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Episode 95: Intuitive Eating 101

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Summary

Can you imagine a world where weight loss happens without counting calories? Where food no longer consumes your thoughts? Where treats happen without guilt? Where you feel in control of your cravings? Where you don't have to pick between your goal weight and your favorite foods? Where becoming your healthiest, fittest self is actually enjoyable?

Believe it or not, all of that can be your reality. The key to claiming it as such? Intuitive eating. 

What is intuitive eating? According to Healthline, intuitive eating is, "a philosophy of eating that makes you the expert of your body and its hunger signals. Essentially it's the opposite of a traditional diet. It doesn't impose guidelines about what to avoid and what or when to eat."

This way of approaching food and weight loss is what I strive for with all of my clients, and whenever they experience it, the word that comes out of their mouth is 'freedom.' 

Take, for example, my client, we'll call her Kendall. As a baker, she has struggled for years with overdoing it on the sweets and treats that live at her house on a daily basis. Since high school she's done countless diets, lost weight, put it back on, and ultimately gained close to 100 pounds. 

When she came to me, she was ready to do something different. She wanted to build a different relationship with food, she wanted to find healthier ways to cope with stress besides sugar, and she wanted to set a healthy example for her daughters. 

After just one week of working together, she's already experienced the joys of intuitive eating. 

Shortly after receiving this message, we got on a coaching call and she told me how the evening before she was laying in bed and had the desire to snack. But instead of falling back into autopilot and just heading to the pantry, she asked herself, "Am I really hungry?" 

This simple question gave her enough space and time to realize that the craving wasn't born of hunger, but just from the habit of snacking in bed while watching tv. And with awareness came the power to make a different choice.

And that's what intuitive eating is about: slowing yourself down, getting out of autopilot, and harnessing awareness of your body's cues so you can respond accordingly. 

With that in mind, here are some tips to get you started on your intuitive eating path:

  • Hungry? Do the HEP Check: Is the hunger Habitual, Emotional, or Physical?
  • Follow the Rule of 7: Before eating, check in how hungry you are on a scale of 1-10 (1 is full, 10 is starving), only eat when you're around a 7. During eating, check in how full you are on a scale of 1-10 (1 is starving, 10 is stuffed). Again, stop eating when you're at a 7.
  • Slow down. Set your fork down between bites, remove distractions, drink your food and chew your drinks. 
  • Process your emotions instead of using food to soothe them.
  • Make it enjoyable. Find recipes that honor both your body and your taste buds. 
  • Listen carefully to your body. Pay attention to how different foods make your body feel.

Getting started with intuitive eating is accessible for everyone and you can start enjoying the benefits of these tools immediately.

However it can be more difficult when our gut health is off track because that can cause a shift in your hunger hormones, metabolism, and cravings that make it harder to trust your body's signals. 

If you fear that may be you, click here to schedule a consultation to see if my 30-day Unleash Reset is the right step for you. In those 30 days I'll help you optimize your gut to make intuitive eating even more effective and doable. 

 

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Reference: Precision Nutrition

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