How to Master the Art of Eating Intuitively


Manage episode 212341952 series 2394261
By Betsy Thurston MPH RD, Integrative Health Coach, and Registered Dietitian. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Intuitive eating is the practice of looking inward and noticing body sensations so you can more accurately choose which foods and which portion sizes would be best in that moment.

It also involves noticing thoughts, habits, and emotions that might be present as you reach for the food--especially those which might have nothing to do with physical hunger or satiety.

Intuitive eating is a practice of honoring the wisdom of the body and trusting that you will feel best when you can learn to delay or minimize the habits and impulses to eat for the “wrong” reasons. These include eating to avoid feeling bored, lonely, sad, angry, or scared, or to rebel against restrictive diet rules. Most people who live with a diet mentality feel compelled to take an extravagant break from the boring and limiting rules. It’s fun to be bad!

It is difficult to eat intuitively when you hate your body, or when you hate the parts of you that feel compelled to eat for reasons other than hunger. Intentionally focusing on the skill of self-compassion can dramatically increase your ability to eat ideal portion sizes of ideal foods. Sometimes an ideal portion size is very small, perhaps even just 4 or 5 bites. Other times the ideal portion might be much larger. Sometimes an ideal food is a comfort food and sometimes it’s a plate of vegetables and lean protein. If you skip meals or have limited amounts of protein or colorful foods then you might end up so physically hungry that you overeat.

Intuitive eating is hardest to do when you’re stuck in an emotionally charged headspace, or when eating habits take over, so this is the exact time when you might want to stop, pause, and ask yourself what food and in what amount would be just enough for you.

Common eating habits that sabotage intuitive eating might include Friday or Saturday nights, alcohol, the hours in between dinner and bedtime, or afternoon breaks from the pressures of the day.

Eating Intuitively Also Includes Mindful Eating

Taking your time to eat slowly and deliberately is the essence of mindful eating. When you eat mindfully you pay attention to the look, feel, taste, smell, texture, and portion size. You notice that you are chewing and swallowing even as you notice what’s going on in the room around you. You can develop the capacity to eat mindfully at the same time you are present in a setting with others or stuck in a moment of sadness or fear.

Listen to this podcast episode if you want to learn more about intuitive eating: listen to the episode here.

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