Intuitive eating means paying attention to your senses and ignoring emotions when you eat. If you're not hungry, you don't need to eat. But don't wait until you feel starved, because that makes your body think you need to gorge or binge to survive.
Relate to genuine physical hunger when you eat by noticing taste and smell. This is the only way to tune-in to healthy physical comfort.
Because you have been training to diet for years, it will take time to undo all of that 'training'. It takes calorie-burning effort to stop rebuking yourself for what you eat. Remember, you owe yourself some kindness because you are working hard to reconnect with your natural appetites.
Natural hunger is a gentle feeling. Trust that you can learn to recognize it.
Try this: Pretend you're very young and give yourself the pleasure of tasting flavor. Notice texture and smell what you eat. If you feel like having ice cream, act like a kid who never tasted ice cream and lick it. Intuitive eating is fun. When possible, eat with a friend or relative to share enjoyment. The result of focusing on what you're enjoying is:
- You will eat less.
- You will eat slower.
- You will recognize when you're full.
- Smell food at mealtime and if you feel turned off, don't eat.
- If it smells good, take a bite.
- When you taste it, make it a rule to chew and savor the flavor. This will connect what you're tasting with your mind, and your stomach will respond. If you still do not feel hungry, you are not. But if you are hungry, it's important to enjoy food by really tasting it while you're eating.
- When you enjoy your food, you burn more calories.
- When you really taste food, you feel full sooner. So only eat what you feel like having, and stop eating when you feel comfortable, but not stuffed.
- Feeling "filled up" is usually a signal of overeating. Feeling comfortable is the signal from your body that you're full.
You are already building a caring foundation for the rest of your life. Use the key for long-term success. Be kind to yourself. The only thing that matters around eating is what you're doing now. Yesterday is history.