Have you ever felt like you have lost touch with what your body is trying to tell you in terms of hunger or how it wants to move? Sometimes we get so caught up in workouts plans or diets that we forget to actually LISTEN to what our body wants. For example, sometimes we eat when we aren’t even hungry, or we exercise when our body is telling us to rest. Listening to our body is SO important because it REALLY DOES know best. We need to learn to trust it.
Have you ever heard of intuitively eating? This basically means eating how we used to eat before there were diets. Eating like you did when you were a child. Just carefree. Eating what you wanted and stopping to eat when you were full, knowing you can eat again later.
Here is a really great tip I use that allows me to eat foods I enjoy, while still maintaining a strong physique that I love.
#1. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.
Now, this seems simple, doesn’t it? It’s supposed to, but I think most of us (including me) are kinda like this:
We need to re-teach ourselves what it means to feel “hungry”. Know the difference between eating because you’re bored (you’re not really hungry) and eating because you need the energy to keep going (you’re actually hungry). Once you get that, if you feel hungry – go eat something! But then…often times you continue to eat and eat and eat without even realizing your body has had enough at that moment. So how do you fix it? Tune in with your body every once and a while during your meal. Listen to it and ask yourself this:
Am I full now? Stop eating and know you can eat again later when you’re hungry.
Is the food you’re eating satisfying you? Are you enjoying the taste of it, or are you eating it because you think it’s “healthy” and you have to? Know that you are allowed to give into what makes you satisfied. Eat foods you enjoy, and you won’t find yourself binging later.
Are you actually hungry, or are you emotionally eating? Sometimes when we’re experiencing negative emotions like boredom, loneliness, or sadness we turn to food. But give yourself a moment to stop and THINK. Are you really hungry and will food solve the problem? Probably not. And if it does, it only satisfies you for a moment. Instead, deal with those negative emotions head on.
Take your time to experience eating. No distractions. Food should be enjoyed. Turn off the TV, computer and put away your cell phone. Give yourself that time to simply enjoy food. That way you are more likely to tune into your BODY (not other distractions) and actually know when you are still hungry or full.
Now let’s talk about exercise. Intuitive exercising is much like intuitive eating. How does your body want to move today? Are you feeling very fatigued and exhausted? Then it’s okay to give yourself a rest day. Sometimes we get in the habit of exercising a lot, but our body tends to stress from all the exhaustion. This can even cause weight gain! Don’t get me wrong, I love endorphins and I LOVE moving my body but you still need to give it rest.
So how do you decide?
#2. Rely on your intuition to guide your exercise routine.
What!? No strict plan? No schedule of what I’m going to do from Monday to Friday!? You’re probably thinking, “Cassey, you’re crazy!”
What I’m saying is that it’s okay and very beneficial to have a plan of what you’re going to do each day (personally this works for me), but there will be days when your body is telling you no…but you’ve got gym on the schedule! Don’t freak out. Listen to your body. You can always take a rest day now and push the workout to another day. NO. BIG. DEAL.
Also, it doesn’t mean you can’t exercise at all. Maybe going for a walk or stretching will feel really nice.
Oh and on the flip side, if there’s a day you had planned for a rest day, but you have bursts of energy, get into the gym and kill it!
See what I’m saying? Your body fluctuates and wants things on different days. So allow that.
And most importantly…
#3. Move with joy and enlightenment.
Exercise should uplift and enhance your day and your life. It should make you feel good and energized! So if you’re doing a workout that you absolutely hate, is it really worth it? You can reach your goals through many types of exercise. There is no one way. Listen to your body and listen to your mind. Move how you feel like moving today.
Do you think your workout and eat intuitively? Are you listening to your body or are you simply going in a never-ending cycle without thinking about what you really enjoy? Tell me below what kinds of things you’re hung up on. It’s important that we can honestly share how we feel here so that we can help one another get stronger and smarter with our bodies!