3 Steps to Rely on the Wisdom of the Body
Sometimes, people become intimidated by learning about the science of health. What vitamin to take and what to avoid, what food to eat and what to avoid etc. The body is talking to you all the time telling you what to do, we need only listen.
The problem with the modern world is that communication from the body has been hijacked by foods like processed wheat, sugar, stimulants, and rancid oils. Our eyes have even been hijacked by modern marketing! Does an animal ever need help choosing the right foods? Ever feel like you don't know what you should be eating because of all the conflicting information?
The best thing to do is to start learning to listen to the body.
How to Listen to Your Body
1. Remove wheat, sugar, stimulants, rancid oils, and other addictive and inflammatory foods from what you eat so that you can learn to interpret the signals you get from your body.
We know these foods are not good for the body, but we continue to eat them because the truth is, our bad food choices come mostly from automatic behaviors.
There are several factors that can influence eating habits and food choices. People who are overweight find it hard to change their habits not because they don’t care about their health, but because of factors that contribute to automatic behaviors, such as food marketing, accessibility, and quantity .
Another problem is people may not be aware that these automatic behaviors are mostly unconscious behaviors, which are done without intention and continue without control. When people do become aware of it, they draw on self-control and willpower to try to put an end to these automatic behaviors. But like strength or energy, both self-control and willpower are limited resources, which is why they often fail. 
People who are aware of their bad eating habits tend to feel guilty about their poor food choices. Instead of relying on self-control or willpower to quit food addictions or poor eating habits, the first thing you need to do is recognize that you are playing a victim to the habit. When you are encountering this challenge, try to recognize it and say to yourself that you’re playing a victim to the habit. This repeated recognition of one’s habit eventually gives you the strength to stop. Watch this video to learn more about what you need to do when willpower is not working.
2. Realize that it often takes one to two days before eating something that isn't good for you before it will make you feel "off."
That could be low energy level, irritability, poor digestion or it could be the opposite, higher energy, elevated mood, or normal digestion.
Learn to extend your awareness beyond the immediate one to two days, so you can become better observers of your health.
The same goes with stress. If you find yourself suffering from a sudden stressful situation or you are overreacting to something that actually isn't serious, you fall into the trap of what a teacher of mine, Gerald Epstein, MD, calls a "False Emergency State." The symptoms of that in your body can also take one to two days to show and the effect can be same as when you eat unhealthy food.
When you’re getting rid of unhealthy foods and extend your awareness beyond the immediate, the telephone line between your body and your awareness gets cleared up and you can begin to get the message, start listening, and taking action.
3. Pause and listen.
I have often talked about looking at health from five different levels, such as the Five Levels of Resistance When Starting a Healthy Diet Planand The Five Levels of Walking. We always take a look at health from these five levels: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual.
As for removing unhealthy food from your diet, that is just the physical level of learning how to listen to your body. What about the emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual?
In order to build healthy emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual lives, we also need to learn to pause to listen. Listen to your emotions and what your mind is saying whenever you’re about to make health decisions. Take a look at how your social life is also influencing your food choices or health decisions. Spiritually, what beliefs or principles guide you and give you inspiration to choose what is right for your health?
In one sense there are two actions here, just like in communication. There is talking and then listening, there is prayer and there is blessing, there is giving and receiving. Are you balanced in these areas? How can you then bring this to help our health? Have we started to extend our awareness and pay attention to the signals of our body?
Remove the unhealthy foods, extend your awareness by one to two days, and start listening and you might find at that point that the message has been there all along. And when you do respond back, you will make more progress than you ever did following the latest guru or health fad.
Your body has an innate intelligence of its own. You are your own best authority once you un-clutter the signals. After all, you were made in the image and likeness of God.
1 Cohen, D., & Farley, T. A. (2008, January). Retrieved from
2 Nisbett, Richard & Wilson, Timothy. (1977). Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes. Psychological Review. 84. 231-259. 10.1037/0033-295X.84.3.231.
3 Baumeister, Roy & Muraven, Mark & Tice, Dianne. (2000). Ego Depletion: A Resource Model of Volition, Self-Regulation, and Controlled Processing. Social Cognition. 18. 130-150. 10.1521/soco.2000.18.2.130.