Imagine not having to resort to willpower and starvation tactics to lose weight and drop sizes. It can be overwhelming to know where to start when the internet and website searches bombard us with nutrition and health information. What if there was a way to use your intuition (inner wisdom) to accomplish your goal of leading a healthy and fit lifestyle while enjoying nutritional foods in the process? It’s often referred to as “intuitive eating” and there are various approaches, all with the goal of getting off the “diet to lose weight” path and becoming aware of healthy foods through the mind-body connection.
In the quest to become an intuitive eater, here are 4 ways to get started:
Meditate: For Intuitive Connection – Many long time students and meditation gurus believe that meditation gets you to stay “in the present moment.” Bringing out your inner intuition is all about increasing your present awareness and, therefore, what you sense in the present through both your mind and body. It just might be that during meditation your intuition is telling you to let go of the comfort foods that are improving your “mood” rather than fueling your body.
Listen To Your Body: And Celebrate Your Own Uniqueness – If you are feeling bloated, gassy, nauseous, or have an overall feeling of heaviness (a few examples), then your body is telling you, in its’ present awareness, to STOP and start being mindful of the foods you are consuming. Your body is unique to you. It’s just as important to realize that we all have different body types so the goal is to be your “best self.” Not the unrealistic photoshopped photos in magazines. Trying to starve yourself and beat yourself up to attain your idea of the perfect body is an unattainable goal and in the end leads to unhappiness, frustration and unhealthy eating habits.
Listen To Your Mind: But Delete Negative Recordings – Find ways to quiet your mind, whether through meditation, a walk in nature, taking a drive out to the country, or just sitting and being in the present moment. This can allow your mind to open itself up and allow for your intuition to come through. We need to get rid of the negative mind clutter that is constantly telling us “don’t eat this, don’t eat that”. There’s a basic concept with almost all motivational and success coaches that is “concentrate on what you want, not on what you DON’T want.” So rather than “think” that you are NOT going to like a certain healthy food, how about cultivating the positive “feeling” of becoming healthy and well when you eat this food.
Stop The Guilt! – Most of my readers know that I’m all about “balance.” My goal is to be mindful and consume good, healthy foods BUT I also don’t deprive myself when I feel the craving for a forbidden food. For me personally, it’s chocolate! I love the delicious chocolate cake from Portillo’s, which is a traditional dessert for family celebrations at my house, or it could be that chocolate cupcake from a favorite bakery. If you don’t allow yourself to enjoy these types of splurges occasionally then these food cravings can just build up until they become an eating binge. So get rid of the guilt when you decide to enjoy a special treat. Give yourself permission to enjoy it. Then get back to being mindful of all the wonderful choices you have to move forward with health & wellness!
Try these tips for practicing your intuitive eating:
At the beginning of the week prep your kitchen for healthy eating so that you are surrounded by nutrient dense options instead of surrounding yourself with tempting treats. Stock up on the following:
? Digestive fiber: fresh fruits and veggies
? Vitamin E sources like: almonds, walnuts, and cashews
? Complex carbs like quinoa and sweet potatoes
? Lean proteins like leafy greens, legumes, and fish
When experiencing cravings, it’s ok to give in – but trick your body.
When I’m craving something sweet I don’t fight the urge. Instead I listen to my intuition and give myself what my body is asking for. Instead of going for cookies and cakes, I will make banana ice cream with frozen bananas and almond milk, or dipping strawberries in honey. This way I’m satisfying my sweet tooth while also gaining vitamins instead of empty carbs
In general, I never fight cravings. If I’m craving something salty or savory I will make foods with extra spice to give me that flavor. The only switch I make is eating whole foods instead of processed foods. Cravings don’t mean you have to reach for a bag of chips. If you train yourself in the kitchen to create dishes with flavor profiles that satisfy cravings, you will be listening to your intuition instead of depriving yourself.
Only eat when your body signals hunger.
If you wake up and you are not hungry, it is absolutely ok to not eat breakfast upon rising. We should be focusing on our bio-individuality which simply means: we are all different. This means we shouldn’t follow the “one diet fits all” methodology, that we should be eating when our own body tells us to, and we should be eating what our own body craves. If you wake up and you are not hungry until 2-3 hours after rising, that is when you should be eating breakfast!
Learn even more about intuitive eating.
I recently discovered the University & Colleges of Natural Health and became intrigued by their degrees and educational offerings. If you are a health coach or wellness professional, there are some awesome degree options like Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner, Bachelor and Master degrees in Holistic Nutrition, Masters in Holistic Healing, and even becoming a Naturorthopahtic doctor.
It’s definitely a university to look into if you are interested in holistic nutrition and health like I am. One of their courses that align with intuitive eating is their Advanced Holistic Nutrition course, focusing on the acid alkaline diet. I can talk about acid alkaline diets in a whole different post, but for now I would like to tie in how intuitive eating comes into play with this as well. This course focuses on how your body starts to naturally crave healthy foods as your cells are nourished by nutrient dense foods. The University of Natural Health is an accredited distance learning school that provides a holistic education for students. You can learn more about their holistic nutrition degree programs here and more about them in general here.
The University was also kind enough to send along this informative info-graphic about integrating a more holistic diet into your life!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by the University & Colleges of Natural Health. All writing, opinions, and thoughts are my own.
Main photo source: trueactivist.com