Are you suffering from a toxic relationship with food?
Do you believe that some foods are “good” while others are “bad?” Are there foods you never allow yourself to eat? Do you find that you are either restricting or overeating?
If this sounds like you, then intuitive eating can help. But you first need to start building a healthier relationship with food.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Focus on Nourishing, Not Restricting
To build a healthy relationship with food, start by paying attention to your thoughts around meals and snacks. Do the words healthy, unhealthy, junky, sugary, good, or bad come to mind? Start by working on more neutral language. All foods contribute to our overall diet. When food becomes completely neutral, it can fuel your body and provide nourishment, satisfaction, and pleasure.
- Pay Attention to How You Feel
Letting go of restrictions and food rules can be challenging in the media-driven dieting culture we all live in. It’s hard when you’re constantly bombarded with messages that everything you eat is “bad” for you. Instead of focusing too much on having a proper balance of nutrients or making sure you choose the “right” foods, focus on how foods make you feel; this is an essential step in becoming an intuitive eater. For example, if you eat a particular meal that made you feel lethargic and sleepy, and it was in the middle of a workday, then maybe you know to save that meal for nighttime when you plan to sleep a few hours after eating it. On the other hand, you will discover certain foods give you lots of energy, put you in a good mood, or help you feel good. Those are the foods to include in your diet.
- Learn Your Hunger and Fullness Cues
A healthy relationship with food means not tracking every morsel of food eaten or limiting portions based on calories, points, or macros. Instead, you practice listening to and trusting your body to tell you what it wants. You start to learn the difference between physical and emotional hunger and understand when your body feels satisfied and you’ve reached a comfortable level of fullness. This flexible way of eating might look like finishing your entire meal or leaving some of it for later!
- Find a Balance in Nutrition and Enjoyment
It’s okay to love your food! It’s normal and okay to eat just because you crave something, are out with friends, or want a slight boost in your mood. If you have a history of dieting (or disordered eating/an eating disorder), you may be afraid to eat foods that aren’t labeled “light,” “clean,” or “healthy.” But these foods won’t leave you feeling satisfied. There is a balance in life between eating “nutritious” foods and eating foods that bring you happiness.
- Start Cooking at Home More
An excellent way to start building a better relationship with food is to cook more at home. Not everyone likes to cook, and that’s fine. But when you start cooking and baking, you can begin to understand how ingredients fit together, figure out what tastes you like, and start exploring foods you might not have tried in a long time.
Are you ready to make peace with food and your body image and get off the diet roller coaster for good?
Download and read our Intuitive Eating Guide, the 3 Steps to Making Peace with Food and Your Body Image.
This guide is for you if you are…
- Not in the mood to count calories constantly.
- Always thinking about food as either “Good” or “Bad”.
- Feeling ashamed for doing everything “perfectly,” only to “blow it” by overeating.
- Struggling with anorexia, bulimia, or other eating problems.
- Wanting to avoid passing on your eating struggles and issues to your children.
Erica Leon is a Registered Dietitian and practices from a Health at Every Size (HAES®) lens. She is certified as an eating disorder specialist and is passionate about helping women at midlife, menopause and beyond to make peace with food and body image.
Erica is a highly sensitive nutrition therapist who takes the time to learn where you or your family are in the pursuit of health. Respectful of your individual needs and lifestyle, she will provide an honest assessment of whether or not you are a good fit to work together. Click here to schedule a 15-minute Discovery Call with Erica to let us know about your needs, and to see which of our Dietitians is the best fit for you!
Download our Free Intuitive Eating Guide and get off that Diet Roller Coaster for good!