What is Intuitive Eating?
As we digress from our most recent talk, “What Should I Eat?”, we want to start thinking, what does “mindful eating” or “intuitive eating” really mean? Understanding and familiarizing ourselves with the concept of eating intuitively and mindfully allows us to create space to respect what our bodies are telling us and feel freedom when eating.
While the two terms sound like they might mean the same thing, intuitive eating and mindful eating have slightly different definitions. Intuitive eating is defined as “a personal process of honoring health by listening and responding to the direct messages of the body in order to meet your physical and psychological needs.” (https://www.intuitiveeating.org/what-is-intuitive-eating-tribole/) Eating intuitively empowers you to think, feel, and experience what is happening within your own body. You are the only one who knows when you are hungry, stuffed, or satisfied.
Mindful eating “allows us to become more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations related to eating.” Mindful eating reconnects us with our innate wisdom about hunger and satiety. Without judgement, you are allowing yourself to pay more attention to how you feel during your eating experience. (https://www.intuitiveeating.org/what-is-intuitive-eating-tribole/)
Eating is intended to be a nourishing and positive experience allowing for social connections with others, but why do so many repeatedly feel guilty for what they eat, and why is eating intuitively or with a mindful approach important? Intuitive and mindful eating practices help individuals:
Manage emotional eating habits
Use physical hunger cues to navigate when and what to eat
Cultivate a life-long healthy relationship with food and eating
You may be asking, “where do I start?” We compiled a list of 3 easy tips you can do today to help you begin an intuitive or mindful eating practice.
Create a meal-time ritual: Do you find yourself frequently in a rush as you eat? Do you eat standing up or on the go? Making a meal-time ritual will help you be more present in your eating experience. This may be chewing each bite 15 times, or pausing to be grateful for your food and the information it provides your body before you begin eating.
Be mindful of your body’s cues: Take note of when your stomach is growling or if you feel like your pants are about to burst. Using these cues allows you to be mindful of how your body is reacting to the food you feed or don’t feed it.
Take note of what you are eating: Become aware of what is on your plate in front of you. Is it colorful? Does it have a smell? Does it look appetizing to you? When you pay more attention to the simple details of your food, it allows you to become more mindful of the complete physical and sensual experience you get while eating -- which is what mindful and intuitive eating is all about!
PIM wants to hear from you! Have you tried mindful or intuitive eating? Do you find this article helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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Our next talk is on March 6, 2019 titled “How to Be Safe in a Modern Toxic World: Your Choices Make a Difference.” It will be led by Dr. Pat Lotito beginning at 6:30 pm. Register at the link above!
If you or your loved one needs help, perhaps you are suffering from the effects of ongoing stress, mood or hormone imbalance, including thyroid imbalance, or you or they are already working with a doctor to address a condition but want a more comprehensive, empowering approach schedule your a 20 minute free consultation or an appointment with Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP or Lauren Houser, MS, MSN, CRNP today! Not quite ready to schedule and have questions, quickly get in touch with us today!
Tribole, Evelyn. “What Is Intuitive Eating?” Intuitive Eating, 12 Sept. 2018, www.intuitiveeating.org/what-is-intuitive-eating-tribole/.
“The Center for Mindful Eating.” The Center for Mindful Eating - Home, www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/.