet to come, free yourself to rediscover intuitive eating.
- Honor your Hunger- Give your body adequate energy! Deprivation from your needs can trigger primal drive to over indulge. Don’t let your body get to the point of excessive hunger, all your intentions of moderate and conscious eating will disappear. Learning to honor biological signs of hunger helps build trust with food within yourself.
- Make Peace with Food- Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat, restrictions lead to uncontrollable cravings. These feelings can lead to binges when you give in and cause intense unneeded feelings.
- Challenge the Food Police- Your psyche labeling things as “good” and “bad” gives unreasonable rules, say no to your food police.
- Respect Your Fullness- Listen to your hunger and fullness cues. Observe your signs and take a mental note when you experience both of these. When eating pause, ask yourself how you’re feeling and try to be more aware.
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor- Eating experiences are a basic gift of satisfaction within us. Find a place that’s inviting and eat what you really want so you’re actually satisfied, not rummaging around minutes later trying to fill that void. Plan ahead to help provide a positive experience.
- Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food- Humans have a way of trying to find or resolve feelings with food. Any of these emotions we experience in life cannot be fixed by food. It is a short-term fix for most, but can make one feel worse due to still having those emotions to unpack in the long run.
- Respect Your Body- Accept genetics, we need to have realistic expectations from our bodies while trying our best. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality when you are unrealistic and overly critical about yourself.
- Exercise- Just go move your body and feel a difference. Any movement counts. Shift your mind and try to make note of how it feels to your body, not just count the calories. Notice how you feel during and after, creating mind-body realizations can be a key factor in making the daily changes on days you feel like you don’t have the energy to do it.
- Honor Your Health- Remember you don’t have to eat a perfect diet 24/7/365. Eating a perfect diet doesn’t make you overall healthy. A bad snack, meal, or even an off day isn’t going to cause damage. Progress over perfection, along with consistent eating habits are what shapes you and creates results.
- Accept All Your Unique Experiences- Being aware and attuned to your eating experiences and feelings of health sets you up in a better place for achieving your goals. Promote balance, choice and acceptance of what is.
-Meghan Cool, Personal Trainer, BS in Food Science & Nutrition @ Zero Doubt Club