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“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”

(Oscar Wilde)

(source: giphy.com )

So make yourself your Valentine this year and start by doing something good for you. Because truth is: happy, self-confident people are not wasting time doubting and pitying themselves, and use their valuable time instead to spend it with their loved ones.

So I thought about starting a series with guidelines to intuitive eating. I know that there are other food bloggers and followers who just like me struggle with listening to their natural body’s signal when it comes to eating. Instead they cling to whatever diet plan they are currently following, forbid themselves the foods they are most fond of and make up for it by filling their bellies with heaps of greens and protein. Over the last days I read an amazingly reasonable book regarding the topic and I thought why not share my opinion and approach with others while I start to change my own behavior? So I set up a page called “intuitive eating“, which you will find in the navigation above the header next to my other pages, where I will collect the most important guidelines and helpful tools when it comes to intuitive eating. Those will be completed during the next week, with more posts regarding the topic.

First thing first, that I had to do and what I would recommend everybody else to start with:

Stop Dieting. 

(source: http://lisa-itsallaboutme.blogspot.de/)

Dieting overrides your hunger and satiety signals and causes you to obsess over and crave food when you are not physically hungry. This system works like the thought process when somebody tells you not to think about pink elephants. Usually you would rarely spend your time seeing pink elephants dancing through your mind – but believe me, as soon as it is forbidden it will be all your thoughts are dealing with. You can be sure that when it comes to forbidden food the concept works exactly the same way. Forbid food – start craving food – feeling miserable for yourself – weak moment – eat the food – beat yourself up for eating the food – feeling even more miserable than before.

So to make it even more clear, I break the process of letting go of dieting up into a few more steps:

  • throw out your scales, both of them, the one in your kitchen and the one in your bathroom, if you listen to your bodies signals you won’t need any other measurements than the feeling of hunger and satiety and to notice that you are losing (or gaining, if that is what you aim for) the desired weight, you just need to put on a pair of jeans at suitable intervals

(source: http://www.mouthsofmums.com.au/chuck-out-your-scales/)

  • eat when you are hungry,  truly hungry, not because it is time for lunch, or to accompany other people while they are eating, and to turn it the other way around: eat! when you are hungry and don’t drink a cup of tea and skip the food, because it is not time for your meal yet, or you will save your calories for later – there are no calories anymore. There is just food and food is fuel and if your body is hungry, it asks for fuel.

(source: giphy.com)

  • eat what you want, when you are hungry. That means, that you need to ask yourself what you truly want to eat in this moment. Not what you think you are supposed to. To make it even clearer here comes an example: You crave a roasted sandwich with melting cheese, a tomato slice and a salad leaf. But you think having a big salad, with some protein, like canned tuna and healthy fats, let’s say avocado, would be better. You have your salad, bolt it down without thinking or enjoying, since this was not what you really wanted to eat and afterwards your mind is still thinking about this roasted sandwich with bubbly, melty cheese. Will you be satisfied? Most likely not. And though you may no longer be hungry, you will probably go through the cupboard and fridge, searching for something else, though healthy in your book, to eat, that also would not satisfy the craving. So why not eat the sandwich, enjoy every single bite and go on with your day, saving yourself the time, the stress and the unnecessary overeating it might result in.

(source: giphy.com)

I will be back tomorrow with a convenient tool called hunger scale and sharing my own first experiences listening to my body’s signals of hunger and satiety.

Have a beautiful Valentine’s Day, lovelies!

Would you like to get into Intuitive Eating or are you already an Intuitive Eater? What is defining your eating schedule – hunger or meal times? Are you usually eating what you want or what you planned to?