Why honoring your hunger cues is essential…
Do you recognize feelings of hunger? How do you respond?
If you’ve gotten into the habit of ignoring your feelings of hunger or intentionally under-eating when they come up, it’s time to tune back in…
Here’s what happens when you get into the habit of ignoring your hunger cues:
It becomes harder to recognize them. If you can no longer feel hunger and fullness you’ll have a hard time maintaining energy.
You start to crave junk. It’s likely that if you’re ignoring hunger cues you’re also paying little attention to what food you might actually need to power through your dancing.
A common practice that encourages you to ignore your hunger altogether:
It’s true. Most diets suggest that you ignore your hunger cues and under eat to meet your goals. I’m sure you’ve heard the myth of “Calories in vs. Calories Out” and the principle that to lose weight all you need to do is create a calorie deficit.
So many dancers fall into the trap of severely under-eating to meet body goals. This compromises your bone health, energy and strength.
The value of listening to your body:
Dance training and development is served by the ability to tune in closely to your body. The ability to know when to stop dancing due to injury is invaluable and knowing when to eat more to support your dancing is equally essential.
Many dancer’s have a hard time with both those skills – do you?
By listening to your body you’ll avoid worsening an injury as it’s starting – early injury intervention can of course help lessen time away from dance and speed recovery time.
When you listen to your body and give it the food it needs when it needs it you’re boosting immunity, keeping cravings at bay and supporting strong muscles and bones.
If you’re already disconnected from your body’s cues:
Put some regular practices in place to start to tune back in.
Dancer’s often say, “it feels good when I feel hungry.” While I understand where they’re coming from (yes, I’ve been there) when you get to a place where you feel good when you’re running on empty, it’s possible you’re in disordered eating territory. Obviously, there are other factors but if you relate to that feeling – take a closer look.
The more disconnected you get from your bodies cues, the harder it is to find balance with food and to reach your personal best body.
You’ll also be more likely to give into cravings and fall into patterns of under eating or restricting and overeating or binging.
Ready to tune into your bodies cues? Here’s how to get started:
- Make sure you keep healthy snacks handy – that way when hunger strikes, you’ll be able to respond.
- Stay aware of the timing of your meals and snacks and follow the 5-hour Rule.
- When you’re hungry, EAT.
- While you eat, pay attention to how you feel (physically, mentally AND emotionally).
- Stop eating BEFORE you’re “full”.
- If you use an app to track your food intake and calories, STOP.
- Try to move away from letting food choices be influenced by friends or family.
- Consider joining the September 2019 round of The Dancer’s Best Body Program where this is one of the many topics we tackle!! CLICK HERE for the VIP waitlist.