MPPFG News

Do you eat from your body or your head?

So what does a food rule look like?

  • Good food v/s bad food
  • Healthy v/s unhealthy
  • Don’t eat after a certain time
  • Eat at certain intervals
  • Eat low carb or high protein or low fat
  • Must finish what’s on the plate
  • Eat because it is time

When we use food rules to determined our eating behaviour, it is called “eating from your head”, and if you are doing that, it means that you are not listening to your body. Our bodies are excellent communicators: they tell us when we are hungry and signal us when we are full. Our bodies have the ability to determine what we eat, choosing a variety of foods that satisfy our nutritional requirements without feeling deprived. This opportunity is available even in today’s world of plenty.

Eating from the body involves tuning in to the body signals of hunger and fullness and satisfaction. This is variously called ‘mindful eating’, ‘attuned eating’, ‘intuitive eating’ or ‘natural eating’. Although a relatively new area of scientific investigation, mindful eating has an impressive evidence base for its efficacy: A 2013 review of the intuitive eating literature analysed 26 articles and concluded that intuitive eating was negatively associated with BMI and positively associated with psychological health. Metabolic health markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels also showed potential signs of improvement. Evidence for improvement in eating behaviours and dietary intake was also noted. If we contrast this with the dieting literature, it is clear that mindfulness techniques are a much safer, psychologically healthier path to take.

Learning to tune into hunger and fullness takes time and practice. So allow yourself to take your time to get to know your hunger, to experiment and play with concepts like satisfying and fullness, and overfull. Sometimes, trying this on your own is not easy, as it could be months or years since the last time you connected to your hunger/fullness cues. We are here to guide you through this process, providing you with personalised tools to help you be freed from dieting rules for good.

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