Many of us have heard of intuitive eating. It sounds good. It sounds difficult. It sounds…interesting. So how is it accomplished?
Well, to be able to practice intuitive eating properly, you have to have good intuition. Working intuition.
I was not always good at this. But I am now. It is how I eat.
In order to do this, you first have to really want what is best for your body and do what it tells you at all costs.
As I'm sure you may well know, this can be extremely difficult. If you can't do this or your body doesn't accurately tell you what it wants when it wants it, you are not ready to do intuitive eating that way it needs to be done to keep you healthy.
I've found that a strict meal plan can keep a person in a restrictive mindset--it was always the case for me. You can, however, follow a meal plan that incorporates intuitive eating. That is, one that leaves room for your own desires and inclinations. It's designed to give you what you need, has lots of guidelines, but is loose enough to make you feel comfortable. For example, if a strict meal plan keeps you in a restrictive mindset, a looser meal plan that provides basics to go by (types of things you should always eat) plus some room for playing around with intuitive eating might be the way to go.
The bonus to this approach is that you slowly learn your body, its responses, and are able to listen to yourself without worrying you will go crazy and have major setbacks.
I'm no nutritionist, but I would suggest integrating intuitive eating into a regular food plan so you can get the hang of it and be ready to try it in the future if you're ready and able. There are some who rave about intuitive eating and say it's always the way to go, and there's nothing wrong with it, but it's not for everyone right away. It takes practice. Relying solely on intuitive eating right from the start might not be a good thing. If you eat based on intuition for two days and then review what you ate and your intake wasn't enough to be considered healthy and nutritional, then you need to work on some more things first before using intuitive eating on a daily basis.
But it can be a goal.
As I said earlier, intuitive eating requires working intuition. :)
Advice? Talk to your therapist/nutritionist/parents/spouse and tell them that you are having trouble recognizing the signs of being full/hungry and the other things that go along with that, like poor perception of proper intake, etc. See if a looser meal plan might work for you—a plan where there is space for you to play around with what you eat as you become more in tune with yourself and your body, and as you make your way farther along on the path of recovery. It takes time to learn yourself again. Be patient. Be kind.