by Eleni Kapetanios
You’ve probably been on tons of diets before. Most women have. You followed a plan, were really good at first, then an event or a dinner out happened, and you cheated on your diet, fell off the wagon, and quit. Or you were successful at your diet, lost weight, then gained it back. Or you feel like you have to constantly diet and deny yourself the foods you love to stay at your desired weight. When you think about it, these are diets made up by someone who doesn’t know you or your body and has no idea how you respond to foods. Crazy, right?
But what if you never had to diet again? What if you could completely trust that your unconscious mind knew what you needed to eat, how much and when? What if you never had to worry about dieting again? With Intuitive Eating, you won’t have to.
Intuitive eating helps you to create a healthy relationship with food, and it is exactly what it sounds like: using your intuition and unconscious mind to know what your body needs. Your unconscious mind’s job is to preserve your body, and to make your body as healthy as possible. Sometimes, things like your conscious mind and limiting beliefs about food and other emotional baggage get in the way. When you eat intuitively, you are able to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, make peace with food, and get the joy and nutrition that your body craves. How can we do this?
- Reject the diet mentality. Stop reading about the latest diet craze, thinking “oh – THIS will be the one that works”, and setting yourself up for failure. When you are eating intuitively, you absolutely cannot fail.
- Honour your body’s cues. Eat slowly and realize when you are full. Stop eating then. Eat when you feel hungry and at no other time.
- Realize that food is just food. You are not “bad” because you ate pizza, nor are you “good” because you just ate lettuce all day. Take away its power. If you choose to eat a treat, enjoy it and move on. Give yourself permission to have treats occasionally.
- You are in control. Learn to control your emotional state. You decide what to eat, when and how much. Think before you eat.
- Eat often. If you eat every few hours, you will never feel starving and start shoving food in your mouth. Keep your blood sugar level and you will feel more in control.
- Find pleasure in healthy eating. Your body craves healthy food – lots of variety, greens, protein, fruit and fats. Healthy food can be delicious. Experiment with recipes. Every time you give your body healthy fuel, it makes it happy. Notice how good and energetic you feel when you eat well. Eating good food is showing your body the upmost respect.
- Exercise. Move your body and notice how different you feel. You want to fuel your body with healthy, life-affirming foods when you exercise.
- Honour your feelings without food. It’s ok to feel sad, lonely or angry. Find what works for you to help you handle these emotions without turning to food. Feel the emotion. You don’t need to numb them. Feel the emotion, know it will pass, and move on.
It is so empowering to realize that YOU are in control of your body – not some dude who wrote a crazy diet plan – and know exactly what it needs to maintain its desired state. Eat slowly, love food, nourish yourself. Ask your unconscious mind what it needs to be satisfied. Breathe. And most of all, forgive yourself. It’s just food, after all.
Eleni Kapetanios has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years. She approaches fitness holistically, knowing that mind and body are fully connected and, once you change your mindset, weight loss can be easy and effortless.
Eleni specializes in working with women with body image issues, chronic or yo-yo dieting, eating disorders, inability to lose weight, slow metabolism issues and women who want to lose weight or get healthy but don’t know where to start.
She uses a combination of exercise, Intuitive Eating, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy to help women manage their weight, feel beautiful and realize they can accomplish anything.