Friday, September 11, 2015

How To Trust Your Food Choices

You know how when you get a new car, suddenly you see that same car everywhere?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of trust, lately (for an upcoming book chapter), and suddenly it seems that everyone is talking about trust.

“I don't trust if I'm really hungry for food or if it's emotional hunger. It’s hard to know the difference.”

“Intuitive eating?  What in the world is that?”

“I’m afraid if I give myself permission to eat whatever I want, I’ll start eating pizza and ice cream and I won’t stop.  Ever.  Seriously.  I’ll never stop.

The idea that you can trust yourself to know what your body needs, or that you can trust yourself to stop eating forbidden food once you’ve started may seem as likely as jet-packing to the moon an hour from now.

As someone recently put it, “That might be true for normal people.  But my body will tell me that I need pizza.”

So, how do you learn to trust yourself when it comes to food?

#1 Learn to discern the difference between physical and emotional hunger. 

Signs that you’re physically hungry
  • ·      Growling, gurgling stomach
  • ·      Feeling light-headed
  • ·      Getting a headache (especially if you haven’t eaten for some hours)

Signs that you're emotionally hungry
  • ·      A specific food "sounds good" or "looks good"
  • ·      You want to reward yourself
  • ·      You want to calm down or feel better

#2 Identify the underlying triggers

Are you upset, sad, angry?  
Express those feelings in words, not actions

Are you lonely? 
Call a friend or be a friend to yourself.  When you are alone with a critical part of you, it’s very lonely indeed, but when you cultivate a part of yourself that can be responsive and kind, you achieve solitude, not loneliness.

Are you anxious?
Calm your body by using muscle relaxation exercises or walking, working out, or anything physical.  A relaxed body is the first step to relaxing your mind.

Are you bored?
Do something!  And ask yourself if you’re bored or lonely.

Are you exhausted or sleepy?  
If you use food to perk yourself up when you’re tired, that’s not emotional hunger, but it is the wrong response to exhaustion.  When you’re tired, you need to rest.   Food won’t perk you up for long.  Your body needs rest, not food.

#3 Put off eating for three minutes and see what happens

If you’re physically hungry, you’ll probably get a little bit hungrier (but not so hungry that you will lose control).   If you’re emotionally hungry, the urgency may pass and you may feel more reflective and less reactive.

When you identify whether you are hungry for food or eating to resolve an internal conflict or state, it’s easier to make healthy food choices!   And that's how you make peace with food for good!

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Want even more support on your journey?  I can help!  Imagine feeling FREE of food cravings and being at peace, all without dieting (yes, it is possible)!

Sign up for my FREE 3 Day Challenge to crack the code of emotional eating:

1 comment:


Great blog. thank you! Erin