Intuitive Eating: Honour Your Hunger

Once you’ve started understanding why it’s important to ditch the diets, the next step is learning to honour your hunger.

Learning intuitive eating is a journey, and one that takes practice. To help you out, we’re going to go through the principles of Intuitive Eating one by one. If this is the first blog you’re reading, pause here and go back to our first blog in the series, which will help you learn how to say goodbye to dieting.

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Principle 2 of intuitive eating is all about learning to listen to your body. We started with ‘Ditching Diets’ because meal plans, macro tracking, and calorie counting are the opposite of listening to your body! External cues pull us further away from an awareness of what our body wants and needs, and the goal of intuitive eating is to listen in to our bodies cues in order to guide decision making about what, when, and how much we eat.

It’s important to keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy, and equally important to not wait for that gnawing, desperate hunger that often leaves us chowing down on everything in the pantry until we feel sick (we’ve all been there). Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, moderate, intuitive, and conscious eating is very difficult. Learning to honour the first biological signals of hunger makes us more likely to eat a balanced and varied meal, and sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.

If you’ve restricted or over-eaten for too long, it can be difficult to reconnect with your hunger cues. Hunger can feel different in your body - a grumbling in your stomach, feeling lightheaded and cranky, or it might be as subtle as simply thinking about food. Whenever you feel the sensations of hunger in your body, it’s important to honour these feelings by eating. Honouring your hunger, like anything, takes practice, but the more you practice, the clearer the signals will feel. Learning to listen and trust your body can feel hard and scary at times, especially if you’ve spent years trying to silence and ignore it, but with practice, kindness, and self-compassion you can learn how to do it - and trust us, it’s so worth it.

"Whenever you feel sensations of hunger, that's your cue to eat; it might be a meal, it might be a snack, but the first step on this journey is just to feed your body when it's hungry."

- Laura Thomas, PhD

This blog is not a substitute for medical, psychological, or dietetic advice, and is for informational and educational purposes only. If you or somebody you love is struggling, contact your GP, or call/text 1737 to speak to a licensed therapist.