Understanding Hunger & Fullness

tumblr_inline_my8hdhzWUu1spjef3When it comes to nutrition we mostly hear tips about what to eat & not to eat.  Let's be real, you are a smart person and I don't have to tell you that eating fried food everyday is not great for you.  Telling you what to eat is pretty much useless and if health was a matter of knowledge, well we'd be at our natural weight.  We live in a time when information is at our finger tips and shoved in our faces non-stop, so if you really think about it improving our nutrition has little to do with knowledge and much more to do with behaviors and habits.  

Yes we preach about adding more good shit to your diet like veggies and the importance of planning your weekly menu, grocery shopping and being prepared.  That's all great stuff to adopt into your lifestyle, but where we can really help you change is sharing with you the importance of doing a little inside work.  Yep time for the fluffy stuff LOL.

I'm a HUGE proponent of Intuitive Eating and their 10 principles are the hallmark of my nutrition philosophy.  I want to introduce you to 2 principles that are in my opinion keys to improving your eating habits and relationship with food.  

#1:  Honor Your Hunger
If you've spent any time dieting you know hunger is deemed the enemy and you've been taught that it should ignore.  What has happened as a result is your hunger cue has atrophied just like an unused muscle, so you gotta build that sucker back up.  You need to start recognizing your hunger cues, differentiating physical from emotional hunger, and understanding your hunger levels.  This process takes some time, but if you start by responding to your hunger cues verses ignoring them your body and mind will begin trusting you again.  Yep you don't have to be famished to eat.  Honor your hunger by feeding yourself when your body tells you to.  You wouldn't drive your car on E, would you?!

Feel Your Fullness
Dieting causes overeating.  You spend days, weeks deprived and then at some point say F* it and have a food party.  You devour everything in sight.  Deprivation = bad! This leaves you with two modes when it comes to fullness...starving and stuffed.  There is this awesome place in the middle called satisfied and fueled.  It takes time to embrace your fullness and not eat beyond it especially if you've on a diet roller coaster.  You can start be simply committing to checking in with yourself on your fullness level during meals.  Use a 1-10 scale with 10 being stuffed.  Over time aim to stop eating around an 8 where you feel satisfied and full.  

These 2 principles can be your guiding light to improve your nutrition, eating habits, relationship with food and health.  Instead of spending energy trying to fit your life into some BS diet, living by points, or looking for the mother of meal plans, shift your focus within to your bodily cues.