Eat intuitively they say! But what does that mean? And are you at a stage in your healing to do so?
It’s a simple concept, but it’s not easy. And when you are coming from a history of any type of disordered eating, it can be anything BUT intuitive.
There is the eating disorder voice in your head that is telling you to eat more or to eat less depending on how you are feeling that day, what you ate the day before, how much you exercised, or that dreaded number on the scale that morning. You are terrified of gaining weight but you also want to let go of the tracking and diet mentality. You struggle with the all or nothing mentality each day – either you nailed it or you’re throwing in the towel and starting tomorrow because you already ate too much. And after the binge, you just end up depressed with guilt and shame for days. The other option is to track for the rest of your life.
First and foremost, you are not alone. This is more common than you think. Many people have some type of history of disordered eating, especially chronic undereating. It’s not your fault. This is not all in your head. It is not a matter of motivation or weakness. Your hormones are not functioning properly. Your body and brain are looking out for your survival. Your body does NOT feel safe and the normal hunger and satiety signals are not present. The same amount of food can be satiating one day, and absolutely not enough the next day. So what do you do?
Take a step back, loosen the reigns. THIS IS HARD TO DO. Again, this is not your fault. Reframe: this is your body crying out for help. Eating intuitively isn’t realistic at this point. But the alternative is tracking for the rest of your life and staying stuck, which isn’t a realistic option either. After chronically undereating, yo-yo dieting, restricting, binging, and/or purging, your body wants to know it has a consistent source of nutrient-dense food.
The first thing to do is STOP fasting. Eat 3 regular meals each day.
As a general starting point, aim to consume at least 1g of protein and 1g of fat per pound of your CURRENT body weight each day. Divide these amounts amongst the 3 meals and if you are still hungry, add fat (suet/trimmings/butter/ghee/tallow).
Allow your body to recuperate and fill in the gaps from the chronic undereating. This requires large amounts of protein, as amino acids are the building blocks of our body. The combination of the proper amounts of protein and fat will kick start the functioning of your hormones, including your hunger hormones.
For more specific recommendations, feel free to book an appointment. We will discuss your unique history (medical & dietary) and more specific macros for your goals can be provided.
Intuitive eating is everything but intuitive when you have struggled with disordered eating. It’s not your fault, but it is most definitely your responsibility to take charge of your health and find food freedom for yourself. Remaining stuck out of fear is the other option. The choice is yours.