Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What is "Normal Eating" Anyhow?

Normal eating is responding to physical cues that your body needs nourishment. It means eating until you are satisfied. Normal eating means eating foods you love and letting yourself have enough. It does not mean depriving yourself or stopping eating because you think you should. Normal eating means exercising some restraint and choosing foods that are good for your body but not limiting your diet so much that you miss out on special foods you might enjoy occasionally. Normal eating means granting yourself permission to eat at any time just because you feel like it, because you feel happy or sad or because you are celebrating or mourning. It means eating sometimes for absolutely no reason other than because you want to.

On some days, normal eating means eating three meals. On other days, it could mean having more or less than that. Normal eating does at times mean over-eating and at other times, under-eating. It means being flexible and it means trusting yourself and your body. Normal eating means letting your body adjust to the constant fluctuations in your moods, food choices and eating patterns. It means paying some attention to your eating, but it does not mean being rigid. It does not mean worrying about your food and body excessively. Thoughts about when and what to eat are necessary in order to feed yourself well but they should not take up the majority of your time and sometimes normal eating can mean taking care of yourself emotionally with an appropriate amount of food.

So, please enjoy your food and remember, sometimes it is OK to eat for emotional reasons as long as you know what you are doing and you're prepared to take care of yourself after.

Be well and warmest wishes, Dr. Denise

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