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Additionally, I am not a doctor; just a mama basing this information off of my own experiences as a mother, athlete, and prior research. Please consult your doctor before proceeding with any of the following information!
Everyone’s body is different; you have probably heard this a million times. This means that your body will react differently to certain foods and eating habits than mine will and mine may do the same to yours. With that said, it is essential to get to know your body, it’s reactions, why it reacts, and how you can eat to accommodate to it, in order to feel and look your best.
Here’s the thing, learning your body is a constant journey, so while reading this post, I want you to take into consideration that you WILL, most definitely, have ups and downs in your eating habits. Some days you may feel like you know exactly what your body needs in order to thrive, be a mom, and look great doing it. Others, you may feel like something is missing from your nutritional routine or something you are consuming, is all of a sudden, bothering you. It really is a day to day process of listening to your body’s needs and basing your nutritional decisions off of what will fuel your body best for the tasks at hand.
In this post, we will talk about a number of things; intuitive body cues (when to eat and when to not), how variables like allergies affect your decisions, eating to your goals, and how to apply all of this to your family’s eating routine too.
Intuitive Body Cues
What are intuitive body cues?
Intuitive body cues are the signals your body communicates with you, in order to meet its needs (in this post’s case, feed to its needs).
Your body is smart and will tell you what it needs for the very task at hand. It will also tell you what it is missing in order to perform its best, and on the contrary, what needs to be taken out because of potential harm. It is up to us to listen to it and meet its needs.
How do you know what your body is saying?
This is essential, Mama! Learning to listen to what your body needs, when it needs fuel, or when it needs time to digest/rest will guide you in to knowing when/what to eat and when/what to stop eating.
Hunger cues are your body’s way of telling you when it needs fuel. As a busy mom, it is essential to listen to them. Here are some examples:
- Your stomach growls
- You feel shakey or dizzy
- You feel your energy level drop
- Your stomach feels empty
- You have an upset stomach
- You are easily irritable (the hangry mommy!!!) and/or have a headache
- You are having trouble paying attention to what you are doing.
This is when your body is content with the fuel you have provided it. This is also the way your body tries to stop you from over-eating. Here is the main cue that your body could be using to tell you that it is content:
- You are no longer hungry/your stomach feels satisfied
Simple right? In order to notice that your body is telling you these messages, you HAVE to make an effort to pay attention to it. Ask yourself, “am I hungry or am I eating out of boredom or emotional fatigue?” Use the above cues to answer that question. Fueling your body, based on what it needs and the cues you are presented with, involves a mental shift from basing your meals off your caloric intake, to basing it off of what your body is actually telling you.
Decision Effecting Variables
Your decision on what to fuel your body will depend on a few different variables. It is important to take these variables into account when eating. As I stated this above, everyone’s body is different and responds differently to different foods/ways of eating.
Food Allergies & Sensitivities
Many people have food allergies and sensitivities that can affect the way they feel after eating a certain food. Also, many people have food allergies or sensitivities that they don’t even know that they have (this includes your kids).
There are two ways to find out if you have an allergy or sensitivity to a specific food:
- Allergy Test (through blood tests, skin tests, or challenge tests)
- Elimination Diet (Eliminating all possible allergens for 30 days and re-introducing them back into your diet, one at a time, while recording how they make your body feel.
A few common food allergies and Sensitivities are:
- Gluten or Wheat
- Peanuts or Tree Nuts
Your fitness and health goals are also an important variable to consider when eating, according to your body. Moreover, different ways of eating result in different results towards reaching your goals. A few examples of this are:
- A high-protein, high-fat, & low-carb plan (You may know this as the Keto Diet), is used to lose weight, lean out, or can also be used to bulk, depending on your method. This is also a great way to sustain a consistent, whole foods diet if done intuitively.
- A high-carbohydrate, high-protein, & low-fat plan is usually used to gain weight and put on muscle.
Those are just 2 common ways of eating towards your goals. When deciding your approach, it is important to take into consideration what will fit into your daily routine, as a mom, in the simplest way possible. If creating habits around a high-fat diet is not realistic for your season of life and motherhood, a different method may be better. It is also important to remember that there are no “rules” to methods of fueling your body. While there are guidelines to help guide you, listening to your body and doing what works best for your situation is the optimum way to maintain a healthy routine.
Applying The Same Principles To Your Family
All of this information is great and all, but applying these principles to your family can seem like a daunting venture. The thing is, it does NOT have to be complicated at all!
With toddlers and little ones, it is easy to put whatever you are eating on their plate. Chances are because mommy is eating it, they will enjoy it too. As they get older, it is important to begin to communicate to them why you eat this way and why you are encouraging them to, as well. A simple talk like, “when I eat cookies, they make my stomach feel bad, but when I eat chicken, my body feels good”, is a great place to start.
Your kids will model after you and most likely want to be a part of the venture you are on. Encourage them that the food you are eating is yummy and the reason behind you eating it is to fuel your body so that it can go play. The Fat Fueled Family describes this method well!
As I mentioned before, this process does not have to be complicated. With that said, begin with small steps such as incorporating these habits into your family’s dinner agenda. Then, move to add this into the rest of your family’s meals and snacks. Remember, this is more about incorporating mindfulness and listening to your body, rather than the actual food itself (which is equally important, but begins with understanding your body’s needs). Furthermore, this will require conversation, encouragement, and leading by example.
I have some exciting news! If you struggle with feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and exhausted when it comes to working out and eating healthy or struggle to balance a fitness routine and your busy schedule at the same time, I’m going to be honest, you’re probably not seeing great results…
The good news is,
is that I just launched my 6-Week Love Your Healthy Life; Transformation Program for moms! In this program I will help you develop a healthy workout and eating routine that fits YOUR lifestyle, give you all of the tools to effectively listen to your mombod in order to see the best results, deliver 6 weeks of functional, mama-specialized workouts and alternative workout ideas to do with your baby/toddler, and teach you how to eat according to your body and your situation. The Love Your Healthy Life Program was created to help you achieve (and share with your littles) a truly healthy lifestyle that you love and wake up every day at peace with.