Intuitive eating as a concept can be so difficult to pin down or reign in. Many people think it’s just about eating what you want when you want to. Some think that it gives them the ability to eat cookies, cake and anything they supposedly crave.
Intuitive Eating is More Than Just Eating What You Want
As I mentioned before, many people think that intuitive eating is just an excuse to eat junk food. It’s not. Intuitive eating is a process of listening to your body and learning to give it the foods it wants and needs. For me, I eat intuitively now, but I eat more healthfully as a result. For me, it’s been the opposite of what most people expect to happen.
Trust me, before my bariatric surgery, I did ‘cheat’ a bit and ‘intuitively eat’ crap. I thought I needed cookies, ice cream and cake. I didn’t realize that I was medicating for an illness called borderline personality disorder. I am bipolar and have borderline personality disorder. It’s rough sometimes, but it doesn’t give me an excuse to eat like crap.
When I had the surgery and after working for many years with my nutritionist, Alexa Sparkman, I learned that my body intuitively wanted to eat good, healthy food. I now eat avocado, quinoa and kale regularly. I “crave” yogurt and granola – not the sugary stuff, the real good stuff with goji berries – more than I “crave” crap.
Cravings Can Give Us Information on What We Need To Eat
The interesting things about cravings are that they tell us what our body needs physiologically. Well, at least, to an extent. Usually we ‘crave’ salty or sweet. That’s what most people think of as a craving. They want something like cookies, cake, potato chips or pizza. Some people love ‘comfort food.’ However, our body is crying out for nutrition. Salt cravings could be satisfied with nuts or seeds or even a little bit of Himalayan sea salt crushed on your finger tip. Sugar cravings can be met with Stevia, honey or agave nectar. We don’t ‘need’ processed foods. Whole foods are more satisfying.
However, not everyone has access to whole foods. That’s a shame and a blight on our society. Intuitive eaters tend to ‘crave’ foods that will serve them not hinder them. Foods that come from a bag or a box are generally not healthy. They are stripped of nutrients. The body wants nutrition so it will crave more of this ‘junk’ food than it does of healthy food. Most intuitive eaters learn this.
How Can You Become an Intuitive Eater?
The first step to becoming an intuitive eater is to be aware of what you’re currently eating and why. You will also want to look at what you’re craving. Be curious about things. Don’t try to change your eating habits initially. The important thing is to understand what you crave and why. This way you can look for healthier alternatives. Intuitive eating is all about taking care of yourself and your body. It’s not about harming yourself with foods that will make you feel bad. An intuitive eater feels strong, healthy and happy. Food can be a great thing. You don’t have to be a slave to cravings. They can teach you what you need and you can also decide not to give in to them too.
Yup! It’s all about choice.
For more information on intuitive eating, check out my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/deannacgoodson/. If you want to work with me, give me a call at 512-484-7634.