There are a lot of people out there who will tell you to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. But what if you actually don't know when/if you are hungry or full?
Most of my clients don't know when they are hungry and then they often get intense cravings and find they cannot stop eating once they start, and can't tell when they are full.
So it's not good advice to divvy out without first considering WHO you are talking to.
It can make people feel quite guilty or shamed.
EATING EXISTS ON A SPECTRUM As I have mentioned before, we all eat on a spectrum and at one end of the spectrum is eating disorders and on the other end is intuitive eating. I have trained in both so I fully understand the nuances and differences along the scale of healthy eating behaviours. And trust me, they are behaviours that are not defined alone by food. There is a lot more to a humans diet than just what they eat.
DISORDERED EATING So, in terms of the healthy eating behaviours scale.... somewhere in the middle we have disordered eating. Anybody adhering to strict diet rules is going to be in this area and that's just an easy way to say you are struggling with tuning into your own body and have come to rely on some external rules.
It is usually a coping mechanism for something else but it can become so ingrained that you literally lose touch with your bodies own signals.
Even if the start of dieting or eating in a different way is something small with a small goal, it often ends up taking you much further away from your natural intuitive ability to feed yourself, or trust yourself around food.
For those who have been dieting for years or have taken on an extreme diet, and even in cases of high stress you can destroy your hunger and satiety signals. But the good news is, they can be strengthened and restored.
Losing trust in your body can really play havoc on your mental state and so begins the cycle, which often just leads further along the scale with increasing disordered eating - and thoughts.
I work on helping clients to start recognising what hunger feels like and how to respond to their appetites in a healthy way. With some education around the psychology and biology of hunger and satiety and some exercises on body attunement.
Often just bringing awareness to this can help a person start to think differently. Sometimes more help is needed to start the process of feeling your actual hunger again. So the next time somebody says you should eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.... if that makes you anxious or upset just realise that it might be because you need to do some inner work and get some help and there is nothing wrong with you.
Reach out if this resonates with you and let's chat about the first steps you can be taking, to take back control of your eating. Book a free call here