One thing that the events of 2020 has highlighted is how important connection is for our wellbeing. But how connected are we to ourselves? Are we really listening to the body we walk around in?
As babies we feed, when we are full we stop until we feel hungry again and then the process repeats. This is the purest form of intuitive eating. Children are able to follow internal hunger and satiety cues and adjust intake according to what their bodies need. Some weeks, during a growth spurt, they eat like crazy, while other weeks they seem to hardly eat at all.
As we grow older rules and restrictions around food come into play which cause us to lose connection with our inner intuitive eater. Following messages such as “Finish everything on your plate” can over-ride our satiety cues if we eat past fullness. We are told that certain foods are “good” and others “bad” causing us to feel good about ourselves when we eat certain foods and guilty when we eat others.
The good news is that we can reconnect with our body’s inner wisdom through intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is an approach to health and food that is not about diets or willpower. It’s about getting in touch with your body’s cues like hunger, fullness and satisfaction while learning to trust your body. It focuses on how you engage with food, your body and the eating experience.
Intuitive eating has been found to positively impact eating habits, psychological health and quality of life. Intuitive eaters have less food preoccupation, lower rates of disordered and emotional eating, reduced stress, higher levels of contentment and better body image. Studies have also shown intuitive eaters have improved cholesterol levels and improved metabolism. So not only does intuitive eating help you reconnect with your body it also can also help improve your mental and physical health.