3 questions about intuitive eating (my version: Intelligently intuitive eating)

3 questions about intuitive eating (my version: Intelligently intuitive eating)
March 3, 2017 Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

Intuitive eating is the concept of eating only when you’re hungry, and stopping when you’re full. Tapping in to our bodies’ hunger and satiety cues.

Great concept! I love tuning in to our bodies’ messages and cues, it’s the base of my work as a holistic nutritionist and I use your body’s messages as a tool in client consultations (called symptomatology).

But… going purely by intuition is a bit simplistic, and can be limited. There are 3 questions that come to mind…

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1. Is intuitive eating a luxury?

Paramedics or nurses on 12-24 hour shifts have a very different level of flexibility than I do. It’s not realistic or fair to give them the ideal of intuitive eating, because they don’t have the luxury of choice on timing meals.

A mother making breakfast, packing lunches, and getting dinner on the table for her family, timed amongst everyone’s activity schedules, can’t always listen to the intuitive cues of her body.

If someone is worrying about just getting food in their mouth, or on the table, are they really going to have energy and time to worry about their hunger or satiety cues?

2. How can we trust our body’s messages?

They give mixes messages all the time. How can I tell the difference between laziness, coziness and a need for m legs to rest when I would rather sleep in than go for a run in the morning?

When someone has had a lifelong struggle with overeating, or eating foods that have addictive properties (like sugar, salt, or other more potent compounds) – how can they learn to trust the signals?

How can we tell the difference between intuition and excuses?

Some intuitive eating info goes further than just hunger/satiety cues, into not just when and how much – but what we should eat in any given moment.

3. Can our bodies direct our desires to promote long term health?

Sure, I might crave grapes when I haven’t had much water that day and am really thirsty.

But am I really going to intuitively crave almonds to get enough calcium to reach peak bone mass by the time I reach 35 so that I can avoid osteoporosis when I pass menopause?

My “intuition” is often based in large part on my knowledge as a holistic nutritionist. I have an advantage! I’ve been building this background knowledge that runs in the back of my mind, that guides my intuition.

Intelligently intuitive eating = intuition + knowledge + consistent action

If we can blend knowledge, which gives us the motivation and directions of which choices to make, with intuition, which tells us if we’re pushing too hard or not enough, we can find a place of balanced and consistent action.

If you’re ready to start building that knowledge base and intuitive guidance for yourself, check out my free 7 day program to level up your health, or my guided vegan meal plans to show you exactly what to eat for a week so that you can learn how to get the nutrients you need to nourish your body.

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