Intuitive eating over the weekend
For most of us, following a meal plan during the week can be very simple. We have a set schedule or more structure that simply makes it easier to plan ahead and be prepared for each day. However, the weekend tends to signal “it’s time to relax,” and people often associate eating and food with stress relief.
Let’s start with the concept of intuitive eating. This is about connecting your body’s signals with your mind’s knowledge about what’s available, what sounds good and what will nourish your body.
So how can we apply this concept on the weekend?
1. Stop using food as a reward. Food is meant to be enjoyed, YES! But it should not be used as a stress relief, or a reward for following your “diet” during the week. Allow yourself to enjoy your cravings throughout the week and the weekend will definitely be more successful.
2. Have a balanced meal plan. Restrictive diets only create more problems in the long run. Unfortunately, they are not sustainable. If you are looking into changing your eating habits, it’s important to start by knowing what types of foods you need to eat to be able to nourish your body properly. Having a balanced meal plan can help you feel satiated and at the same time give you the knowledge to be able to enjoy all foods without restriction.
3. Listen to your hunger cues. Most likely you have a schedule throughout the week and that means your body does too. Your body will be accustomed to eating at a certain time. It is OK if we move those hours over the weekend because we sleep a little longer or have activities or an event. However, try to listen to your body when it’s sending those hunger cues, as well as the satiety cues. This will help prevent you from eating more than you should.
4. Break food rules. Is important to do this one at a time. Work through your food habits and fear foods from “easiest to break” to “hardest to break.” This will help you to stop craving the “bad foods” so much and will allow you to make better choices during the weekend.
5. Focus on how you feel. Reflect on what feels good in your body and in your brain and keep doing more of that. Don’t focus on what other people are doing or compare. We are all different and we have different requirements. If you listen to your body, you will be able to nourish it in the appropriate way for you.
Just as important as eating intuitively is knowing what types of foods are needed for your body to function. Remember to always have all the food groups present in your principal meals: carbohydrates (starches and vegetables), proteins and fats. And don’t forget the micronutrients!
So, to sum it all up, cultivating food freedom along with intuitive eating gives you more choices over the weekend to enjoy, without feeling guilty!