Humans are born as natural intuitive eaters – as babies we cry when hungry and stop eating when full. While the idea of eating to hunger cues sounds simple enough, in our modern busy lives we can be challenged otherwise.
As we grow, environmental and social cues, as well as the habits of those around us, might cause our inner intuitive eater to disappear. Maybe we’re told to finish everything on our plate, or have our internal food ‘police’ make us feel guilty if we eat something personified as ‘bad’ – but praise us if it’s deemed ‘good’! While we might think our best intentions are at heart, these ideologies don’t always serve well.
Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to food choice with a focus on being attuned to the body’s natural hunger signals, rather than relying on external rules or dieting to dictate eating. Interested in learning more? Consider the below:
- Pay attention to your internal dialogue. What’s your narrative around food? Objectively checking in around what drives food choice can help us understand ingrained beliefs that might pay to be challenged.
- Get familiar again with your hunger signals. Take breaks while you eat, checking in with changes to feelings of fullness and hunger signals. At what point could you stop because you feel comfortably satisfied?
- Practise mindful eating. This is where we focus on really paying attention to the food on our plate. Notice the smells, textures and taste – how does it change your eating experience for the better?
Danijela is a NZ Registered Nutritionist working in community nutrition. She is culinary-trained and loves playing around in the kitchen – you can catch her writing on topics of nutrition and sharing recipe ideas on her blog Healthy Always.