Intuitive Eating and Emotions

Do you trust your body?

Do you know when you’re physically versus emotionally hungry?

How do you feel physical hunger? For some, hunger is experienced as a “rumbling in the tummy”, a sensation in your body, a signal that it’s time to eat. This sensation can also occur during digestion, normal meal times, and when you smell or see food. Learning to distinguish which rumbles are hunger takes some practice.

Along the way, a lot of us have lost touch with our bodies and listening to its signals.

This happens for many reasons.

Especially for those of us who have developed habits of eating for reasons other than physical hunger, getting back in touch with body signals can be challenging.

Being in touch with my hunger is something I practice actively every day. I used to eat every time my stomach rumbled… Nervous? Eat. Digesting? Must be time to eat. Smelling or seeing something delicious? Yup, eating it. It took me some trial and error to learn this on my own. It took some practice.

I asked myself, am I physically hungry? Or does my face just want to eat?

This is something I teach, along with building habits to help us reconnect with our body and learn to trust it to tell us when it requires food.

I know that it’s much easier to do when you have a knowledgeable coach to guide you. My practice and experience got vastly easier once I accepted some help.

How much food is enough food and how to manage the other reasons we eat (boredom, stress, anger, anxiety, joy, anxiety) are something to explore as well. This can often be challenging as we’re rushing through our days and our meals and usually then we aren’t eating with focus and intention.

I am definitely guilty of eating quickly and eating when distracted (and then being pissed off that I didn’t taste or enjoy anything I had just eaten… so I used to go in search of more food).

It is okay to have calories or macros to focus on for a brief period of time, especially if you have a very focused athletic goal or are learning more about different nutrients and what works for your body and weight goals.

I am all for learning more about your foods, your body and your health. Teaching and education are what I do in my career and in my coaching. I also know that tracking calories or macros is not a long term solution. I’m being real because I want you to be successful long term.

It is imperative to learn to hear what you body is telling you regarding hunger and satisfaction for your long-term health.

Intuitive eating is something we knew how to do inherently as kids. A lot of us lose this skill as we grown up and life gets in the way. Sometimes these emotional eating habits start young.

We eat to cope with or avoid difficult emotions, we eat to fill boredom, sadness, or loneliness. We eat to celebrate, we eat to connect. We eat to dull other sensations. We eat to get that “hit” of dopamine (processed foods and sugar, I’m looking at you) to feel good for a minute when everything else in our life sucks.

Relearning hunger and satisfaction signals are key to eating intuitively and maintaining your weight and your healthy body long-term.

If you’re overweight or have an unhealthy relationship with food, it’s likely you’re not in touch with your body’s signals and you’re eating for reasons other than physical hunger.

Tell me – how often do you eat due to your emotional state rather than because you are physically hungry?

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