Diet culture makes us believe that our bodies cannott be trusted with hunger cues and that we need to wait until we are “allowed” to eat, suppressing hunger with another cup of water, coffee or herbal tea or doing some push ups.
This questionable advice triggers our basic survival mechanism, that protects us from dying from famine. If we ignore early hunger cues, we soon find ourselves in a state of primal hunger, “inhaling” food once we get access to it and losing the touch with our satiety signals.
Unlearning this diet mindset rule, to start trusting your body again may take time and practice, especially if you have been dieting for quite a while and learned to dismiss what your body is trying to tell you.
To start trusting your body again and responding according to its signals, you need to acknowledge the importance of respecting your body needs and nourishing yourself – even when you “overate” the night before and regardless of your current weight and size. Recognizing that your body deserves being fed regularly is a critical step in becoming an intuitive eater.
Saying that, it’s important to notice, that if you have been struggling with severely disordered eating or an eating disorder, your ability to recognize and rely on hunger (and satiety) cues may be affected by the disorder. In this case it’s usually advised to stick to a meal plan developed by a registered dietitian who specializes in eating disorders, until you advance in your recovery to a point where you can incorporate this principle into your eating (which could be determined with your treatment team).
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