How to Listen to Your Inner Nutritionist
Did you know that you have an inner nutritionist just waiting to be heard? We all do! She knows exactly what you need to feel your best – not just with food but real nourishment. And everything gets infinitely better when you listen to her. You sleep better. You’re more productive. You get sick less often. You don't get injured as easily. And you’re even more likely to maintain a healthy weight!
But how do you learn to recognize that voice inside of you when you’ve been so busy listening to everyone else instead? It’s an ongoing process – and definitely a practice. I’ve slowly found ways to turn down the external chatter and tune inward instead. But even so, I still tune her out from time to time.
Here is the good news: no matter how long you’ve ignored your body and silenced your inner nutritionist, she’s still there for you. If you’re willing to listen, she’ll tell you everything you need to know.
As you lean in to listen, be gentle with yourself. You may occasionally forget and stay up too late checking emails when she’s telling you to “Get to bed” or eat an extra chocolate chip cookie when she’s saying, “We are done here.” When that happens, simply recommit to listening.
Here are a few of my favorite tricks for tuning in (and hearing!) your inner nutritionist’s voice:
Connect with Yourself Healing your relationship with food doesn’t happen overnight; it took you years to create your thought patterns, so it will take time, energy, and effort to shift them, too. But changing the way you think about food and your body can transform your life in amazing ways. The first step? Stop overscheduling yourself and overcommitting to everything – and everyone – else. Clear your calendar, slow down, step away from the noise, and connect to yourself.
Get Out of Your Head When we live in our heads, we become disconnected from our bodies’ own guidance, and we’re less likely to receive the messages they continually send us. Being disconnected from our bodies lets us view our physical selves through a critical lens. When you’re in your body and practicing yoga, you think, “I love flowing and hearing my own breath!” When you’re in your head, all you can hear is, “Ugh. I’m not good at this, and look at my thighs! Ick.” When you’re in your body eating breakfast, you think, “I feel so much better when I start the day with a mood-boosting smoothie!” When you’re in your head, there’s so much other noise: “How many grams of sugar are in this? I need to cut out all carbs to lose weight!”
Connecting to your inner nutritionist paves the way for incredible things to happen: you’ll begin to sense and intuit your body’s needs, from a nap to a big glass of water to a long walk to fresh air. You’ll grow to appreciate your body and all that it does for you – and to treat it with the love and respect that it deserves, as an expression of your gratitude.
Trust Your Body’s Voice What does it sound like when your inner nutritionist speaks up? How can you be sure that you hear all of her messages loud and clear? For starters: let yourself feel your feelings, even the painful and difficult ones. Listening to your voice inside is all about letting everything within you flow naturally, rather than blocking out certain thoughts or emotions.
Sometimes, listening to your inner nutritionist means paying attention to feelings of disconnection and discord. Have you ever made a decision and felt split down the middle – as though you were saying “yes” out loud, but everything inside you was screaming “NO”…? Perhaps you wish you had trusted your gut (a phrase that exists because our bodies pick up on things that our minds may not). That feeling is your inner nutritionist talking to you, and learning to listen to her can be as simple as making up your mind to hear what she’s saying, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Before long, you'll notice that your inner nutritionist holds all the wisdom you need to care for yourself in the best possible way – and that she speaks to you all day long. All you need to do is tune in, trust, and listen!
Now it’s your turn: How do you hear your inner nutritionist’s messages? Let’s inspire one another to tune out the noise and tune into ourselves.