As an Eating Disorder Recovery Coach, I specialize in helping people recover from eating disorders. However, there are so many people who may not have a full-blown eating disorder that also struggle with food and eating. Like those with eating disorders, these individuals have lost their intuition with food. This usually occurs after years of chronic dieting.
An intuitive eater is defined as a person who “makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honors hunger, respects fullness and enjoys the pleasure of eating.”
In a culture that tells us, “thinner is better” it is difficult to distinguish whether your diet has gone a bit too far.
Here are some signs you’ve lost your intuition with food:
You ignore your hunger or skip meals
Ignoring your hunger to avoid eating is a sign that you are no longer honoring your body’s needs. Whether you are doing so consciously or not, it is important to keep your body well-fed to restore your natural intuition with food.
You feel out of control when eating
Usually, when a person feels out of control when eating it is because their body’s instincts have kicked in. If you are constantly restricting your body will stop trusting you to feed it. So, when food is available, your body will take over for means of survival.
You label foods
Do you tend to judge foods as “good” or “bad” for you? To restore your intuition with food, it is helpful to stop judging the food you eat and approach eating with a sense of neutrality. This keeps eating uncomplicated and allows you to reconnect with food freedom.
You eat until you’re overly full
Those who eat intuitively respect their body’s fullness. Just as your body tells you it’s hungry, it also tells you it is full. When you are eating it is crucial to check in with yourself to get a better sense of how hungry or full you are. Be mindful of when you feel yourself approaching a satisfied state.
You feel guilty after eating
Feeling guilt is usually a sign that you broke a “food rule” believe in. For instance, eating a roll with butter before dinner could lead you to feeling guilty. In this case, the food rule you believe in may be “no eating carbs.” It is important to challenge these rules and the beliefs you have about certain foods. Rejecting the diet mentality is an imperative part of intuitive eating.
If you want to restore your body’s natural intuition with food, I encourage you to set up a free, 20-minute coaching consultation with me. Together we can identify ways to challenge your food rules and behaviors and restore your ability to eat intuitively.