What is intuitive eating?
Imagine a newborn baby – it drinks solely breastmilk/formula for the first 4-6 months of its life. When it cries we consider if it could be hungry, offer up some milk and it will happily consume it or it will turn its head to indicate that’s not what I need in this moment. When baby is drinking, it can gauge when it feels full and will again give a signal when it’s had enough. Baby continues to drink and grow through different spurts and stages. Most babies have this ability to be intuitive with when and how much to drink. We do not need to tell baby when to drink and when to stop – it just knows. This is intuitive eating. Baby listens and trusts its hunger and fullness signals.
Why am I no longer an intuitive eater?
Simply put, this can happen when we are taught to not listen or trust our body’s hunger and fullness signals. Obvious ways this can happen is through messaging stemming from diet culture and fatphobia, telling us there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, or telling us how much, or when, we should eat. Less obvious ways may include pressure at the dinner table as children to ‘finish everything on the plate’ or ‘to eat your vegetables first’, or even being scolded or praised for eating particular foods.
How to I listen to my body again and eat intuitively?
The good news is you can learn to listen to your hunger and fullness signals again! Your hunger and fullness signals may be very quiet or even non-existent at this time. The first step is getting back to basics… eating regularly and adequately. As a guide, eating every 3-4 hours. That’s around 5-6 meals every day. As you begin eating regularly and adequately, you’ll find your hunger and fullness signals start to become much clearer and easier to listen to.
The above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to intuitive eating. An Accredited Practising Dietitian can assist and guide you along your path towards eating intuitively and learning to trust your body again.
Here at Optimum Intake Dietitians, our vision is to inspire health and wellbeing through the enjoyment, satisfaction and the simplicity of food. We are guided by the model of Intuitive eating and the Non-Diet approach. We pride ourselves in supporting individuals to make positive, sustainable changes towards improving all aspects of health. Contact us now via phone or email to find out more about our services or book an appointment with one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians. Ph: 0499 008 451 or visit the contact page to get in touch.