When we are in the diet mindset, we are not tuned in with our body and its natural signals because we have been looking to rules and regulations from our diets in order to give us some form of structure or foundation.
Our brain craves this (which is why we move from diet to diet) because a label gives us some consistency, some sense of order or that we are ‘doing the right thing’.
A little less mindful,
a little more…
1. a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority.
But in this labelling and structure we find that frustration, that lack of patience, that restriction that doesn’t feel good. (But we are so used to it, that we think it does feel good.)
So we decide to try to get out of the diet loop.
What tends to happen when we first try to get out of it?
When we diet for so long, we are so trained to think in terms of restriction rather than nourishment. Food is not viewed as nourishment, its viewed as the enemy in diets.
So we may swing the pendulum so far the other way in order to attempt balance. After initially deciding to get off the diet train, you may start to be frivolous in your choices.
And that’s okay.
What I have seen is that some clients tend to eat in a way that doesn’t feel good and are stuck in a loop of complete anarchy in their diet. When you get fed up enough of diets you just stop caring.
You eat whatever you want, whenever you want.
It’s almost a revenge against diets.
A poignant display of erratic choices that, in the end, don’t serve you, but you learn from. So it’s not wrong. Sometimes you have to throw yourself into this to prove to yourself that there is no diet coming down the pipe next to ‘save you’ from your ‘bad’ choices.
And that’s okay.
Because what will save you? Your body. Your new authority. Your intuition.
I remember having a discussion with a client that went something like this.
R: “It’ll be so great when you start to get tuned into your body and start allowing it to become your authority for your food choices.”
Client: “I don’t know how I feel about that theory. I just don’t really like the idea of being chained to my body.”
R: “…….. well, you already are.”
We are in our bodies. It’s all we’ve got. And if we allow diets and marketers to take over our thoughts and actions, we no longer have any power. Because we’ve given it away. To them.
When you follow a diet, you are powerless.
When you are in your body and tuned to its signals and eating mindfully, you are in your power. You become powerful. You’ll be equipped to make more food and nutrition decisions based on rational logics, your ethics, and the planet rather than the latest trend. [Read: Get Healthy with Food Philosophy]
So here’s how to take your power back:
This approach to eating is not to develop discipline over your food choices, but rather, to master control of your minds’ cravings by learning them, and most importantly listening to what the body wants. The goal is achieved by non-judgmentally studying and understanding your own thinking patterns, emotional moods and your varying appetites accordingly.
By eating with a clear head and awareness, one will be prevented from over eating, under eating or consuming health damaging foods.
How To: The simple point of eating mindfully is to know each bite. To fully, really enjoy each bite as you take it. At first it is difficult to really pay attention this way.
To enjoy the sensations fully you should become aware of the food in every stage of its part in your meal. Notice the aroma before it enters your mouth. Notice how the food feels in your mouth before and during chewing. Chew to a paste and notice how the flavours change or become stronger.
Notice the constant urge to swallow the food before enough proper chewing has taken place! When the urge to swallow the food comes, naturally let the food go and feel it go down your throat. This may sound strange, but it will come easier with practice.
Then pay attention to your bodies’ cues. How full am I? Am I bloated? What did I eat (or how did I eat it) that could have maybe made me feel this way? It’s not to judge yourself. It’s to learn.
Once you discover the way food makes you feel, you’ll enjoy slowing down and coming to the table and it will change your relationship with food for the better.
Notice your bodies’ response to the food and slow, slow down. It takes 20 minutes for the message of satiety (or ‘I’M FULL!’) to reach the brain from the stomach. Choose at least 1 meal a day to practice mindful eating– one that you can relax the most during – breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
[For more, Read: A Surprising Weight Loss Strategy]
Is intuitive eating, at the core, a little bit anarchist? Yes. But it’s on your terms. So follow the flow.
When we feel blocked about what choice to make…
When we lack trust of what we know, or completely bypass our inner voice in favour of listening to others...
We are denying ourselves the gift of our easily built-in navigation tool - our intuition.
Find it and free yourself from diets, forever.