How Intuitive Eating Changed My Life
Do you ever stop to think about how you eat? Do you tend to grab something as you rush out the door and eat it while driving to work? Or do you haul it all in with you and eat while checking your email or going through files? I know that used to be me! If you are not eating with intention, your digestive system may be suffering. Research has shown that mindful eating is the healthiest way to eat; because you are putting thought into what you’re eating and how you are eating it, your eating habits, digestion, and overall health will benefit greatly. Here’s how I stopped mindless eating and started eating with intention and intuition.
How Mindless Eating Harms You
Thinking about food before eating it prepares your mind and body for the first stage of digestion. As the brain starts to anticipate the food, either through smell or visualization, it triggers the production of digestive juices and enzymes your system will soon need to break down that food. If, on the other hand, you are eating mindlessly and pay no attention to your food, your brain is unable to help your body function the way it should, resulting in poor digestion and weight gain.
Eating while working can increase the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone suppresses the production of enzymes, stomach acid, and saliva, and can lead to undigested food, resulting in acid reflux, gas, and bloating, as well as the loss of many essential nutrients.
Mindless eating often leads to over-eating because you are not paying attention to your body’s signals. This can result in poor digestion and complications and may even lead to many digestive problems such as inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer. Our ability to digest food and absorb nutrients is greatly reduced by stress, hormones, gut microbial imbalances, toxins, and food sensitivities.
Why Intuitive Eating is Beneficial
Intuitive eating is simply eating with intention and paying attention to your food. By increasing your awareness of your relationship with food, intuitive eating improves your digestive processes and can change the destructive cycles for good. Here are some of the benefits of eating with intention:
1. Weight Loss
If you are planning to lose weight, a detox may be a great way to start. Not only will it help clean and prime your system, but it will provide you with a good kick start toward achieving your weight loss goals.
2. Elevated Energy
Because you are being more selective about how you fuel your body, intuitive eating may increase your energy. This has trickle-down effects: more energy means you may be more motivated to exercise longer and harder, you may be more productive at work, and you will have a more positive attitude. Food is fuel for your body; the better you fuel it, the better it will run!
3. Better Digestion
Intuitive eating may drastically reduce a wide variety of digestive issues, such as bloating, nausea, constipation, gas, indigestion and a toxic liver. When your body is prepared to receive and process food, and when that food is clean and healthy, you may notice a dramatic difference in how your body functions and in how you feel.
Eating intuitively and intentionally has changed my life, and it really didn’t take much to get there. Slow down, think about your food, and feel the best you ever have!