Intuitive eating has been a game-changer for me and in partnership with my friends over at Good Source Foods, I’m sharing 5 tips for beginners to get you started on your intuitive eating journey. As usual, all opinions are my own.
Intuitive eating has changed my life in more ways than one. If you’ve never heard of intuitive eating, don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of it until a few months ago and it honestly took a while before I understood what it meant.
You see, I’ve tried almost every diet out there. Keto, Paleo, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Vegan, Juice diets, you name it, I’ve likely tried it. As you can probably guess, I’ve never been able to stick to any diet for longer than a few months. I’d eventually fall back into my vicious cycle of binging out on ALL THE CARBS and feeling guilty that I fell off the wagon yet again.
So once I heard about intuitive eating, I decided to research more since it was a way of eating that I hadn’t heard of before. I’ll admit, it has definitely been a bit of a learning curve but it’s been freeing to adopt intuitive eating into my lifestyle.
To put it simply, intuitive eating is a way of eating that requires you to pay attention to the signals that your body is sending you and being mindful of unhealthy eating patterns that you may be prone to fall into and to eat accordingly.
I know, I know. That’s a pretty vague definition, however, the key here is to know that Intuitive Eating is NOT a diet. Breaking the diet mentality is a major factor and hurdle to overcome if you want to be successful in your intuitive eating journey.
Don’t worry, it took me a minute to understand it too. So today I’m sharing 5 intuitive eating tips for beginners and hopefully by the end, you’ll be ready to embark on your very own intuitive eating journey.
Eliminate Distractions At Meal Time
That’s right, put your phone away and turn the television off. Mealtime should be a time where you can 1. Actually enjoy your food and 2. Pay attention to how what you are eating is making you feel.
So often we mindlessly eat our food. We’re either eating while scrolling on our phones or watching our favorite shows and while there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this, while this is the case we typically have no idea how our food is making us feel and as a result, many times we overeat.
That said, the first step to being able to listen to your body and become aware of the signals that it is sending you is to intentionally enjoy your meals without distractions. A few things that helped me were to take note of when I first became ‘full’ and whether or not the food that I was eating gave me energy or made me sleepy.
Snacking used to be one of my biggest weaknesses. Most of my favorite snacks were full of sugars, carbs, and other unhealthy ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce. Since a major part of intuitive eating is being able to eat freely, it was important that I was still able to enjoy snacking without shame or guilt.
That’s when I discovered Good Source Snacks. Good Source Snacks make it easy to snack smart with their real ‘better-for-you’ snacks. Intuitive eating is all about becoming a mindful eater, and their delicious snack line takes all of the guesswork out of snacking.
Good Source Foods prides themselves on formulating their snacks to satisfy your appetite and help you avoid overeating. They do this by combining the perfect combination of ingredients to provide a snack that is low in sugar and high in protein in fiber. By providing the right ingredients at the right time of day, Good Source Snacks help you sustain energy and reduce your appetite without those dreaded midday crashes.
Which brings me to my next point…
Perfect Time To Eat?
There ultimately is no perfect time of day to eat. What is important however, is what you are eating at different times of the day. Thankfully, Good Source Snacks makes it easy to get the right nutrients to provide the right functions to help you avoid the highs, lows, and the crashes.
The Morning Jump is formulated to provide energy and focus with the help of ingredients like ginger root, green tea, almonds, and pomegranate seeds.The ingredients promote brain function, memory, energy, blood pressure and cholesterol control, and improved memory. The Morning Jump is the perfect snack to have first thing in the morning or right after breakfast.
The Afternoon Boost is formulated to improve cognitive performance with the help of ingredients like walnuts, dried apples, and cayenne pepper. The ingredients help promote blood sugar control, digestive health, reduced appetite, and boosted metabolism. The Afternoon Boost is my go-to snack to help me avoid that midday slump.
Lastly, the Evening Calm is perfect for late night snackers like me. Evening Calm if formulated to improve relaxation and better sleep. It contains dried cherries, lavender, turmeric, honey, oats and walnuts. It’s perfect for when I’m working late at night and makes it easy to fall asleep afterwards.
Good Source Snacks make it super easy to practice mindful eating and be successful on your intuitive eating journey.
Mindset is Key
Intuitive eating is all about mindset. For me ditching the diet mindset has been liberating.
Once you begin to become aware of the different eating habits and patterns that you subconsciously fall into, it’s a lot easier to adjust your meals accordingly. Not to mention, being able to enjoy foods that I once deemed ‘unhealthy’ or that I once avoided, without feeling as though I’ve ‘messed up’ is the freedom I didn’t know that I needed.
Another huge benefit of strengthening your mindset to eat intuitively is being able to feel how different foods affect you not only physically, but emotionally as well. Many of the foods that I had been eating, even on fad diets, weren’t making me feel my best. Once I began paying attention to which foods gave me energy and which foods made me want to take a nap, I started to shift my perspective regarding how I viewed food.
I stopped categorizing certain foods as ‘good’ and other foods as ‘bad’. I now eat based on how I’d like to feel and if I want a treat, I allow myself to have it without feeling the need to make up for it by exercising more or eating healthier the next day.
Once we train our minds to identify how we actually view food and our habits relating to food, we’ll then be able to shift our mindset and break those negative associations.
Give Yourself Grace
When I initially started my journey of intuitive eating, I noticed I became frustrated with myself often. I expected to be able to jump right in like I did with any other fad diet, except when it comes to intuitive eating, there is no blueprint. There is no specific set of rules to follow other than listening to your body and being mindful of how different circumstances and habits affect the way you eat.
While it has been a liberating journey so far, it has also been difficult to feel a sense of loss of control when it came to my eating habits. It wasn’t until I made peace with where I was pertaining to food and intentionally made strides to make better, more mindful food decisions.
That said, I’m still learning every day and it has taken a lot of grace to get to this point in my journey. So before you embark on your intuitive eating journey, I encourage you to give yourself a generous amount of grace. Your mindset towards eating and your eating habits didn’t happen overnight so be patient and understanding with yourself.
The amount of compassion I have towards myself now when it comes to how I eat has definitely helped me give myself grace in other areas of my life and as a result, I’m a lot more accepting of my body and intentional about how I take care of it.
There you have it.
Five easy intuitive eating tips that have helped me overcome many hurdles along my intuitive eating journey. It has been such an enlightening journey so far and I’m looking forward to learning more about my body and developing better eating habits along the way.
Be sure to head over to Good Source Food’s to get your hands on some of their delicious snacks so that you can get the right ingredients at the right time of the day.
Have you ever heard of intuitive eating?