The Three Pitfalls of Intuitive Eating

1. Slavery to hunger. Every time your stomach feels a pang, you drop everything and fix yourself a snack, terrified that leaving hunger unwatched will push you into a binge. You eat a little beyond the full point, because you’re afraid of starving yourself (understandable, especially if you’ve suffered with anorexia or anorexic behaviors in the past). You obsessively check in with yourself – am I hungry? Am I hungry now?

2. Slavery to the rules. You wrote the rules all over your kitchen, freezer, pantry, bedroom door. You chant them to yourself before you eat. And when you break them, you feel so guilty that you say, “I can’t even do intuitive eating. I’m a failure” and give up.

3. Slavery to fullness. You use the stop when you’re full statute to skimp on your meals. Instead of eating until you are satisfied, you take the minimum bites to ease your rumbly belly. You feel hungry, but you tell yourself you’re not sure if it’s “real hunger.”

Life happens. You’re at a birthday party, or you’re watching a movie and munching popcorn and milk duds, or you forgot to plan and ended up without lunch. It’s okay. Remember the definition of normal eating? Trust your body to make up for lapses.

You’re still figuring this out. You’ll make mistakes. Just examine yourself, recognize the pitfalls you’ve tripped into, and crawl back out again. You’re okay. You can eat normally, and intuitive eating can help get you there. Believe in the process and persevere.

Do you struggle with any of these pitfalls? Have you found a trick that helps keep you on track? Let us know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “The Three Pitfalls of Intuitive Eating

  1. 1 and 3 in my case. I have suffered with anorexic behaviors in the past and find it very hard not to be triggered by hunger. I also have been probably not eating quite enough at times because of number 3. I stop feeling like I’m starving sometimes and just want to stop right there.

    • Keep working with yourself not to be afraid of hunger! I struggle with the same fear, but every time I weather hunger and survive without relapses or fainting, I get a little more confident. I also encourage you to brave your fears and eat a little extra. Soothe the hunger pangs, but don’t stop there, continue eating until you are satisfied. You don’t have to be stuffed, just well fueled.

      I wish you the best of luck on your recovery journey!

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