You are what you eat. If you are eating impulsively, you’re probably acting impulsively. If you are eating intuitively, you might be living more intuitively in other areas of your life. Eating might not be the first area you consider practicing living by your intuition more than your impulses, because you probably don’t think it matters. Eating is an essential part of wellbeing and of recovery. Your gut bacteria affects your mental as well as your physical health. Diet and nutrition is especially necessary for balance. What you eat and how you eat it has a lot of influence in your life.
Unfortunately, we mostly use eating as a coping mechanism or treat it as a simple task of pleasure. Rather than view our food choices like putting gasoline in our car, we view our taste buds as pleasure centers and treat eating like a trip to the amusement park. Learning to eat intuitively means restoring the mind body connection between your brain and your stomach. Overtime you will enhance your health, your wellness, and your sense of connection.
Here are some tips and suggestions for starting to eat more intuitively.
- Tune into your body: How often do you actually listen to what your body needs versus what your brain thinks it wants? When you feel hungry take a second to check in with yourself and try to get a feel for what your body really wants. It’s okay if you want tacos instead of a salad. Moderation is balance.
- Stop labeling food as “good” or “bad”: Labeling food creates too strong of an emotional connection in our food choices. When we eat out of guilt we create shame and attach negative emotional experiences to food.
- Make your meals a mindful moment: Bringing mindfulness into eating can be helpful for building intuition. You’ll create a deeper experience with eating, which will help your intuition grow.
- Don’t cope with emotions by eating: Eating to feel and eating to not feel are unhealthy eating habits. Your stomach suffers, your body suffers, and your mind suffers. Learning to deal with your emotions in a health and articulate way will help you make more objective food choices.
- Exercise for wellness, not for food calories: Exercising for the sake of being able to eat higher quantities of higher calorie foods is a dangerous relationship. Eat and exercise in moderation in accordance for what works for you and your body.
- Learn to recognize your body’s natural indicators for hunger: You will know when you are hungry because of the way your stomach feels. Often when you get too hungry you become distracted, have a difficult time focusing, and can even get angry.
- Learn to recognize your body’s natural indicators for being full: We often have a hard time telling the difference between being full and being content. The rule of thumb is to stop when you feel satisfied. If you get hungry later, you can always eat again.
- Drink more water: often our hunger is a symtpom of dehydration. Before maing an impulsive food decision, try drinking a full glass of water.
LEAD Recovery Center encourages clients to develop a healthy and balanced lifestyle including diet, exercise, and adventure. Our programs incorporate dietary, nutritional programming including cooking skills, budgeting, meal planning, and more. For information on our extended care programs, call 800-380-0012.