Okay, first of all I know many of you are wondering…
what is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating is literally the opposite of a “diet” mindset. It’s looking at food in a much more positive light.
With a “diet” mindset the relationship is often unhealthy and people see food as rewards and punishments. Which is not a healthy way to look at food! FOOD IS FOOD. period.
Intuitive eating (also mindful eating) is asking yourself “what food does my body need right now for nourishment” rather than “what does my body need right now to look (insert adjectives such as thin or skinny).” It’s creating a healthy relationship with your food because you are seeing it as the nourishment that you need and appreciating the value that it gives. It’s really listening to your body and taking the time to eat what feels right at that time without judgement. And that might look different from day-to-day, and that is okay!
It’s stopping the thoughts of “I can’t eat anything ever but when it’s cheat day I can and will eat everything I have wanted all week/month” and starting to think “I can eat anything I want any day, anytime.” You are choosing nourishment, and seeking to find what your body wants and needs as opposed to what you think (or what someone else thinks!) is going to make you lose weight, get “fit,” be healthy… anything like that.
Simply put, intuitive eating should be you personally listening in on what your body is needing at a particular time. Being okay with that, and nourishing yourself properly. Finding your own personal balance, and living within the space that works for your without judgement.
For me, this also means eating without labels. And I am sure most of you are thinking “but you eat gluten-free, and dairy-free… so how are those not labels?”
What I mean is this: some of us have a food intolerance, or choose not to eat something for whatever reason (you don’t need to explain your choices!). That is of course fine! But I think it is important to not label myself and who I am BY they way that I eat or by the food that I am choosing to eat or not choosing to eat. To me it also means being okay with your diet changing, and being open to what your body needs. My diet changes with my cycles, with what sounds good or feels right to me. Sometimes I go through a period of eating no egg, but if I feel like having an egg I will have one.
I hope that makes sense.
It’s all about listening to what your body wants and doing what works best for you at any given time.
a small piece about my journey
As a teenager, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted. I want to be clear that this is not intuitive eating. It was not mindful. It was not listening to my body or what I needed at that time. I am pretty sure I lived off wheat toast, peanut butter, dairy, and pasta. Not very healthy. And my body was not happy (but that is another story, for another time).
I really started listening to my body’s needs, and feeding myself what I needed. What my body was screaming out that it DIDN’T want. I quit eating dairy, quit being a vegetarian, and eventually quit gluten (among other things) when I learned more and more about what my body liked and did not like.
how can you start eating more intuitively?
I know it can sound complicated, but I promise you it doesn’t have to be. And honestly, it shouldn’t be. Listen to your body, tune in to how you feel before and after you eat. If you are having some problems and thing you have something going on, you an always seek help or start a food journal to track how your body reacts to certain foods.
5 tips to start TODAY
- start a food journal including how you feel after eating each thing
- before you eat, ask yourself if you are really hungry, then ask yourself what you are hungry for. what nourishment does your body need? protein? healthy fats? veggies? raw or cooked? TUNE IN to what your body is needing
- ladies, start CYCLE SYNCING and eating intuitively by what cycle you are on. I also have these DIY cycle syncing cards to help remind you what you need to do and eat during each phase
- stop judging yourself by what you eat. find a balance that works for you, and do not compare it to others. our bodies are different, our lives are different, so what we eat and when may differ and that. is. okay.
- eat what makes you feel GOOD. i don’t mean eat chocolate all day every day because you love it. i mean eat the food that makes you feel energized, healthy, and overall amazing. and then let yourself have the chocolate without judgement on occasion because your balance will make your relationship with food happier than ever.
How was all that ranting? If you read through all the Chels rambling, good for you babe! You are ready to start eating intuitively and begin a healthy and positive relationship with food.
For more, be sure you’re following along at my instagram!