For most of us “intuitive eating” doesn’t exist…
At least not initially.
It has to be learned.
With the distorted portion sizes at restaurants, misleading food labels, junk food masquerading as healthy, it’s hard to know what you should be eating.
Plus, stress, lack of sleep and boredom can all lead to mindless snacking and our body even sending us triggers we THINK mean we are hungry…when, in fact, we’re not!
It’s hard to really know when and IF we need food or if one of these other things is at play. Especially when we’ve created bad habits and those habits have been ingrained for years!
And to make intuitive eating even more impossible on top of all of that…
We live in a culture very centered around food.
Social gatherings are often centered around FOOD…I mean we even have a whole holiday centered around sitting down to eat an unreasonably large meal together where we know there is a chance the pants are going to need to be unbuttoned…
I mean…I can’t be alone in doing that at Thanksgiving!
That is why intuitive eating is something that has to be LEARNED.
It is why counting calories and tracking your food to start is key to success.
Starting out, most of us have no idea WHAT or HOW MUCH or even WHEN our bodies really need food. We’ve just become so out of tune that we need to relearn how to listen to our body’s cues.
We need to train ourselves to again respond to what our body needs.
It’s kind of like when you train for your first race or you want to improve your race time.
You don’t just say “Hey I’m going to intuitively run as far and as fast as I can whenever I want.”
You wouldn’t do that because then the first time you start to get tired or bored, you’d stop! You’d give yourself excuses to turn back and maybe not even run again that week.
So you write out a program.
You set out how far you’re going to run, when you’re going to run and you track your pace.
You track and measure and set goals so you know EXACTLY how you’re doing and what you’re doing to get you to that first race or improve your time.
So why would eating be any different?
The simple fact is…It isn’t.
We need to track and log especially to start because tracking allows us to know what we are actually eating.
It helps us understand how certain foods affect our body. It helps show us that quality calories matter and what portion sizes we should actually be eating.
It helps us learn when we are ACTUALLY HUNGRY or when we are actually bored or stressed or tired.
It gives us direction to reach our goal, just like that running program would.
You wouldn’t leave your race or that goal time up to “intuition” so why would you set yourself up for failure by doing the same to your weight loss goals?
If you want to LEARN to eat intuitively and respond to your bodies needs, you need to start by tracking and logging!