To me, intuitive eating is all about establishing a connection to our bodies and listening to the symptoms that our bodies send us on a daily base. This stems from the realization that our bodies are absolute supercomputers. Our heart never skips a beat, blood is continuously pumped through our veins and there is probably no smarter machine out there than our fabulous bodies. They also know exactly what they need in terms of food and they actually tell us as well, we just need to learn to listen to the symptoms. Now that’s what I call an intuitive connection!
How to Eat Intuitively
Do you recognize feeling bloated, low in energy, knackered or down after eating? These are all symptoms of your body being out of balance or not reacting well towards a specific product or food category.
If you feel supercharged, light and energetic after a meal, chances are that your body absolutely loves what you just ate and would like you to have more of that.
In order to establish an intuitive connection with your body you need to become more aware of what you feed it with everyday. In my practice I like to use a food diary for this with my clients. A food diary is a great tool to connect the dots, understand patterns in your diet and act as an accountability partner for you.
Especially if you deal with low energy throughout the day or struggle with your gut health it can be super insightful to write down when you felt a certain shift. These observations can really help you to create more consciousness around your diet and what kind of foods your body reacts well to what it does not like.
Rating Your Hunger
Another great exercise to eat more intuitively is to rate your hunger. You can do this by rating your hunger before and after every meal using the following range from 1 to 8:
- Feeling starved, dizzy, weak
- Very hungry, stomach growling
- Quite hungry, stomach growling starts
- The hunger is slowly rising
- Neither hungry nor full, contentment
- A bit full, pleasant.
- Somewhat uncomfortably full, feeling of fullness
- Very full, nausea and even stomach ache
So if we have a look at what this all means:
- If you constantly enter a 1 or 2 before your meal, you’re probably likely to overeat and end up at a 7 or 8 after the meal
- If you don’t really feel hunger, so around 7 or 8 before the meal, you might be eating too much in between, so skips those snacks
- Ideally we want to feel relatively hungry, somewhere between a 3 and 4, when starting our meal and pleasant and content, somewhere between a 5 and 6 when finishing it.
This really is that sweet spot where our body is able to absorb nutrients and food the best. Try and remember this feeling and eat or stop whenever you experience the same feeling again.
Give these exercises a try and have fun doing so. Remember to not be too strict with your own yourself, it’s completely ok to not write down what you ate or how you felt every single day. None of us are perfect and Rome wasn’t built in a day;)
Putting this into practice
If you’d like to find out what healthy eating and establishing an intuitive connection with your body could mean for you, the Eat Well, Feel Good Introduction to Nutrition Course could be helpful with that. I created a fun, easy and short course for those who are looking to understand what healthy eating is all about. The course consists of 6 modules and 22 videos. I devoted an entire chapter in the course to intuitive eating as this is really one of the cornerstones of feeling great, inside and out. The course is perfect for you if you’re looking to gain some general knowledge about good nutrition that you can easily put into practice. I’m sharing lots of handy tips & tricks with you, including a food diary template, lots of delicious recipes and print outs to make your life around shopping and eating much more fun and easy. Head to the Online Course section to find out more!