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For many of us, midlife is a time of reflection and change. It can also be a time to reevaluate our relationship with food.
Find out how to learn intuitive eating and make peace with food in midlife. Discover the ten principles of intuitive eating and ultimately find freedom and joy in eating.
Aren’t you sick of this love-hate relationship with the different ways in which we fuel our bodies?
High carb, low carb, keto, Aitkins, cabbage soup, fat is bad, fat is good, meat, no meat and everything in between.
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Are you tired of being the food police?
Isn’t it about time you and food finally became friends and worked with each other in a quest for your good health and enjoyment? So you can be free from the prison of diet culture.
Let me ask you something.
Do you often feel overweight, ugly, bloated and you’re sick of the diet, overeat, repeat cycle?
Do you often feel icky, bloated, constipated, or have diarrhoea or constant hunger?
Do you often feel guilty about what you eat and annoyed with yourself that you constantly ignore it?
Stop forgetting appointments and your first born’s name!
You probably feel like you just need to:
- Have more willpower
- Stop eating carbs or fats
- Change what time you eat
- Exercise more
- Be more mindful
A healthy relationship with food is not about what diet you’re currently on or how much exercise you have to do so you can eat more.
Starting the journey towards peace with food
When you and food are at peace you will:
- Feel good in your midlife body beyond what you eat or don’t eat.
- You will wake up each morning feeling happy about what’s ahead and will be present and have dismissed all thoughts about what you might have eaten yesterday.
- Eat all the foods you enjoy in moderation without portion control, needing a cheat day or having to count the calories.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight. The problem is the way culture has told people what to do to lose weight. These dubious diets may have worked in the short term but long term they did more harm than good and left us with an obesity epidemic.
It’s time to acknowledge damaging cultural expectations and realising that the ways we used to do things were damaging and just don’t work.
We are our own body’s experts. So let’s go back to using our body’s natural cues. You know the ones. We used them way back when we cried when we knew we were hungry and closed our mouths to the next spoonful when we’d had enough.
Reframe your definition of healthy eating
Diet culture promotes the idea that there is one right way to eat, and following means you need to adhere to rules which often recommend deprivation in some form. It’s time to be done with diets and restrictive thinking.
Rules of eating always lead to overeating
The only way to eat in balance is to stop believing you have to have the perfect diet
There are people that can eat whatever they like yet they remain healthy and slim. Because they don’t make too much of it and they eat in balance.
We live in a culture that is relentless in deciding what the ideal body type is and throwing it in our faces until we are made to believe they are right.
They then follow up with here’s what you should eat. Here’s what you shouldn’t eat. So we can’t just be living in our own little bubbles relying on our own intuition. It’s coming at us.
The first part of making peace is learning how to navigate the diet culture.
But what is the alternative? How about an authentic relationship with your own body? Where you listen to your own body’s wisdom. And know what actually works for your own body in terms of food, and exercise.
What is intuitive eating and what does peace with food look like
Intuitive eating is one way to eat and is based on letting your unique body cues dictate what and how you eat.
As you start to tune up your eating habits don’t think about going on a diet or losing weight. Instead, focus on building healthy eating habits around what you uniquely need so you can finally feel calm and present around food instead of being confused and stressed.
The 10 Principles Of Intuitive Eating
Tips To Help You Move Towards Peace With Food
- Throw out the diet books
- Honour your hunger – start to eat as you’re just getting hungry. Don’t wait till you’re ravenous because you will overeat and eat the wrong foods.
- Stop the food fight – don’t have forbidden foods, this will lead to a total mind mess up which will have you craving exactly what you’ve forbidden and eventually overindulging.
- Hush that voice that tells you that you’re eating bad food or hey you better have this good food for lunch so you don’t put on weight. This is a hard one but start by challenging the voice and saying “what if you’re wrong”
- Experience eating with joy. When you eat what you want while being present and in a good place you will naturally stop eating at a good point. You will feel satisfied earlier because you opened yourself up to feeling it.
- Honour your fullness. To do this you do need to eat at a pleasurable pace. Stopping every now and then to see how you feel and if you’ve had enough.
- Don’t use food as a bandaid. Food won’t fix being lonely, sad, angry, bored or frustrated. Stop emotional eating and find ways you can work through emotions without using food.
- Respect your body. It is doing a good job for you. It’s hard to get out of that diet mentality if you’re overly critical of your body shape.
- Stop exercising to burn calories. Instead, practise moving your body in a way that is enjoyable. Focus on how moving makes you feel when you finish. Energised and a sense of achievement. That’s more likely to get you out of bed in the morning.
- Honour your health – make healthful food choices that work towards your health and that taste good.
Remember that you don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy. You will not suddenly become nutrient deficient or unhealthy, from one snack or meal or even a day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters.
It’s always progress, not perfection, that counts.
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