This post is those people who want to become intuitive eaters, but struggle with listening to their bodies’.
The common advice to begin intuitive eating is to eat when hungry and stop when full?
But what if you aren’t able to feel or know when you are hungry or full?
Then, listening to your body can actually backfire!
So this post is about why, if you can’t hear your hunger/fullness, you must paradoxically start with a plan.
It sounds weird, I know.
Because so much of intuitive eating is about letting go of plans, diets, and structure.
However, in these circumstances, a plan is what’s best.
Here’s how to pull off a plan to develop your eating and hunger skills to the point where you can let go of the plan:
- Start by realizing that you need to nourish and care for your body by eating at regular times during the day. When you are engaging in binge eating cycles, your hormones and body rhythms are off. That’s why it can be dangerous to simply listen to your body. You need to start getting into a rhythm of feeding your self.
- Pick a few times you’ll commit to try eating, and give yourself + or – 30 minutes
- Expect to feel a little weird eating and you might get full easily
- Don’t strive for perfection, strive for self-care
How To Listen To Your Body Commentary:
Let’s go more in-depth into the plan now.
First of all, let’s admit to a paradox.
Eating Intuitively is about letting go of structured plans, diets, right?
It’s about learning to listen to the body, right?
So why a plan?
Because sometimes we aren’t connected to the body and can’t listen to it.
I’d say about 25% of people really struggle with connecting to their body.
Especially if they are coming from a history of dieting and harsh childhoods.
So this is not a rare phenomenon by any means and don’t feel bad for yourself if you struggle with listening to your hunger.
So you need some sort of structure to develop a connection to your body. But why?
Well … when you binge eat and then stop eating for awhile … your body chemicals, hormones and everything gets out of whack.
I just was talking to a woman the other day who was engaging in binge eating behaviors.
I asked her what she had eaten that day, and this was in the evening, and she said some yogurt and nuts.
So part of her process is learning to eat at regular times during the day.
Now, for expectations.
When you first begin doing this process, it will feel weird.
You might feel weird eating when you aren’t hungry.
This is why you really need to understand that this structure is temporary.
It’s there because sometimes you are not connected to your body.
Now before talking about the structure of foods, an obstacle sometimes comes up.
That obstacle is limiting beliefs or fear of hunger/fullness.
For example, you might believe that hunger means you are about to faint while fullness means you ate too much.
So … when beginning this type of meal plan it’s important to have a conversation about what hunger and fullness really mean.
And that the point of this plan is to give you more regular eating so that you can begin to discover for yourself, what it means to be hungry and full?
So why the eating plan? What the eating plan have to do with how to listen to your body?
Because currently you are waiting to be too hungry and too full?
So the plan gives you a chance to feel different, less intense, feelings of being full or hungry.
So … here’s how the plan goes:
In the beginning you pick a few times a day you are wiling to try feeding yourself.
It’s important to remember that you need to feed yourself regularly in the beginning so that your body can begin to settle down.
It’s important too that you expect that eating foods might feel a bit weird, since you have been binge eating for so long.
You just try to eat foods and you don’t have to eat all the foods.
When you start to eat foods, you keep things simple.
In this video I recommend just trying for each meal getting carbs, proteins, and veggies.
This post covers more in-depth what it means to use Plate Techniques to achieve nutritional balance.
After some time …
You will begin to be ready to drop the structure.
This is great!
How do you know when you’re ready to drop the structure? When do you know you’re ready in terms of how to listen to your body?
You are starting to feel and open up to feelings of hunger and fullness without as much fear or judgment before.
You are starting to take care of yourself …and if you do find yourself hungry when it’s not time yet … you are giving yourself permission to eat.
Then eventually you plan for a day where you let go of the structure!
It’s just a trial run …
And you don’t have to be perfect.
Let me know what comes up!