Ask yourself “How do I know?”

One of the biggest differences between diets and Intuitive Eating relates to the topic of certainty. For all the harm that they do, diets do promise an (illusory) sense of knowing what’s up – how many calories you are supposedly consuming in that packet of Cheez-Its, the supposed safety of not eating after 6 pm, the moral superiority of sweet potatoes over – gasp – bottom-dwelling white potatoes. When we believe in this certainty, we feel safe and right. Without that certainty, we can feel unmoored.
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The beauty of leaning into that uncertainty is one of the benefits of Intuitive Eating, however. We will never really know for sure how many calories we are consuming, at what time of the day our metabolism peaks, whether there is some genetic peculiarity that makes us tolerate some foods better than others. We have only our bodies and the sensations they use to communicate with us to “know.”
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This is why a useful question to add to your repertoire is “How do I know?”
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How do I know that I’m hungry? That I’m this hungry? That I want to eat that? That I’m getting full? That I feel satisfied? That I want to move? That I want to move this way? That I’m tired? That I’m sad? That I’m happy? That I’m disappointed? That I feel any one or many of these ways.
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The way that we KNOW in Intuitive Eating is different from the way we know that 2+2=4. It is less cognitive and more somatic. And it gives way to greater knowing in all parts of our lives.