Yes, there is an adjustment period as you learn to leave your diet mentality behind. You aren’t used to listening for hunger.
In this preliminary stage, stay calm, slow down a bit and actively listen. If you decide to eat for reasons other than hunger, at least own that. Then, see if eating that actually made anything better. And then, next time, try delaying for 10 minutes. See how you feel. Delay for 20 minutes. See how you feel.
And what you will realize is that if you can just delay long enough, you will have the far more rewarding experience of actually eating when you are hungry. There is no better or more enjoyable time to eat.
Remember, you will be hungry several times every day. That means that another eating experience is right around the corner. This isn’t denial. This is delaying until your hunger and your eating match up, as Mother Nature intended.
Dieting has made you think eating with a regimented plan is the way to be good. NO, that is the way to ignore your own body’s voice. If you don’t listen to it, who will? You are it!
Dieting taught you to eat when you weren’t hungry and to eat foods you don’t love. And it taught you to not eat when you ARE hungry. No wonder you don’t know when or how much or what to eat!
Don’t feel guilty about that. You were trying to do the right thing. Just take it easy, and start the enjoyable journey back to how you were born. Eating when you were hungry, spitting it out at your parents when you weren’t, and crying if no one fed you. Simple. Smart. Harmonious. Responsive.