Intuitive Eating: Five Questions To Ask Yourself Before Eating

Intuitive eating

Intuitive eating is a great way to move away from external voices and information telling you what to eat and when, and work towards better understanding your body, your mind, and what makes you feel and look your best!


This is the process of eating based on what your body is telling you it needs to eat and when, rather than relying on external sources telling you this information. 

Intuitive eating

Eating intuitively has also been shown to improve cholesterol levels, lower rates of emotional eating, improve body image and self esteem, reduce stress and increase metabolism. 


But as we alter our nutritional habits, even for wellness goals and knowing the benefits of changing our eating behaviors, it does not make it easy to decipher how to eat for our body, much less than listening to our body to tell us what and when to eat!


When you start to get that hunger feeling, meal time rolls around, or your cravings just start jumping up at you, ask yourself these questions below.  Take the time to reflect through journaling, or moving your body through stretching or yoga, and enjoy the time you give yourself to think. 


1.“Why am I eating? Why do I think I’m hungry?”

Intuitive eating


Am I eating because it feels time to nourish my body again? Or am I eating because I am bored, lonely, stressed, anxious, sad, or just because there is food in front of me? 


2. “Am I just thirsty?” 


Intuitive eating


Our body gives us the same signal when we are hungry as when we are thirsty. Many times in the day we receive this signal and think it is a hunger signal when really, we just need fluids. 


3. “What food does my body want to eat? Why?”


Intuitive eating

Am I craving sweets? Are my blood sugars low from not eating for a while? Am I craving carbohydrates? Do I need to give my mind a pick me up? Figuring out what your body is communicating through food can be telling you about your nutritional needs but also your emotional needs or state of mind.


4. If you are craving a specific item, ask yourself, “How do I typically feel after I eat this item?”


Intuitive eating


I have lots of cravings that include certain foods that when I stop and ask this question, I remember that after eating, say, a really greasy heavy meal, my body does not feel good. Sometimes I consciously make the decision to eat the food any way, but almost always this question will cause me to opt for something else because I do not want to feel physically bad after. 


5. “What could I be eating instead?”


Intuitive eating


When asking yourself this question, think about the food you want to eat and what it is made up of. Is it full of sugar? Could you eat some berries instead? Is it full of salt? Could you eat some mixed nuts? Take a moment to consider how you can satisfy your physical and emotional needs while staying on track and building healthy habits. 







** The opinions and exercises shared in this article are from one of our regular contributing authors and are not to replace the advice and guidance from a licensed practitioner. Be safe. Talk to your doctor before any changes to your diet and exercise regime.



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