FEATURE – Many nutrition and health-related resolutions are often short-lived at best. Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” With this in mind, I would like to offer a new nutritional approach.
I find it interesting that so many Americans try diet after diet with rules set by someone that knows nothing about them, their health concerns, their medical history or even their goals. We are constantly looking outside ourselves for answers: Scouring the internet, buying the new top selling diet book and buying expensive supplements are examples. What if I told you that your body is screaming at you right now? That you have all the answers you need inside of you?
In our society, we are taught not to trust ourselves. We believe our body is working against us and we need to outsmart it. As a result, we are talking heads with no ability to listen and trust our own intuition.
Becoming an intuitive eater is a game changer. No longer will food have control over you, or the power to create anxiety and stress. Most importantly, you will start to listen to what your body is trying to tell you in relation to what foods do and don’t work for your body.
Here are a few basic principles for practicing intuitive eating and mindful living:
- Be present and mindful when you eat. Turn off the TV, sit down at the table and savor your food. Notice the flavors, textures and taste with appreciation. This will lead to satisfaction from the meal not gained by shoveling it down your throat mindlessly.
- Don’t ruin the pleasure of eating with the discomfort of overeating. Enough said.
- Note how meals make you feel. Did it leave you hungry? Overly full? Tired? Energized? Sick to your stomach? This is your body talking to you. Take time to listen, reflect and understand. It may also help to address these concerns with a trained nutrition professional.
- Quit the numbers game. No calorie counting, weighing, measuring or tracking. These are all external measurements that mean nothing to your body’s intuition. Remember, you can trust yourself.
- Take note of foods that lead you to feel out of control. While the research is ongoing, an important part of this discussion relates to food addictions. As with any other addiction, these foods can cloud judgment and be destructive to emotional and physical health.
When you start listening to and trusting your body, many issues can present themselves. Approach these issues with curiosity and compassion to truly heal your body and continue along the journey to overall health.
Written by Emily Fonnesbeck for St. George Health & Wellness magazine and St. George News.
Fonnesbeck is a registered dietitian who received her degree at BYU. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and belongs to the Vegetarian, Weight Management and Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition practice groups. She holds a certificate in adult weight management and is a certified LEAP therapist.
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