“If I give myself permission to eat, I’ll eat the house down”
Have you ever said this to yourself?
Giving yourself unconditional permission to eat is a fundamental component of intuitive eating. However, a common misconception is that giving yourself unconditional permission to eat will mean you will eat pizza and chocolate for the rest life and never be able to stop.
Let’s explore that.
When we tell ourselves we can’t have a certain food, we often build up a increased craving for that food. Ever told a kid they can’t have something? What happens? They probably want it more.
When ignored, these cravings build up and, over time, often lends to us binging on the food when we feel unsettled, sad, stressed, or we just don’t have the energy to restrict it any more (restriction is tiring!!!).
When we give ourselves unconditional permission to eat, we may eat more of the foods we are used to restricting. It makes sense. We weren’t ‘allowed them’ and now we are.
Bu this, sometimes intense, yearning for once restricted food doesn’t last.
Let me give you an analogy.
Say you’ve got a straw in your mouth, breathing through it without the help of your nose. Now, walk around the house. Your heart rate will increase. Breathing will become a bit harder.
Now, remove the straw and try to breathe normally. For a few seconds there, you’ll need deep breaths to re-oxygenate. After a few breaths, however, you can breathe normally again.
The same thing happens when you stop restricting food. When you remove restriction (aka the straw), you may eat a little more than usual (aka breathe a little deeper), but after some time, your eating (aka breathing) will normalise.
There’s no telling how long someone will stay in this ‘honeymoon’ period for. It looks different for everyone.
If you want to improve your relationship with food, I can help you 🙂
©2023 [alice bleathman dietitian]