Eat Intuitively, Lose Weight

By Unite Fitness Retreat Dietician, Brooke Bouwhuis

There are 5 distinct steps to making peace with food.  There is no set time frame for when and how this happens.  Going at a pace you feel comfortable with and makes sense to you to keep you from be overwhelmed by the process is exactly what this step is all about.

Keep in mind, if you are so hungry you will inhale whatever crosses your path, that messes with your true intention.  First you must honor your hunger, keep your body fed with enough energy for you to go about your day.

What if you truly knew you could eat anything again?  It would make it easier to stop eating when you are full!

If you are always hungry because you are always dieting or have become numb to the signals telling you to eat – it’s time to begin to listen to how your body tells you that you are hungry.

Check in with your body and ask, “What is my hunger level?” Do this every time you eat to help get back in touch with your body.

Checking in on your hunger levels and becoming more aware of what your body needs will allow you to work on the next step of making peace with food.

5 Steps to Eating Intuitively and Making Peace with Food

  • Pay attention the foods you are craving and make a list of them.
  • Place a check next to each of the foods you do allow yourself to eat and circle the remaining foods you have been avoiding or restricting.
  • Give yourself permission to eat ONE of the foods from your forbidden list, go buy it at the store or order it at the restaurant (be mindful of portion size)
  • As you eat the food check in with yourself and ask if it tasted as good as you had imagined.  If you find you absolutely adore that food, continue to give yourself permission to buy or order it.
  • Make sure you keep enough of that food around so you know that it will be there if you really want it.  If it’s too frightening to have it that close to you, give yourself permission to go to a restaurant and order it.

Once you have made peace with that food and it doesn’t have the grip it used to have on you anymore, do the same process with the next food on your list.  Do this process until your entire list has been tired, evaluated and freed.

If your list is super long you really don’t have to do this process with every single food but once you are comfortable with the process and you have truly given yourself permission to eat what you want, when you want you have set a strong foundation for health.

This process may seem absolutely nuts.  Stop for just a second and stay open to this idea, this process is one known as habituation. There is a lot of research on food habituation and its power.  Foods like pizza, chocolate and potato chips have been studied showing that when you eat a food over and over it loses its appeal.

Dieting heightens the novelty and craving for foods we have demonized and categorized as forbidden.  When we remove the power of those foods over us, we step into a healthier way of living.