Life has been crazy the last few weeks and I haven’t gotten my Intuitive Eating post out to you on time. But, here it is! Intuitive Eating Principle Six… Discover the Satisfaction Factor.
As a former dieter I saw food as something that always needed to be controlled, measured and counted.
When I began embracing intuitive eating what I’ve learned is that when I allow my body the choice to decide what foods it would like, over time, I crave foods that I never craved while dieting.
For instance, I really enjoy salads now.
When I dieted, salads weren’t as appealing because I thought that with the addition of dressings and toppings they ended up being far from healthy. If I ate a salad it wasn’t filled with foods I actually liked that provided adequate nutrition because my focus was skimping on calories and I was always hungry soon after.
When I ordered a salad it felt like something I “should” do because I was trying to lose weight. It wasn’t something I necessarily wanted at the time.
The funny thing is now that I am no longer dieting, I crave the crunch of the lettuce and the toppings don’t mean near as much because I’m not overly consumed by how many calories they add to my meal. I add toppings that leave me satisfied and are balanced with protein, carbs and fats so I can fuel my body the way it needs to be fueled to be satisfied.
In the Intuive Eating book they have 5 steps to help a person regain their pleasure in eating.
- Ask yourself what you really want to eat
- Discover the pleasure of the palate
- Make your eating experience more enjoyable
- Don’t settle
- Check in: Does it still taste good?
Ask Yourself What You Really Want to Eat
News flash. At first this answer might be cookies, cakes, peanut butter, etc. But, I’d be willing to bet that if you give Intuitive Eating an HONEST shot… within months, those cravings pass.
Peanut butter is not a trigger anymore like it used to be. I like it, but I don’t love it the way I used to because it’s no longer a forbidden food. I crave different foods now that leave me feeling satisfied. It doesn’t mean I never want cookies or cake, they just don’t mean as much to me now that I allow myself to have them anytime I want.
Discover the Pleasure of the Palate
This is broken down into a number of things to notice about the food you are enjoying
- volume or filling capacity
Guess what? I hate oatmeal. HATE it. Every time I saw someone post overnight oats on Instagram I would tell myself I should really try to like it because it was considered “healthy”. But, I don’t like the taste, texture, appearance and it never fills me up. So, guess who has decided I never need to try oatmeal again?? Me.
Don’t make yourself eat foods your palate doesn’t enjoy just because someone told you it’s healthy!
You deserve to enjoy your food. We all are built differently and created with different taste buds, that’s ok and there is no need to feel shame that you don’t like a food that is labeled “healthy”.
Make Your Eating Experience More Enjoyable
This is a hard one for me if I’m being honest. I’m a Mom of two and pregnant with my 3rd child. Sometimes meal times can be a little stressful.
There are 3 “s’s” of satisfying eating:
- eat SLOWLY
- eat Sensually
- and SAVOR every bite
I do my best but this is difficult for me. Thankfully, as I learn about what being an intuitive eater means, perfection isn’t part of the equation. I know as I grow older, and my family does, this will be easier for me and an area I can spend more time focusing on.
“If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savor it.” I love this quote from the Intuitive Eating book. Life is too short to eat food you don’t like! So STOP!
If you put a food on your plate you aren’t enjoying, you don’t owe it to anyone, or yourself, to finish it.
Check In: Does it Still Taste Good?
When I pay closer attention to the foods I’m eating and how I FEEL when I’m eating them, what I’ve learned is I don’t need the quantity of it that I used to THINK I did.
I would eat spoonful after spoonful of peanut butter. Now? I know if I have more than 2 spoonfuls I’m not going to feel well. My hands get tight, I end up with a lump in my chest and the 3rd, 4th and 5th spoonful doesn’t taste as good as the first one anyways.
When you allow yourself permission to have foods everyday, foods become “food” and not a “treat” or “cheat meal” meaning when you eat them you don’t always need to binge on them.
I don’t eat peanut butter everyday and it’s as tempting to me now as eggs or an apple. This took TIME. This doesn’t happen easily, but it does happen when you stop restricting foods and allow yourself permission to eat foods of all kinds.
It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect
I used to strive for perfection in regards to my eating. When I “failed”, that meant I wasn’t strong enough or didn’t have enough willpower.
Now, I know this isn’t true. I was setting myself up for failure every time I started a new diet in hopes that if I controlled my food more I would be happier.
What I’ve found is I’m happier when I let go of perfection and listen to my body and treat it in such a way that feels kind and healthy. I have more room in my life for things that bring me joy instead of being overly focused on what’s on my plate (or someone else’s).
This journey of learning about Intuitive Eating has been eye opening for me. There are still parts of it that feel messy, but I’ve decided I’m ok with that. At this point in my life, it’s freeing to shift my focus and really tune into what my body wants and needs.
If you want to learn more about the other Principles of Intuitive Eating I’ve shared how I’m incorporating them into my journey right now.
10 PRINCIPLES OF INTUITIVE EATING
- Reject the Diet Mentality
- Honor your Hunger
- Make Peace with Food
- Challenge the Food Police
- Feel your Fullness
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor
- Cope with your Emotions without Using Food
- Respect your Body
- Exercise-Feel the Difference
- Honor Your Health- Gentle Nutrition