Journeying Towards Peace with Food While Homebound
By Amy Carlson, MS, RD & Megan Osborne, Ph.D
April 22, 2020
Whether you have always been an intuitive eater or just starting on your journey toward peace with food, being homebound can present challenges:
How long will this box of crackers last?
Will the grocery store have the food I want/need?
How quickly will we run out of milk?
What if I don’t have enough?
Nearly everyone is asking themselves these same questions. These questions themselves have the potential to disrupt your journey towards peace with food, and create a scarcity mindset. A scarcity mindset can perpetuate, or stir up, unhealthy patterns of behavior around food. Reclaiming your mind-space begins with understanding that your body is designed with natural rhythms of hunger and fullness. Your ability to listen to, and honor, your hunger and fullness cues has not changed based on what food is available, or the circumstances around you. Your schedule and eating patterns may have been shaken up, but your ability to listen to and honor your body is not.
Remember, your body is designed to tell you when it needs fuel. Most often, we control and restrict our eating during the day…leaving room for potential night binging. Manipulating our food has simply been a part of our culture. If you find yourself in a disruptive pattern of under and/or over eating, we can begin by observing our pattern during the earlier part of the day. Most often your body is asking for what it didn’t get. Pay attention to nourishing yourself until you are full and satisfied throughout the day. This allows your body to take in nourishing fuel and use it, and the disruptive patterns dissipate when you honor your body’s hunger and fullness cues and rhythms.
Our culture’s tendency is to gravitate toward restriction and manipulation. What if you were free to be yourself and listen… full of grace and compassion? This is about maintaining who you are during challenging times. You are not alone, we are all in this together.
Intuitive eating is the process of recovering internal cues, which includes eating in response to hunger and satiety versus responding solely to emotions and external rules. There are thousands of studies that have shown how intuitive eating helps people develop a healthier relationship with food resulting in improvements in blood pressure, lipids, weight loss, and cardiorespiratory fitness. In addition, intuitive eating has positive psychological benefits including decreased depression and anxiety, increased self-esteem, and improved body image.
Schaefer JT & Magnuson AB. (2014). A review of interventions that promote eating by internal cues. J Acad Nutr Diet; 114: 734-760.