Since everyone else today seems to be asking “What Is Normal Eating?” (Psych Central blog, New York Times Wellness blog, Feed Me I’m Cranky blog), I figured I should address it here – at the official “Normal Eating” Web site.
“Normal eating” means eating according to body wisdom – which then begs the question, “What is body wisdom?”
As I wrote in a previous post on why people are overweight, “Body wisdom is an inborn attraction to the foods that our body needs for nutrition. It tells us exactly what, when, and how much to eat.”
- Going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied.
- Being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.
- Leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, rather than eating more now because they taste so wonderful.
- Trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating.
- Giving eating some of your time and attention, but as only one important area of your life.
The problem is, emotional eaters can’t just decide to do this. If you are driven by compulsion and food cravings, you can’t eat according to body wisdom. Nor can you eat according to body wisdom if you’re eating a lot of processed foods, since these are literally engineered to use body wisdom against you.
And of course, the compounding problem is that emotional eaters cannot choose to forego processed food because of compulsion and food cravings!
There’s a way out of this, and it’s not dieting. “Normal Eating” (both words capitalized) is also a method – a method for overcoming emotional eating so you can make food choices and eat according to body wisdom. The method is laid out in detail in my book Normal Eating for Normal Weight. The accompanying support forum helps you apply the ideas to your own life.
If you are an emotional eater or if you eat a lot of processed food, you are probably overweight. The solution is not dieting. In fact, if you are a dieter, you also are probably overweight because 95% of dieters regain any weight they may have lost, plus some. The solution to overeating is Normal Eating.
Are you a normal eater, or have you experienced normal eating? How do you define it?