I was inspired to write today’s post after earwigging a conversation between two women in a coffee shop (don’t you just love listening to peoples conversations?!!) One was saying to the other how she wasn’t hungry at all but was adamant that she must eat because it was almost one ‘o’ clock and it was approaching lunchtime. I was so tempted to butt in (I normally do!) and say “listen to your body, if it doesn’t want food this very second, don’t force it!” But I bit my lip and instead kept my opinions to myself. However, I walked away thinking to be fair I couldn’t blame the lady for thinking she had to eat just because the clock said it was lunchtime. We’re constantly told how we should eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with healthy snacks in between and how missing them would create havoc with our bodies.
But in truth you’ll be far better off just listening to your body. Over the years I’ve learned this way of approaching healthy eating is far better than any text book can tell you. Recognise what the body needs in order to feel fit and comfortable. When you listen long and hard enough to your body, I assure you, you will begin to differentiate sensations and feelings and become aware of your own capacity to react to hunger and satiety. Our bodies are amazing machines, they will not lead us astray if you know what they need and respond to appropriately. If you’re capable of taking good care of your body, it will perform for you.
What are the signs to look out for to be in tune with your body?
Do you know when you are hungry?
Do you know when you are satisfied?
Do you know when you are full?
Do you know what to eat to satisfy your body?
Do you know if you are too fat, too thin or just right?
How do you feel after eating certain foods?
Do you feel guilty after eating food?
Do you eat for comfort?
Do you eat mindlessly?
By learning to listen to your hunger, you’ll also be getting good practice in becoming responsive to your feelings in general. Our feelings are like signs, guideposts, coping mechanisms. Here are some steps to start listening to your body right now.
Q: How much do you give your body?
A: Just enough to give your body what it needs to feel satiated, no more, no less.
Q: How do you achieve good health.
A: Give your body nutritious and varied foods regularly in the form of meals and snacks.
Q: When do you workout?
A: You will know whether you have the energy to do a workout in the morning, lunchtime or evening. There will be days when you can go like a Duracell battery and other days when you can only manage ten minutes.
Q: What do you do when you feel”stuck” and feel you’re not getting any where with your health regime?
A: Get some guidance from a nutritionist, doctor or personal trainer. Just a different perspective on things can make a big difference.