Hello everyone, welcome to another Wild Workout Wednesday Linkup where Nicole from Fitful Focus, Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama and I bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us each week by reading along, grabbing our button and linking up with a healthy living post of your own.
If you’ve just begun your Intuitive Eating journey and you’ve been following along on the first four principles I have discussed so far you may be starting to feel a little uneasy. It seems that all the principles are about getting rid of food rules and eating whatever you want. To someone who has been dieting for a while, that idea is terrifying. If you give up all the rules and allow yourself food, you will gain weight. That’s why the rules are in place right?
But rest easy; principle #5 is where we start to learn about pumping the breaks. There are no rules on what foods to eat but there are principles around learning when it’s appropriate to stop eating. And so, principle #5 is Respect your fullness.
The second principle of Intuitive Eating was honour your hunger. We don’t allow ourselves to get over hungry because that leads to overeating and making food choices irrationally based on low blood sugar. On the opposite spectrum of hunger, we have fullness. And it is just as important to respect your fullness as it is to honour your hunger.
Consider your hunger and fullness on a scale of 1-10. 1 is extreme hunger where you feel dizzy and nauseous. 10 is extreme fullness where you feel as though you are going to be sick.
To honour your hunger, you should eat before your body reaches a 1 on the scale. Ideally, you should eat around a 4 or 5, where you are just starting to feel hunger signals. There will be some pangs in the stomach and stomach grumbling but you haven’t reached the point of becoming irritable or dizzy.
To respect your fullness, you should eat only until your body reaches about a 6 or 7 on the scale. This is the point where you feel comfortably full and satisfied. You are no longer hungry, but you are not overstuffed either.
Respecting your fullness means that you attempt to achieve that satisfaction level of 6-7 most of the time. But you’re human and of course you are sometimes going to overindulge and hit that 8 or 9 level. It’s hard to not overeat at holidays or during a special dinner out. And that’s OKAY.
Intuitive eating isn’t about rules. Overeating doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It doesn’t mean you restrict yourself at your next meal. It doesn’t mean you begin thinking about starting your diet tomorrow.
Instead, reapproach how you think about your fullness. When you reach that level of overfull, how do you feel? Likely, your body feels uncomfortable, and you may feel a little sick. You wish you would have eaten less. So the next time you’re at that satisfied level and you’re considering seconds, remember how you would feel if you reach that 8 or 9 level of fullness. Respect your body and how it feels best.
Soon enough you’ll find yourself passing on dessert because you already feel like you’re at a 7 and the dessert will only make you feel uncomfortable. You don’t skip the dessert because it’s not allowed. You skip the dessert because you’re respecting and honouring your body.
The same goes for finishing what’s on your plate. You do not need to finish what is in front of you. Eat until you are satisfied and then stop. It can be difficult to get out of that mentality of not wanting to waste food. Or feeling like you took it, so you should eat it. But I always remind myself. This food is either going in me or in a garbage can. I am full and putting more in is treating my body like a garbage can. That is not respecting my body.
Honouring your fullness shifts the focus away from good and bad foods or calories to getting in tune with your body and doing what makes it feel good.
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