5 Simple Ways to Become a Better Intuitive Eater

intuitive eating

Have you ever wanted to achieve a healthier life and body weight but found yourself stuck in a cycle of temporary diets and efforts that never seem to permanently stick? There is a way to make healthier choices, achieve and maintain a healthier body weight long term and FEEL like it is almost effortless! In this article we will be talking about the secret to this success with 5 simple ways to become a better intuitive eater.

What is Intuitive Eating? 

Intuitive Eating is a method of achieving and maintaining health by eating and becoming in tune to the body’s hunger and satiety cues. Relearning this instinctual tool is the foundation to becoming a better intuitive eater. A simple example of this is when you observe a very young child eat. You can offer them a variety of foods from what one would judge healthy to savory and even sweet like a cake but ultimately they will not overeat. They will stop eating once full regardless of the food offered. We are born to naturally be intuitive to our hunger and satiety cues and when we honor those we can achieve health and wellness almost effortlessly as the body balances it's intake. 

What are the Challenges to Becoming a Better Intuitive Eater? 

There are some things that can make it a challenge as you embark on the journey to intuitive eating. The challenge comes when we must relearn this after years of restriction, dieting, food judgement and using food for things other than nourishment such as stress management or as an unhealthy coping mechanism. Many factors can affect your natural intuitive ability such as taught behaviors as a child as well as emotions, stress, pure food enjoyment, and developed habits. It can be common in life to become less connected to our biological cues of hunger and satiety as more of the above mentioned factors occur in our life. With intention you CAN become a better intuitive eater again as you once were.

5 Simple Ways to Become a Better Intuitive Eater

1. Become mindful of your hunger cues. Here is a free printable to help you in judging your hunger and satiety cues. This is a process of relearning what it means to physiologically FEEL hungry, full and satisfied. It takes a little time to relearn so please be patient with yourself. Your goal is once you have eaten to feel moderately hungry again in 3-4 hours. If you find yourself hungry soon you may need to eat a little more and if later it may mean you slightly overate or choose calorie dense foods. The beauty of intuitive eating is as long as you listen to the cues you CAN achieve a healthy state. Even in the instance of a more calorically dense meal - your body will adjust and not tell you you are hungry again until later which will naturally manage your intake if listened to. THAT is the beauty of intuitive eating. Yo may also find that if you eat a heavier meal you will more naturally crave something lighter the next time you eat - not because of food judgement but based on your intuitive appetite. 

2. Take time to enjoy your food without distraction. Often we eat while doing other things giving little attention to our body's cues. Find a quiet place where you can enjoy your meal with little distraction to help you identify your cues accurately.

3 . Take in the experience of your meals. Take the time to enjoy the smell, flavors and textures of the meal or snack you eating. When we savor our food it increases satisfaction. When you feel satisfied with a meal it is easier to stop when your body is telling you you are full. 

4. Identify your true food preferences without judgement. When we can honor what we really like and feel like eating while taking away all the food judgement and dietary "shoulds"  we will find it easier to make choices that ultimately honor our body. The reason why, is because you have eliminated the tug of war and given yourself permission to enjoy food and honor your body. What surprises many people is with this they actually tend to increase their intake of more nourishing nutrient foods as it genuinely  feels better to consume. This is not to say you can't desire to eat certain foods and and way of eating for health reasons and honor that - it plays well with this way of eating too.

5. Acknowledge and be in-tune with your fullness or satiety cues. Fullness should be comfortable physically and you should feel content with hunger cues not returning to you for generally 3-4 hours. You should feel satisfied and energized NOT lethargic and uncomfortable. 

These 5 simple ways to become a better intuitive eater are practical and we encourage you to even just try one at a time and move to the next once you master one of the tips.

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