This is, hands down, my favorite quote from Intuitive Eating. It’s found in the chapter discussing Discover the Satisfaction Factor.
When you eat for the intent to feel satisfied, it’s less likely that you will overeat or undereat given that they are both uncomfortable or painful experiences rather than satisfying experiences. It also means that you become more picky about what’s actually “worth” eating. When you slow down and taste your food, you may find that many foods aren’t as good as you thought they were. You may also find that many foods are just as good as you thought, in which case you are eating slowly enough that you can actually enjoy them.
This really hinges on giving yourself unconditional permission to eat anything you like. If you don’t, you could eat all sorts of stuff to try to avoid eating what you actually want. How many of you have wanted one thing and then eaten hundreds of calories in replacement foods to try to beat the craving…and then eaten what you wanted in the first place? With Intuitive Eating and eating for the intent to feel satisfied, you don’t have to waste time on foods that aren’t enjoyable and satisfying.
Naturally, you will self-moderate food choices if you allow yourself to eat anything. Many people claim that doesn’t work for them, but remember that giving yourself unconditional permission to eat means both physical and psychological permission. You can’t be physically eating a piece of cake while beating yourself up for eating it…that isn’t UNCONDITIONAL permission, it’s actually still very, very conditional. If you can’t ever have it again, and have already “blown it”, you better eat all of it right now before you can never have it again.
So I encourage you to remember to eat for the intent to feel satisfied. And if you don’t love it, don’t eat it. If you do love it, savor it!
Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD