Intuitive Eating Helps Break Binge Eating Habits
Almost two years ago, I decided to try intuitive eating to distance myself from binge eating. I didn't trust my body to stay at a healthy weight without dieting, but I knew I had to try to break out of my eating disorder habits. It sounded like a dream to eat whatever I wanted without guilt or worrying. I was skeptical intuitive eating would work for me, but I was eager to try it as an experiment.
Intuitive eating means eating without rules, being in tune with hunger and fullness cues, and trusting your body to maintain a healthy weight without dieting. Like many eating disorder sufferers, I couldn't get rid of thoughts about wanting to binge or restrict food right away. I had to slowly untangle my eating disorder habits over time. Learning how to eat intuitively is like re-learning how to enjoy food free of guilt, and if you've experienced an eating disorder in the past, it's going to take practice.
Intuitive Eating and Breaking Eating Disorder Habits
I discovered new insights about my eating disorder habits while I learned how to listen to my body. Suddenly, when you don't have any food rules to follow about what is bad and what is good, it's easier to spot discomfort with food. This allowed me to understand myself better. I learned about the why behind certain eating disorder thoughts. This helps so much in the process of recovery and breaking eating disorder habits.
Here are some of my tips to consider as you practice intuitive eating.
- Learn your old habits well -- As you practice identifying what is an "eating disorder thought," and what is intuitive eating, you gain more self-awareness. This is where the magic happens. For example, if you encounter food that has been a binge trigger in the past, you can learn and acknowledge why this is. Then, the next time you notice yourself feeling a similar way about food, you have that insight to understand why these thoughts are coming up. You can make decisions rooted in self-awareness instead of living in the cycle of eating disorder habits.
- Own what you love -- Are there foods you used to love that you haven't allowed yourself to enjoy out of fear? It's uncomfortable at first, but it's okay to love all different kinds of food. While learning to eat intuitively, I've realized that I love to bake. In the past, I wouldn't have let myself bake out of fear I would eat too much. I identified strictly as a "healthy eater." Since I've let go of old fears, I can own that I'm a cook, baker, and food-lover.
- Release guilt -- Intuitive eating requires that you listen to your body instead of listening to feelings like guilt and shame. It's difficult enough to be a human, and we should try not to live constantly under the weight of shame and guilt over food choices. It's okay to not finish your food when you're full; you can save it for later. It's okay to eat when you're hungry. If you don't like what you're eating, you don't have to eat it. These are all little habits of guilt that I've had to break as I've learned how to listen to my body.
I hope these tips help you as you navigate eating disorder recovery and intuitive eating.
What have you learned about yourself lately? What's an insight you've discovered while recovering from an eating disorder? Let me know in the comments.
If you're interested in learning more about intuitive eating and how it helps with eating disorder recovery, I have more tips for you in the video below.
Parten, E. (2022, April 5). Intuitive Eating Helps Break Binge Eating Habits, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/bingeeatingrecovery/2022/4/intuitive-eating-helps-break-binge-eating-habits
Author: Emma Parten
This was a great post Emma! Thanks for all the insight you gave on breaking those binge eating habits.
Thank you, Ellie! I'm so glad it was helpful. Take good care. :)