Unlike diets, which are full of rigid rules that prevent you from listening to your body, these guidelines promote the opposite: They help you honour your body so that you can get over the exhausting struggle with weight loss and food obsession.
Dieting doesn’t work, plain and simple.
The restriction always leads to binges, and food rules only push you further into your head. In order to regain sanity around food, you need to pull yourself back into your body. When you’re in your body, you’re connected to your body’s infinite wisdom
that already knows how to be its natural weight.
Intuition: Your Body’s Infinite Wisdom
By definition, intuition is:
“A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.”
Your intuition is that little voice you hear when you to listen to the quiet melody of your body instead of the harsh demands of your mind. Your intuition can get you to your natural weight all on its own. The knowledge is already within you. You just need to learn how to tap back into it. This can be difficult, though, if you have a long history with dieting. So I’ll cover that part first, and then dive into the eating guidelines.
The Reason Why We Self-Sabotage
If you’re a dieter or a “restricter,” it’s likely that you’re often in your head about what to eat. You follow rules’ instead of intuition.
Your body says, “I want that brownie,” but your mind says no.
So you battle with yourself until you can’t stand it any longer and then, exhausted from the battle and completely drained of willpower, you self-sabotage and eat the entire batch of brownies when initially you only wanted a couple to begin with! That’s the vicious cycle of dieting.
So let’s unlearn it, and replace it with a much healthier set of guidelines: the eating guidelines.
What Are the Intuitive Eating Guidelines?
The Intuitive eating guidelines are:
1. Eat exactly what appeals to you when you’re hungry (this includes both brownies and cucumber!)
2. Stop when you feel satisfied (this might include wasting some food or getting more food)
3. Feel your feelings when you’re not hungry (this definitely requires effort and some discomfort)
Notice that there’s not a shred of advice about what to eat – only to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you are satisfied. I think there is so much wisdom in this! Because sometimes your body will crave healthy foods, and sometimes it won’t.
Release the Fear of Gaining Weight
If your body wants something your dieting brain considers as ‘unhealthy’, like a chocolate milkshake, then for God’s Sake, have a chocolate milkshake. Because the backlash of not having the milkshake will lead to even more overeating.
The voice in your head may scream absurdities like, “You can’t eat that, there’s too much fat! Sugar is evil! It’s too late at night! It’s too early in the morning! It will slow down your metabolism!”
But as long as you practice noticing that inner bitch diet mentality voice and still choosing to listen to what your body wants, you will actually reduce the struggle with feeling crazy around food – and you’ll probably stop craving things like chocolate milkshakes after a while.
That’s the cool part: As you continue to eat intuitively, your body will naturally gravitate towards a huge variety of different foods that will make her feel good. Even though now you will be thinking, this won’t work for me because it’s guaranteed that all I will want to eat 24 hours a day 7 days a week until infinity is …’ insert binge food’.
This will most likely happen to begin with because you are rebelling against all the past restrictions. When I started intuitive eating I ate heaps of chocolate every day for weeks. Then one day I was like, “I feel like a green smoothie!” I was actually shocked and pissed off at myself at the same time because I was craving the same thing that Instagrammers use to shove smugly in my face!
Your body knows what foods make you feel like crap and what doesn’t. And after a few months of listening to your body, it’s quite likely that you’ll start to crave things like are ‘healthy’. You just have to keep trusting yourself and the process.
Feeling your feelings
This simply means that when you are reaching for your usual go-to comfort food or knee-deep in Ben & Jerry’s, to stop what you’re doing, drop into your body, and pay attention to your feelings.
Sounds simple enough, but breaking the momentum of a binge can be difficult (if not borderline impossible) at first. This is why it’s critical to promise yourself that you can get back to the binge when you’re done if that’s still what you want.
Take yourself away from the food for a moment, sit down and ask yourself:
“What am I feeling? What feeling am I avoiding with food?”
And then see whatever comes up for you. BUT MAKE SURE YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL YOUR FEELINGS not just push them away. At this point it is always a good idea to put pen to paper and see what you write – you will be surprised at what actually comes up.
Sometimes the emotions go away, other times they simply lose their edge, giving you access to more free will. And that free will can be used to chose not to eat when you’re not hungry. Or you may still choose to eat, and this is totally ok! Once you stop demonising binges as something terrible, you shine a light on them and they stop naturally all on their own over time.
Do you need help re-learning how to eat intuitively? (I say re-learning because you were born as intuitive eater). Intuitive eating is a HUGE benefit and 100% necessary for healing your relationship with food and your body but intuitive eating alone won’t fix your problems which is why you need to work on your dieting mentality and body image alongside this.
This is what I do day in day out and my clients experience huge transformations!
With love and light