One day while sitting at a stoplight, a homeless man held up a sign that read: Hungry for a hamburger (no onions). How did he come to his aversion to onions?
Eating is a primal necessity everyone has a right to. But for many folks, food is not just food. Unless you live with food insecurity or live in a food desert, the simple act of eating has become so laced with attitudes, judgments, and lots of choices.
When food consumption overwhelms basic needs, health ailments tend to creep into the picture. To combat diet-related health struggles, food plans and dieting fads have come to dominate the marketplace - and our psyches. Unless, of course, we choose to throw that all away and listen to our bodies.
Welcome to intuitive eating 101.
“Intuitive eating” takes the overthinking out of eating. It’s a simple nutrition philosophy: eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. If you have disordered eating—either consuming too much or too little—then this may be harder than it sounds.
Unless you’re an endurance athlete blazing through calories at a high rate per performance, the average adult runs on 2,000 calories (about two and a half hours running) a day. In general, intuitive eating doesn’t ask you to count calories or skip certain food groups; it’s about clarifying your fundamental relationship to eating food.
To find the wisdom in your body to reach its healthiest balance, consider a gentle and nurturing approach as you unearth the journey into intuitive eating. You may consider therapy, a nutritionist, or a food journal. Check your local library or bookstore for reams of books on the topic for a deeper dive.
Here are some intake questions to ask yourself about your eating habits. The more honest you are with yourself, the more food patterns you’ll unravel.