Intuitive or mindful eating boils down to eating when you feel hungry and stopping when you feel full. Which, lord knows, you’ve tried time and time and time again. Right? No one wants to feel out of control around food. No one wakes up in the morning hoping to binge until their jaw hurts.
Maybe intuitive eating just won’t work for certain people?
Nah. I definitely think there’s something deeper at play here. In all the talk of intuitive eating, “everything in moderation,” lifestyle changes, etc etc etc, I believe there’s one crucial thing missing: a reset period.
Brain chemistry cannot change overnight. If you’ve ever been depressed, you’ve felt this inertia firsthand. There’s no “cheering up” when the chemicals in your brain are out of whack. It’s not like you want to be cripplingly sad. But brain chemistry is delicate, and it takes time and effort to rebalance.
Likewise, when your brain is in starvation mode, your rational thoughts will always, always be drowned out by the primal urge to consume. “I think I’m a bit hungry” à la mindful eating becomes “I ate an entire bag of Oreos so fast I didn’t even taste them.” And it’s not your fault, or a failing of your willpower.
That’s why a six-month food reset is SO important for your sanity, even if it sounds crazy. When you allow yourself to gorge every day, guilt-free, it won’t be long before your body and brain get the message: “Hunger is not an issue here. Nutrients are readily available.” Over weeks and then months, the primal panic will subside. And little by little, the chemicals that once caused you to binge can reclaim their rightful job: cueing hunger, and cueing fullness. And leaving you in peace.