How do you know what to eat?
How do you know what to eat? Seriously, I want to know. How do you know what to put in your mouth when hunger strikes?
As an educated, health-conscious person you’ve probably absorbed plenty of wellness advice and try to choose the healthiest thing, right?
So you give yourself three options: a giant salad with grilled chicken, veggie soup or a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, hold the mayo. You choose one and eat it, feeling empowered by your healthy choice yet uninspired and a bit unsatisfied. Before lunch is over you’re already thinking about an afternoon snack. You’re not hungry of course, just bored by your lunch and in need of something truly tasty to look forward to.
Oh do I know this cycle well. In fact, I lived it for a good decade. Every lunch for almost 10 years I ate a salad with a different type of protein. I thought it was the healthiest choice, I considered it a “safe” meal because I knew it wouldn’t make me fat and felt proud for getting my greens in every day.
The problem was that because I never asked my physical body what it wanted but rather always defaulted to salad at lunch, I’d find myself scarfing an entire plate of chips or going back for thirds at dinner. I wasn’t hungry but rather rebelling against the restrictive behavior of my early meals.
Many of my clients eat the same thing over and over again because they know it’s safe. They also will occasionally lose their mind on pizza, pasta, bread, and ice cream to the point of feeling sick or “sad full”, as my cousin Matt calls it.
So why do we push ourselves to sad full at dinner when we’ve been SO GOOD at lunch? Tweet this.
Many reasons, of course. But one primary reason is we never ask our physical body what she wants to eat. Often this comes down to trust because we’re terrified when we ask, our body’s answer will be, “NACHOS. CHOCOLATE. FRIED CHICKEN. NOW.” So instead we just choose salad and a ½ sandwich, even though that’s not really what we want.
So if it’s possible that the “healthy” default of salad and soup are driving you to the chips and cheese at night, how do you know what to eat?
Ah, I’m so glad you asked.
Here’s my step by step process of how to always know what to eat:
- First, check in with your physical body to see if she’s hungry. (This is actually very important. Often we eat because it’s lunch or dinner time, not because our body is experiencing hunger.)
- Ask yourself the following questions:
- What flavor do I want in my mouth right now? Salty, sweet, sour, bitter?
- What texture do I want? Crunchy, smooth, chunky, thick, thin?
- What level of richness am I craving? Do I want something light or something heavier?
- Do I want my food to be hot or cold?
After asking these questions follow your answer to choose what you’d like for lunch. (And breakfast and dinner, for that matter.)
So simple right?
Giving yourself permission to eat whatever your physical body wants seems simple but it can be a very scary thing, especially if you have a history of not trusting your body and eating from a “safe” routine.
In my upcoming Just F*cking Eat It course (enrollment begins today!) we’ll be going deep into understanding what our physical body wants, the fears that keep us from eating what we desire, and how to trust our choices without constantly second guessing or feeling guilty.
If you feel like you’ve got this “listening to your physical body” thing down and can’t wait for lunch to test out your new questions, awesome. I want to hear all about it.
And if you’re like me, who needed support to unpack all my fears and beliefs about food before I could be free to eat what I really wanted (especially around the holidays), then check out the JFEI course. All the information is right here and I’d be honored to have you.
Lots of love,
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