The Body Path to self-love is multifaceted. In the Self-Love Diet, diet is redefined as “regularly offering yourself love.” When the Self-Love Diet focuses on food and eating, it departs from the weight loss focus of mainstream diets and focuses instead on trusting the inner wisdom of your body.
The Body Path of the Self-Love Diet offers 7 guidelines when bringing love into your eating behaviors and food choices. I will focus on the second guideline today. You can read about the first guideline here, eat when you are physically hungry.
#2: Stop eating when you are physically satisfied.
This guideline may sound simple, but it’s not always easy to know when you are physically satisfied. With technology becoming a growing part of our everyday lives, and in our fast paced culture, a lot of people eat while watching TV, while on the computer, while working – when we’re not paying attention to our food and our body, it can be easy to miss our body’s signals telling us when we’re satisfied.
One thing you can do to better hear your body’s signals is to choose a quiet and calm environment when you eat. Pay attention to your food, and allow yourself to be in the moment with your food. Instead of eating on the couch while watching TV, eat at the kitchen table.
Cultivate mindful eating. An activity you can use to cultivate mindful eating is to have at least two bites of your meal with your eyes closed. Notice the texture of your food. Notice the tastes of your food. Notice your body’s reactions to the food. Instead of eating your food in a hurry, take your time with each bite.
If you’re eating mindfully and in a quiet environment, it will be easier for you to tell when you are physically satisfied. If it’s hard to tell if you are satisfied, or not, here are some signs to help you.
Physical Signs of Satiety:
- You can feel the food in your stomach and notice if you have more room or not.
- The food begins to lose its visual appeal.
- The food is not as tasty as the first bites.
- You begin to think about not eating any more food.
- You feel full and know if you eat more you will feel uncomfortable.
If you have been overeating or bingeing, you may have gotten good at turning off and tuning out your body’s satiety signals. By regularly paying attention to your body and by focusing on mindful eating, you will become more attuned to your body and you’ll be able to understand your body’s signals.
If you have been restricting your food and are working on re-feeding yourself, this is not the time for body-based eating, also known as mindful eating. When you restrict your food, your body, as well as your brain, doesn’t get the nutrients that it needs, and with time, you can lose your ability to read your body’s signals, including your body’s satiety signals. This is something that you can regain.
When you restrict your food, over time, you will begin to feel an exaggerated sense of fullness, even if your body desires and needs more food. It can be hard to discern when you’re satisfied or not. If you’re used to having an empty stomach, or have been eating minimally, you can expect the following:
- When you begin to eat a little more food, but not a full meal, you will feel uncomfortable psychologically and emotionally, resulting in distorted physical sensations of fullness.
- When you begin to increase your food portions even more, but are still not eating a full meal, the same mental and emotional discomfort interferes with your ability to discern satiety.
- As you build your ability to trust and interpret your body’s signals, and once you’re consistently eating nutritionally complete meals, your body will regain its capacity to work as intended.
If you’re working on re-feeding yourself right now, instead of focusing on body-based eating, you will need to eat according to a schedule with the help of a registered dietitian and a therapist who specializes in working with people with eating disorders until you can learn to interpret your body’s signals correctly.
In the self-love post, Self-Love Diet Food & Eating Guidelines: #1 – Eat When You Are Physically Hungry, I included the Hunger Satiety Scale by Karin Katrina, PhD, RD, LD/N as a resource to also help you discern when you are physically hungry or satisfied.
Your body is amazing. It knows what it needs and how much it needs. If you have lost touch with your body’s intrinsic ability to let you know when it is physically hungry and satisfied, with time you will be able to regain this gift.
March’s self-love writing prompt is the Body Path. You can share your self-love journey with the Love Warrior Community by submitting your self-love posts to be published here on Self-Love Warrior, or you can share them on the Self-Love Diet Facebook page.
Michelle Minero, the Co-Founder of this blog and the overarching Love Warrior Community published her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You can buy her book online or at stores in Petaluma, Sonoma and Healdsburg, California. You can also purchase a copy Michelle’s book through Amazon. For upcoming events and book signings, visit Michelle’s Events page.
Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. Her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies.
Michelle created an intensive outpatient eating disorder program in 2000, brought ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.) to Petaluma shortly after and founded EDRS (Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc.), a Marin and Sonoma County based 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2005. In 2011, Michelle co-founded the Love Warrior Community with her daughter, Emelina, an online community that helps people cultivate self-love, self-acceptance and body acceptance through creative expression. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter.