The concept of intuitive eating is to listen to your body, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. It is simple and we are born with those survival instincts. I am trying to put this into practice in my own life. Last night I did encounter a dilemma with this concept. My daughter decided to have some popcorn after dinner and it smelled so good, I had a couple kernels of hers and decided I wanted some too. Oh, the power of suggestion!!!
I had a little debate in my mind about it. It went like this.
Am I hungry? No, I had plenty of food today and I am not hungry. Hello, clue number one, I said I was not hungry!
I even had a dessert after dinner consisting of a low calorie muffin and a Weight Watcher frozen fudge bar instead of my usual bowl of fruit and yogurt. Clue number two, I had a sugary dessert that I usually don’t eat!
Are you wanting to eat because of some underlying emotion? No, I feel just fine, I just want to eat some popcorn. Upon reflection I have to say that I was tired and I wanted to write a post for the blog but I didn’t have the brain power to do so and I was a little frustrated about it.
At that point I took a look at my food journal and saw that I did have room in my food intake for the day to allow for some popcorn. I decided to go ahead and have some. Clue number three, just because you could, does not mean you should!
Later when I went to bed I had regret! I am trying to not eat if I am not hungry and this felt like a back slide. I was disappointed that I justified eating the popcorn and looking back I really didn’t enjoy it that much. I was on the computer while I ate it and it was actually mindless munching. I didn’t stop to ask myself if eating the popcorn was going to help me achieve my goal of living healthy, losing weight and being an intuitive eater.
This morning I was thinking about last nights snacking. I looked over my food journal for yesterday again and I see that I had more carbs yesterday than normal. I had two Kashi party crackers with lunch, white potatoes with my dinner and that muffin and fudge bar after dinner. It was not the healthiest most balanced food day. I still feel full this morning so clearly I ate more yesterday than my body needed.
With the popcorn I was at 22.5 WW points for the day so I was well within a healthy amount of points for the day. I had walked 3 miles earlier in the day so I also had activities points banked. But that does not take away the fact that I snacked with out being hungry and I munched mindlessly while being on the computer.
I think the extra sugary carbs set me up to want to eat more carbs. I was tired and a little frustrated that I wasn’t going to crank out a blog post. It was emotional eating after all. I didn’t recognize it for what it was last night. It is this type of snacking and eating that eventually can become a daily habit and lead to weight gain. I surely don’t want to go down this path.
Those old coping habits will come back if I don’t stay acutely aware of my body signals and my thinking. I feel so good this morning that I have clarity and insight. I choose to see this as a break through moment and not a failure!
My plan today is to have less carbs, more protein and fiber. I will also pay more attention to Geneen Roth’s Eating Guidelines from Women Food and God. I am going to print the list out and put it in a visible place as a good reminder today.
The Eating Guidelines
1. Eat when you are hungry.
2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
3. Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety – producing conversations or music. I will add the computer to my list!
4. Eat what your body wants.
5. Eat until you are satisfied.
6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.
If you are practicing intuitive eating how do you handle wanting to snack outside of hunger? Do you ever allow it to happen?
Being more aware, mindful and present.