So often we think about food as either “good or bad” and our actions fall into those categories as well. I like to routinely (maybe once a season) make sure I clean that out and start over, thinking to myself “what feels most nourishing right now?” When we come from a place of love and nourishment, it gets rid of all that outer noise that media and diet culture fills our heads with and allows us to tap into our true needs. When it comes to nourishment, it could be food, or it could be joy, connection, relaxation, stimulation etc. When we think of food as just one way to nourish ourselves instead of the way, we see it in a holistic picture and start to understand what we are truly hungry for.
Keep reading for some ways to tap into your inner guide:
1) Before you go to order or eat food, ask yourself the right questions:
Am I bored? Am I anxious? Am I tired? Am I lonely? Am I thirsty? Am I truly hungry for food?
If the answer is yes to hunger for food, go even further by asking:
Am I craving protein? Have I had enough fat today? Do I need some grains or something warming or cooling?
This will become super quick the more often you do it, now it takes me about 10 seconds to know what my body really wants.
2) Put pen to paper.
Our thoughts aren’t linear, so we can sometimes get wrapped up in whirling swirling ideas that only make us more anxious. By journaling, we are forcing our thoughts into a narrative that can unlock a bit of the subconscious, and bring us into deeper understanding of our true desires.
I like to ask myself: What do I really need right now? And see what flows.
3) Incorporate forms of pleasure other than food into your day.
The brain is programmed to seek and feel pleasure more than any other feeling. If we have a pleasure deficiency, we turn to things like food, shopping, and other substances to quell that desire. Though, that pleasure is short lived and can often bring on further anxiety when over-done.
Brainstorm with a pleasure inventory. What things in your life do you enjoy and make you feel super present? Where can you add more of that? What new things can you bring in?
Natalie Zises is an Eating Psychology, Food and Body Relationship Coach that primarily works with women who want to break the binge and diet cycle, and live a life in harmony with food and their body.