My favorite type of YouTube videos, podcasts, or Instagram accounts revolve around the topic food (shocker I know …). Anyways, these days, I’ve been seeing the topic “intuitive eating” on these social/entertainment platform a lot. After watching a handful of videos and podcasts (there’s seriously so many of them that are all readily and freely available to us), I have decided to jump on the the “intuitive eating” bandwagon myself.
Now you may be asking, what is intuitive eating? Intuitive eating is at its simplest, “Eat when you’re hungry, stop eating when you’re full.”
Isn’t that so simple? However, I know from my own experience and obviously from the astounding number of videos and podcasts on this topic, eating intuitively is not as easy as it sounds.
When we were babies we were intuitive eaters. I know this because when I eat with my five to seven year old cousins, they don’t have three meals a day. They just eat whenever they want to eat (and also when their moms are willing to cook something for them) which means it could be anytime of the day eating any size of a meal. However, why is that when we become adults, we choose to have three square meals a day? Like where did that number three come from?
Serena and I can both attest to getting “food greedy” when something is too good for lunch or dinner that we get seconds despite obviously feeling full. Along this health journey that I took and am still taking, I realized that both quantity and quality matters. However, I’ve been obsessed so much about the quality, that I lost control of my portions. Calories are still calories and if you eat more than you need, you’re going to gain weight. You can still gain weight by eating clean foods. You can still lose weight by eating junk foods.
However, as you guys may know from my “Healthy Journey” post, I have decided that my motivation to eat healthy and be active is NOT so I can be a certain weight or appearance. I am motivated to eat healthy and be active because I want to feel energized and happy as well as nourish my body with the nutrients and activity it needs (key word = what MY BODY needs, not what I think my body needs)
And this nourishment that I’m talking about is not only physical nourishment but emotional and mental nourishment too. Personally, this means slacking up on my food quality. It means that sometimes, if I want peanut butter, if I want to eat a cookie, I can and have perfect freedom to eat it.
So that’s why intuitive eating attracted me. The “diet” (ugh I absolutely despise that word) seems to urge people to listen to their body for hunger and fullness cues. To be honest, I feel like my hunger cues have been so messed up after my extreme diet and weight loss this past summer.
But you know what? Just because my hunger cues are messed up, I’m not going to mess them up even more. I’m going to stop and turn around and work towards making myself a more “in-tuned” eater.
I decided to write about this topic because Serena and I ran a 5k race “together” (together isn’t quite the right word because she ran a good 3 minutes faster than me). However, after the race, we went straight to brunch and while I was going to straight to the food, Serena paused and said, “I’m actually not that hungry right now.”
This struck me because for me, I thought in my head: ran a race = burned calories = able to eat something. While Serena thought: ran a race = not hungry = should I eat?
Serena’s logic makes much more sense and “normal.” The fact that my eating has to be justified because I burned x amount of calories is ridiculous. The fact that I stop eating because I know I reached my calorie limit is ridiculous. I mean who lives like that? Life is meant to be enjoyed.
Anyways, summing up this rant, I hope you guys, whoever you are: whether you’re like me who is recovering from an unnatural or restrictive eating lifestyle or someone who is perfectly in peace with food, were able to learn about intuitive eating and the freedom and happiness it can give to people like me.
How do you eat? Intuitively?
P.S. : If you do eat intuitively, what are your tips to reach intuitive eating? Or do you have any success stories to share?