What is intuitive eating?
You instinctively know when you are tired and when you need the bathroom. But did you know that a very similar mechanism that can help you regulate your weight without you even trying?
You may even be familiar with this system.
It is called appetite. Your brain and stomach are in constant communication with one another. A super-smart section of your brain called the hypothalamus, receives chemical messages from your gut letting you know when you are hungry.
Your body translates these messages and determines that it is time for food.
Perhaps you have noticed that some days you are ravenous? On these days, your body is using more energy. Hunger is your body’s way of letting you know. On days when you are indifferent to food, your body is burning less fuel.
We all have a setpoint weight that is perfect for us. At this weight, your body functions at its best - you feel energised and nourished.
Your body is savvy and wants to help you stay at this perfect set point. When you ignore the natural cues of hunger and fullness, you impair your body’s efforts.
The research confirms that when allow yourself to become overly hungry, you are more likely to turn to sugar and refined carbs to boost your energy levels.
However, when you tune into your hunger and eat appropriately, your body will instinctively let you know when it is time to stop.
When you learn to respond to signals of hunger, fullness, and appetite your body will be guiding you to make healthy, enjoyable choices. No more counting calories or obsessing about food.
Instead of eating your meals by the clock, tune into the messages from your body. Get back in touch with your innate sense of hunger and appetite. This will be the best indicator of when your body needs food.
Listening to your body
The best strategy to avoid losing control of your eating is to avoid becoming too hungry. Here is a useful tool to help you determine your level of hunger.
1. Rank your hungry on a scale of 1-10.
2. Eat when you reach an 7 on the scale.
3. It is time to stop when you reach 3.