Most days I am highly intune with my body, in control, eat what I want within the parameters of the foods that my body thrives on, free of negative thoughts about food, and flying high with my health and wellness. You can find me spooning a hearty amount of peanut butter into my calorically dense smoothie with the trust and confidence in my body that it knows what it needs and will dutifully balance out its energy flow. After all, I work my ass off (well on) and know that if I am bombarding my body with nutrient density that it has the superpower to balance out what it needs. With this superpower I have kept myself easily lean and sustained a healthy mindset with food over the last 5 years, and have helped many others learn how to do the same.
But, as a human, there are the rare spans of days where I feel like I am possessed by the need to consume, to fill my belly mindlessly. Having a keen mind-body connection, I realize that I am “stress eating”/and or eating in response to hormone fluctuations. I pride myself on my healthy natural food and fitness homeostasis and put myself into an emotional time out to do some soul searching in why I am finding myself out of balance. This article will serve as your “search and recovery mission” back to or to your Intuitive Clean Eater and help you take stock of your relationship with food when you feel a bit sidetracked by hormones and stress.
Stress is an inevitable factor of any humans life. Any living species, in fact. Some stress can be beneficial and productive, but the type of stress that may increase the desire to consume is the stress that leaves you feeling anxious, worried, tired, and upset. For many people, food or drink can have a numbing effect on high levels of stress. By stuffing the emotion down with food, you are left feeling the sensations of eating or drinking, instead of having to deal with the issue or cause of stress at hand.
Here is what I carry in my stress eating and hormonal “survival pack”.
Water, water, water: Our bodies are amazing but can err from time to time. Very often when we feel the desire to eat, it is because we are in fact, dehydrated. Approximately 75% of the human body consists of water, and the desire for water is boundlessly more ferocious than the desire to eat, but those signals are commonly crossed. *make a water routine = set regular intervals to gump down copious amounts of water *drink with a straw = for me, this helps me add up the ounces * flavor your water = lemon, lime, a whole foods water additive, a splash of OJ or Cranberry can assist in consumption. When our cells are plumped up with the wet stuff we will not confuse thirst with hunger, also we will maximize our metabolism and drastically improve our digestion. All are related. One big happy family.
Time for friends and loved ones: Talking about your emotions and what is important to you with someone who has your best interests at heart can be the therapy needed to release the stress that causes overeating. In our busy lives, this time out alone can be just enough to give you the pause that helps you “breathe” and cope. Overly packing your schedule with obligations leaves no room for energy to flow, no room to decompress, and no room to process your feelings. Stillness certainly does speak. Schedule some time to be unscheduled..and better yet, some time with your favorite people to connect. Take a walk, unplug, do yoga, a light workout, journal, create, meditate, listen to music…Just give yourself some time with no expectations but to decompress.
Preventative Eating and Intuitive Eating: May sound counterproductive but eating can keep you from overeating. Eating the right, nutrient dense food that is. You can eat 2,500 calories and still be malnourished. Whole foods nutrition and eating when your body cues you to, and not by the clock are two methods that make your hunger signals sound off less. Our bodies have demands, especially if we workout like a mad woman, work with those demands and not against them. Don’t eat by a meal plan, but by healthy nutritional objectives you custiomize for yourself. My “Cleanse and Kickstart Program” has been successful in helping people design their healthy intuitive clean eater check it out here Think of the quality of your food, and the ingredients in your food rather than the numbers. When you eat highly nutritious foods as the base of your own personal food pyramid, you will get very few irrational cravings. This is because your body is getting its nutrient needs met and doesn’t have to act out like a spoiled child to get your attention.
Zzzzzzzzz’s: Making enough leptin? Here I am getting hormonal again. Leptin is one of the hormones responsible for delivering the message to your brain that you are satisfied. You produce this when sleeping. Without enough sleep you will not have this horny friend to deliver messages of contentment. We all need that friend to remain satisfied. Have you ever slept very little and found yourself insatiable the next day? Well, now you know. 🙂