We are all unique. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to diet and nutrition that works for everyone. You'll know this if you've ever dieted with a girlfriend, only to feel heavy, lethargic and bloated while she's lighter and happier than ever. There isn’t anything ‘wrong’ with your body, but it does mean that your approach isn't the right fit for your unique constitution. We are all different, so the only way to eat intelligently is to listen to your body and become an intuitive eater, rather than using all your willpower to stick to a diet plan.
There's nothing worse than putting in effort to stay on plan and stick to an exercise regime, only to end up feeling exhausted. Or being hungry but doing your best to ignore the hunger pangs, and still not getting the body you want. Unfortunately, this is inevitable when you try diets that aren't tailored to your body's needs. Not only is it exhausting, but it doesn’t work because it creates stress and disrupts your state of balance - which, FYI, is where all your power to change your body and improve your health lies.
Sound like your last diet attempt? Intuitive eating is just like finding your alignment - it means connecting with your wisdom to eat in a way that is inspired by what your body needs for balance, and therefore results in a healthy body (and mind).
Here's how you can start eating more intuitively - for the next five evenings, before you go to sleep, roughly note down the answers to the following questions:
1. How much water did you drink?
2. What other drinks did you have - tea, coffee, juices etc.?
3. What food did you eat, including snacks? (Be honest!)
4. How hungry were you today - did you skip meals or did you eat to meet your hunger level?
5. How did you feel throughout the day; heavy or light, bloated or comfortable, irritated or relaxed, stressed or at ease, tired or energized?
6. Did you give yourself time to eat in a relaxed way?
7. How do you feel right now?
Once you’ve completed five days, take the time to mindfully review your answers and check for any patterns. Perhaps a specific food instinctively grabs your attention as something that would be best avoided, or maybe you notice that you’ve skipped lunch and consistently feel tired and stressed in the afternoons. You even could have forgotten to give your body the basics - water.
It’s also important to notice foods that felt good to eat and that were kind to your digestion. Once identified, make an effort to include more of them in your diet, and explore other similar foods that you could incorporate into your meals.
The quantity of food isn’t important - the real beauty of this process is for you to check-in with your body, creating a dialogue so you can make the connection between what you eat and how you feel - physically, mentally and emotionally.
Awareness is essential to be an intuitive eater, and needs to be the inspiration behind your food choices. This process is a powerful one and it's recommended that you continue beyond the five days. As you streamline your eating, relative to your unique body, you will quickly feel your body come into a more balanced, lighter state. The key is to trust your own wisdom and put it into practice, so that you'll become a natural intuitive eater and never have to diet again.
- To buy Laura's book Your BeaUtiful Body, or for more information, visit Laura's website loveBeU.com
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