My Intuitive Eating Fears


When I first heard about Intuitive Eating it sounded a lot harder than any diet I had tried.  I pictured a constant argument with myself over if I was hungry or not & what was the right level of full.  I felt like a bottomless pit, able to eat large quantities of food without ever feeling all that full, especially when I included less nutritious foods in my diet.  Without the rules of a diet to guide me how would I ever know what, when, & how much to eat?

On balancing low nutrient & high nutrient foods…

Fear:

Why wouldn’t I eat Oreos, Milk Duds, ice cream, or brownies everyday if I was really eating what I wanted.  It seems to me I always have room for dessert.  Plus some of them only make me hungrier when I eat them.  I had over-eaten those things plenty of times when I didn’t have enough will power to stop.

Reality:

After a few times overdoing it on less nutritious foods I quickly learned that I didn’t WANT to overdo it & feel miserable.  Once I trusted that I could have those foods when I wanted, it became silly to overdo it on them & feel miserable.

I realized that in the past when I would underfeed myself, my body was desperate for nutrients & because a lot of these foods aren’t very good at satisfying hunger, my body wasn’t good at registering full which would leave me overeating them & feeling out of control.  When I would remind myself that these foods were only good at satisfying a craving & if I was still hungry I should switch to something better at satisfying hunger, they no longer had the same effect.

On body acceptance & rejecting the diet mentality……

Fear:

If I actually eat what I most want,  won’t it be like how I eat on vacation or holidays when I’m taking a “break” from diet rules & calorie counting?  I always hate how I feel after that “time off” and am usually excited to get back to rules & restrictions.

Reality:

Once I really gave myself full permission to eat, after overdoing it a few times I started to realize there was no need for anymore last supper eating.  On vacation or holidays there was always a feeling of “eat it while you can” that made me feel the need to take full advantage of it.  “The diet starts Monday” mentality was a free ticket to go big & without that I couldn’t tell myself it was okay to eat whatever & as much as I wanted now & make up for it later.

On respecting fullness….

Fear:

How do I know when I should stop eating?  There is a wide range of full & without counting calories won’t I always eat at least a little too much?  I almost always want just a little more at the end of a meal & with no guidelines, how will I even know when to stop?  Plus when I eat things like candy, cookies, & cake, they usually don’t fill me up & if anything make me feel even hungrier when I eat them.  Not to mention doing things like eating a cheeseburger at a restaurant or ordering pizza where I know that those things have a ton of calories, but I can eat easily eat the whole burger or a lot of pizza without ever feeling too full.

Reality:

My body didn’t need rules to know that if I ate a bigger meal, that I would be less hungry later & need less food to satisfy me.  Hunger & fullness is not the exact science calorie counting makes you feel like it should be.  Once I trusted that the foods I loved were always going to be available, I no longer needed to eat too much of them.  I’m no longer always thinking of food & overeating at meals is no longer appealing because it leaves me full & lethargic, but even when that occasionally happens my body naturally balances itself with less hunger later.

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