Okay, okay…this guide is really not about the food. But if you’re struggling with maintaining a healthy weight, I would not be doing you justice to not talk just a little bit about eating habits.
No worries, we are not going to count calories, points or macros.
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The one thing that will help you the most is learning to identify your triggers to overeating. This probably will not be as difficult as it sounds.
Think about periods in your life when you gained weight or times when binge eating may have been particularly bad.
When someone says “I forgot to eat” I think you must be a special kind of stupid. I plan my whole day around eating.
Intuitive eating is about trusting your inner body wisdom to make choices around food that feel good in your body, without judgment and without influence from diet culture.
We are all born with the skill to eat, to stop when we are full, to eat when we are hungry and to eat satisfying foods.
As we grow up that can change for a variety of reasons. Many of us lose that freedom and intuitive eating is learning to reclaim it.
When we filter out the noise and influence that diet culture presents to us as false truths, we can then truly listen to what our body wants and needs from food (1).
Take some time to analyze the situation to determine what was going on. What was the difference between the bad times and the good times.
Not surprisingly, stress, boredom, fatigue, appetizing food and emotions make up the biggest portion of triggers for overeating. These 5 steps will help you manage triggers:
- Be aware – Since a lot of behaviors are a result of habit and can be automatic, being able to avoid them starts with being aware of what is going on around you. Pause, breathe and take note of your situation at that moment.
- Examine – Be intrigued by what causes you to want to eat when you are not truly hungry. Why is this situation, person, place, or feeling causing you to want to eat?
- Acceptance – We cannot change what we are not willing to accept. Accepting your situation for what it is without judgement is the most effective way to move past it. This step may not be easy, but it is necessary in order to move forward.
- Strategize – Look at the situation and know that you do have choices for managing it. Eating is a choice, but so is waiting and possibly letting the feelings pass. Consider what else you could do instead of eating? Is there an action that would allow you to prevent being in this situation in the future?
- Take Action – Taking a small step towards controlling the situation goes a long way in breaking an undesired habit. Everytime you choose to be mindful, you give your habits less power. You can break them one small corrective choice at a time.
Food triggers change throughout your life. The sooner you can slow down and identify them, the sooner you can take the above simple steps to eliminate them from your life.
Wanna find out more about intuitive eating? Here is a great book that talks all about intuitive eating.