You can have all the information in the world about what nutrients you need, what a balanced plate looks like, and how many grams of protein your body probably needs for fuel and still struggle with your eating. That’s because there is one key element to how you eat that will help you have a peaceful relationship with food for good. Notice I said, HOW, you eat…not WHAT you eat. I am a huge fan of focusing on the how and not the what of eating. Fact: you can binge on cherries; a food full of vitamins, fiber and nutrition – but it is the binge itself, the HOW, not the what, that matters and makes you feel terrible.
It’s how you eat, not what you eat, that matters most.
The key to loving your relationship with food is to try to achieve satisfaction when you eat. And, yes, I do mean every time you eat. Not just at dinner, or just when you’re sitting down at a table with no distractions (for some of us that is a rare case!). Aim to feel satisfied: Every. Time. You. Eat. Car, bus, desk, train or airport. Every – Time – You – Eat. Satisfaction, as beautifully stated by Elyse Resch, MS RD, co-author of Intuitive Eating, is the key to Intuitive Eating and in turn to loving your relationship to food. You also don’t have to be perfect at it. Let’s face it after a lifetime of eating fast, binge eating, skipping meals, or whatever your pattern may have been, it takes time to build this new behavior and focus on eating for satisfaction. It’s the rewards such as feeling comfortable in your body and gaining trust around food that will keep you wanting to eat for satisfaction more and more until it is just the natural way you eat.
Definition of Satisfaction:
Fulfillment of a need or want. The quality or state of being satisfied : CONTENTMENT.
A source or means of enjoyment : GRATIFICATION.
Who wouldn’t want to eat with that as the goal??
Aim to get satisfied from what you eat. To do this, you need to taste, you need to be picky when the time is right. You need to try and eat what you are hungry for. In doing this, you will be much more likely to get satisfied.
The other thing I learned through my own journey and from watching clients learn to eat this way, is that you actually will need to start this process by exploring what satisfaction feels like for you as an individual. How do you want to feel when you get up from the table? Before you eat, what questions do you need to ask yourself before deciding what to have?
Start this process by exploring what satisfaction feels like for you as an individual.
Here are some suggestions below to get you on your way… and then let your own journey to discovering satisfaction take off.
- How hungry am I?
- Do I want something hot or cold?
- Salty or sweet?
- Meaty or starchy.. or both?
- Do I want to eat with a fork or with my hands (pasta or pizza?)
- Am I craving specific flavors?
I’m so excited for you to begin your journey toward Intuitive Eating. A quick read through Savvy Girl: A Guide to Eating can be a great jumping off point and provide you with tools and examples of how to eat without dieting and form a healthy relationship with food and your body at any size.