The idea of intuitive eating is to listen to your internal cues, rather than external rules, to guide what and how much you eat. The hope is that you will listen to your cravings and hunger to determine when to stop eating.
As I said in my previous post, I believe the only way to easily and naturally stop when you are satisfied (as opposed to nervously eating more than is comfortable), is to truly allow all foods and commit to never restricting again.
Don’t Stress Out Over New Rules
One of the rules or ‘guidelines’ that you will often hear about intuitive eating is “stop when you are full”. While I agree that this is a tenet of intuitive eating, sometimes coming from that angle can be stressful.
During previous intuitive eating attempts, I’d get truly stressed over “when I was full”. I was very concerned that I was going to overshoot and “not learn how to do it correctly”. Please note that THIS fear stems also from a deep fear of gaining weight, which is why body positivity is so important.
I have heard from other intuitive eating teachers and books things like: pay close attention to your hunger. Rate your hunger every few bites. Pay attention, satisfaction can happen mid-bite… While I think it is helpful to pay attention to how you feel during your eating, the way that way they focused on stopping points was stressful and unhelpful. It made me believe that there was one perfect stopping point that I should always be finding. And there is not!
There are many bites on a scale of good stopping points. And any point is ok!
You body can handle an extra few bites! Or like way more. You may be slightly fuller, but as long as you are listening and feeling and enjoying, you are doing well. And your body makes up for it in slightly longer satiation. Or slightly less hunger for your next meal or snack. Or revved metabolism.
There is no virtue in stopping just at the perfect point. Or just before you get full. There is no problem being that in-tune, but expecting there to even be a “perfect point” every time you eat is going to leave you frustrated. Especially in the beginning of your Intuitive Eating journey. There is no perfect point. Trying to find it will just stress you out.
and just for the hell of it…
In Defense of Overeating
(My definition is: eating til you are uncomfortably full.)
- teaches your body there is no famine
- teaches your mind there is no restriction
- activates your your metabolism
- teaches you how it feels to stop at different points of fullness
- proves to you that eating past fullness can’t destroy you
- focuses on nourishing, instead of restricting
Don’t get caught up in Intuitive Eating Perfectionism!