Who needs diets if you can eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full?
It sounds so easy doesn’t it? I received this question and I have been pondering this problem for a while:
As a member of Weight Watchers, I have been reading for a while about ditching "diets" and eating intuitively. I want to know if that can really work for compulsive dieters/emotional eaters.
When I first read about Weight Watchers’ Freestyle program and all of the ZERO point foods (which you are supposed to be able to eat without counting), I wondered about the people out there who have troubled eating for emotional reasons.
Were they eating 10 chicken breasts per day? Hmm…
My mother tried a diet in which she was allowed to eat “humming foods” - or foods that hum to her. She was attempting to listen to her body and feed it with what it wanted instead of what she had been told would help her lose weight.
This is not her, but we did end up with chocolate sundaes for dinner at one point because my mom found that ice cream was singing very loudly. (forget the hum)
Eating intuitively is about letting go of diets and listening to your body’s hunger cues and eating until full. You are supposed to trust yourself to get your eating under control (it takes time and much listening to your body) and you may become like the woman below.
Have you ever seen someone so happy to eat a salad? Below, I have attached a link to a good book about intuitive eating for those who want to learn more. They want you to eat desserts and not feel guilty about it, let go of all you have learned about food, and enjoy yourself.
I think that this approach could help many people who find that diets just don’t work. But, for those who have deep emotional issues around food - it seems like a long shot to be able to do this without support (for example a therapist who specializes in disordered eating).
The tug to eat when uncomfortable is so very strong and needs to be confronted before you can truly listen to what your body desires.
How are you supposed to hear your body when your heart is telling you to EAT?!!
I really want to answer this question but I just come up with more questions. I believe there is no “one size fits all” approach and that is the problem with programs like Weight Watchers. It doesn’t fit everyone to have ZERO point foods if you have trouble stopping yourself from eating when you aren’t hungry.
How have you learned to eat when hungry and stop when full? Do you have a tough time with compulsive or emotional eating? What have you learned?