• Emma Green

How to respect your fullness

This is the 5th principle of intuitive eating, as laid out in the book by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. This is about getting in touch with your satiety cues.⠀ Just as a note that if you are currently in the early stages of recovery from an eating disorder, you may not be ready to implement this principle yet as your body is working to re-establish your hunger and fullness cues. That is okay, you can still learn about the idea and then revisit it when you’re further along in your road to recovery. ⠀ For those without eating disorders but who have been eating according to a meal plan, tracking calories or macros, you may well be out of touch with your fullness. You might feel confident in knowing when you’re really full, like after a large meal but you might not be able to recognise all the subtle points before that. Tuning in before, during and after a meal or snack can help to identify these cues.⠀ ⠀ To be clear, there is nothing wrong with feeling really full sometimes, like if you’re celebrating a special occasion, but it doesn’t feel great to eat that way all of the time so it is inherently self-limiting. Because intuitive eating doesn’t put any rules around food, eating past fullness is a lot less frequent than when you’re restricting amounts, types or timing of foods. You have the freedom to choose how you want to feel in your body, rather than feeling compelled to eat large amounts of foods because you feel deprived.⠀ If you do eat past fullness, you haven’t messed up, you can just move on and see how you feel later on. Your body is amazingly good at regulating itself if you get out of its way. You might find yourself moving around a little more because you have more energy and feeling less hungry for the rest of the day, for example. However, if you consciously restrict, this can easily become a vicious cycle where you alternate between dieting and eating large amounts in a way that feels out of control.⠀ .⠀ You can learn to trust your body but this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work, patience and self-compassion but it is possible, I promise.⠀

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