Give Up Dieting… and Listen to Your Body More

In this blog I wanted to share some insights from a recent discussion in the Healthy Whole and Free Forever group. This group is a continuation for those who have completed the Healthy Whole and Free Course and want to keep pursuing a healthy lifestyle. We’ve been focusing on emotional eating and the importance of trusting and listening to our bodies, especially when moving away from traditional dieting methods.

Giving Up Dieting: A Leap of Faith

Transitioning away from structured diets like Weight Watchers, Slimming World, or Atkins can feel daunting. I remember the anxiety I felt when I decided to stop dieting. It was as if I was stepping into the unknown, much like that scene from Indiana Jones where he steps out and a bridge appears beneath his feet. Letting go of diet rules and external directives is challenging because suddenly, you’re left without someone telling you what to do. Instead, you must rely on God and your own body’s signals.

Trusting Your Body

Many of us struggle to trust our bodies. You might have experienced weight gain after abandoning diets, leading to a fear of eating freely. Others worry that if they listen to their bodies, they’ll overeat or crave unhealthy foods. This fear is understandable but learning to trust our bodies and God takes practice and patience.

Practical Steps to Reconnect with Your Body

Recognise Hunger Signals:

When was the last time you felt genuinely hungry? It might be hours, days, or even months ago. If you’re not used to recognising hunger, start paying attention. Have a healthy breakfast and wait for the hunger to return, or skip breakfast and notice when you start feeling hungry.

Determine Your Eating Preferences:

At what point during hunger do you prefer to eat? Do you like to eat as soon as you feel hungry, or do you wait until you’re very hungry? Also, consider when you like to stop eating. Do you prefer feeling just not hungry, satisfied, full, or even stuffed?

Listen to Your Cravings:

Think about what you want to eat. Are you craving something warm or cool, crunchy or soft? If you’re not satisfied with your meals, you’ll likely keep searching for that satisfaction in other foods. Be flexible with meal planning and have a variety of healthy options available, allowing you to choose based on what you feel like eating at the moment.

Eat Mindfully:

Slow down while eating, avoid distractions, and focus on your food. This helps your body recognise when you’re full, making it easier to stop eating at the right time.

Identify True Desires:

If you find yourself wanting to eat when you’re not hungry, ask yourself what you truly desire. Maybe you need a break, some alone time, or a chat with a friend. Recognising these needs can help you understand that food won’t satisfy them.

Trusting in God and Your Body

As Christians, trusting our bodies goes hand-in-hand with trusting God. It’s about finding a balance and listening to both. Remember, it’s okay to eat for pleasure occasionally, but being mindful helps us know when to stop.

I hope these tips help you start trusting your body and God more. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. When was the last time you felt hungry? Do you prefer feeling full or just satisfied? Let’s continue this journey together towards a healthier, wholer, and freer life!


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