Intuitive Eating…Does it Work & What is it Exactly?
There is always so much buzz on nutrition. How about let’s use our brain and not whatever the latest fad is. I remember crunching the heck out of ice when I was a kid and different points in my life. This habit would drive my grandmother crazy and I recall her words “You’re gonna break your teeth!”. Well, come to find out later my body has a habit of being low in iron and it is known that people low in iron like to crunch ice.
If we only listen to our bodies we might be much better off physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Let’s define the word intuitive from vocabulary.com. Intuitive means having the ability to understand or know something without any direct evidence or reasoning process.
- Reject the diet mentality – a diet is the way you eat not a dirty word that means restriction
- Honor your hunger (I have established a time on the clock that may vary a bit but works for me as I don’t want to be hangry.)
- Make peace with food – thank your food for giving you energy and nourishment (think of your body as a racehorse and you are putting in the best fuel).
- Challenge the food police – I have been called this before by my family as I want them to have a balanced diet especially my kids that just go for processed high carbs then I know they will be grouchy when coming off the carb and sugar high. Offer yourself better choices and have them available.
- Respect your fullness- if you must get seconds then get a smaller first serving
- Discover the satisfaction factor.
- Honor your feelings without using food – Am I sleepy, tired, stressed, need outside time, need timeout? Try not to eat your feelings.
- Respect your body.
Let’s take a look at all the distracting eating plans of the past and then discuss how new thought patterns and questioning your cravings may help you reach your goal weight or help you stick with healthy eating habits.
Depending on your age you may have been around for lots of buzz “diets”. I’m 46 and remember these or at least hearing about them:
- mayo clinic diet
- cabbage soup diet
- diet pills
- weight watchers (points)
- jenny craig
- grapefruit diet
- low calorie cookie diet) this reminds me of those delicious snackwells boxes
- slimfast, optifast, nutrisystem
- Scarsdale diet
- Beverly Hills Diet
- Ornish Diet
- Zone Diet
- Blood Type Diet (I actually follow lots of these guidelines in my current diet and recommend to others)
- Subway Diet
- South Beach Diet
- Master Cleanse (Lemonade fast)
- Raw Food
- Dukan Diet
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Baby food diet
- Gluten Free
- Whole 30
- the buzz the past few years has been intermittent fasting or high fat low carb.
The list above is a whopping 31 different ways to eat, no wonder you are confused on what works for you body.
What if you are not very intuitive?
You may be out of whack or need to listen to your inner voice more often instead of crowding it out with stress or offbeat mental chatter or just learn what the cravings actually mean and give it to your body.
Side note about intuition..since I do chakra assessments and energy work I understand that some people are more intuitive than others especially if the third eye chakra is open. Is your’s blocked or partially blocked? This chakra represents intuition also known as the third eye and is located on your forehead. Think the color purple or even purple foods to help open.
Intuitive eating can offer you emotional forgiveness from the years of torturing yourself with different diets trying and trying and trying again with little to no long-term success.
Here are some thought processes that may help you
learn to be intuitive again or be better tuned in.
Why am I craving salt?
Some experts believe that craving something salty is a sign of thirst.Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so a craving for salt, which helps your body retain water, could mean that you’re not drinking enough or are losing water, for example, by means of sweating, faster than you’re able to ingest it.
Some researchers believe there’s a link between low calcium diets and salt cravings, claiming that, “In animal studies, researchers have found that a lack of potassium, calcium, and iron causes test subjects to devour table salt.”
Why am I craving sweets (cookies, cake, chocolate, etc..)?
Sugar is a chemical that makes us feel relaxed and also plays a role in regulating mood. This may be the reason why we reach for hand-fulls of candy when we’re stressed or sad because eating it can put us a little more at ease.
We sometimes crave simple carbs like sugar because they “are digested quicker than complex ones such as whole grains and beans, so the energy kicks in sooner.”
Another possible reason for craving sweets could be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep.
Why am I craving Meat (Beef, Steak, etc..)?
This can be a sign of a protein deficiency, as well as a lack of iron or vitamin B in one’s diet. If you happen to be a vegetarian, this doesn’t mean you should take a late night trip to the drive through and scarf down a burger, which would probably end up making you sick, rather, you should take it as a sign that you need to introduce more of those vitamins and proteins included in meat into your diet by eating more nuts, tofu, and dark, leafy vegetables.
Why am I craving white carbs? (bagels, bread, rice, muffins)
Once a starchy food gets past the back of your tongue, your body treats it the same way as sugary sweets.” This means that we crave the classic white carbs for the same reasons we crave other sweets when we’re exhausted physically and emotionally, or when we’re feeling down or overwhelmed. So what you may really be craving is energy and calmness.
When the brain’s opioids and dopamine reacted to the benefit of high-calorie food in the past it acted as a survival mechanism…Today, we still have the same chemical reactions to these so-called hyper-palatable foods…despite there being less of a nutritional need for them.”
Why am I craving dairy (cheese,pizza, etc.)?
Some medical professionals think that a milk craving is really a craving for L-tryptophan, which plays a role in releasing serotonin, as well as another soothing brain chemical called choline. Some doctors even think that dairy cravings could point to a deficiency in vitamin D. Some cheeses are salty and remember as listed above you may just need water or be lacking in potassium, calcium, and iron.
Why do I not like to eat breakfast?
Maybe you have just created a habit of skipping or suck down some coffee that masks the hunger and gives you a false since of energy and messes with your insulin response (how you process carbs).
Why do I back load…eat more at night?
Maybe because you skipped breakfast or didn’t eat enough during the day or enough protein for breakfast and your body is still needing nutrients. Unfortunately cramming big meals in your mouth and gut after 7 p.m. can teach your body how to store fat as it doesn’t know when it’s getting food again.
This is all food for thought. Thanks Elizabeth S. for suggesting this topic and asking me about it. Hope this offers you and our readers insightful information to eat for their health and best bodies.
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