When you let go of dieting, you incorporate intuitive eating. Intuitive eating doesn’t mean eating a whole pan of brownies when you want to. If you want that pan of brownies, think to yourself, “will this trigger a binge, or will I be able to eat one in a healthy way?” If you intuitively know that right now, baking brownies is not a good idea for your recovery, then you need to let go of it. For now, not forever. It’s understanding NOT just what your body needs, but what your psyche needs and how you will react to certain foods. This is about trusting the wisdom of your body and trusting the wisdom of your wise mind and allowing them to synergistically work together. There is often a misconception that intuitive eating is eating whatever you want whenever you want and as much of it as you want. That’s just not true. As children, we need healthy and loving boundaries from our parents. As adults, if we can healthily internalize that loving voice, we can learn to place loving, healthy boundaries on ourselves around food. So it’s not, “I want that entire box of girl scout cookies and I’m going to eat them now,” it’s, “I will have two now and know that I can have some more tomorrow.” In intuitive eating, we don’t put pejorative restrictions on ourselves, we set healthy boundaries for ourselves. We do that all the time as adults. We try to drink moderately, to spend moderately, to drive safely. If we went with our desires all the time, we might be drinking and driving, driving too fast, charging up our credit cards and going into debt. Intuitive eating is NOT about giving into your compulsive desires. It’s about noting them with consciousness and love, and having our adult self come out and allow us what we want with a rational mind. It’s about mindfulness and attention and close thought.
By following intuitive eating principals, your weight will normalize, or come to the place that your body is meant to be at, and you will begin to feel safer around food.
- Eat When You are Hungry. This is challenging for someone with binge eating disorder because sometimes real hunger and emotional hunger can get confused. Check out this post to learn more about hunger.
- Stop When you Are Satisfied. You don’t have to eat until you are full. Eat slowly and mindfully and listen for physical cues that tell you that you are not hungry any longer. Stop in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how hungry you are, how much more food you need, how the food tastes and how you are feeling. Many people eat until they are full or until they can’t eat anymore. You should definitely not leave a meal hungry. But if you can let yourself stop before you get full, your body will readjust to smaller portions allowing for weight loss. Try to go for 80% full. You could still eat more, but you’re not uncomfortable. Remember that you still have your next meal. No restricting here, there’s always a next meal to do it again. If you feel that you haven’t done it right, you always have another one to try again with.
- Enjoy your Food. Eat slowly, don’t rush through your meals. Avoid eating standing up in front of the refrigerator, eating while driving, eating while walking, or eating in front of the television. Sit down and make a ritual out of each meal.
- Don’t Stuff your Feelings with Food. Anger, sadness, anxiety, loneliness and boredom are all normal feelings. They’re not good, and they’re not bad. They just are. However, sometimes emotions are very challenging to sit through and eating will just make them go away—quickly! However, it won’t fix any problems associated with these feelings. It might temporarily soothe you, or numb you, but the problem will still be there after you’ve binged, and it will feel worse
- Respect Your Body. As you learn to give your body love and respect, you will find that you begin to feel more of who you are and better about that person.
- Exercise with Love. Find a way to move your body that you enjoy. Yoga, pilates, walking, jogging, swimming, any way that you enjoy moving your body will help you to find body love. It’s important that exercise isn’t punishing or compulsive. It should be enjoyable and something that makes you feel strong and great. Not tired and uncomfortable.
- Try Meditation.This guided visualization can help you to integrate intuitive eating into your daily consciousness in order to help you learn intuitive eating.