BLOG 316 INTUITIVE EATING
Our bodies speak to us. Signals of hunger, pain, emotion, etc. tell us an action is required. The act of eating is mandatory, but certainly not a science we all have down pact. Intuitive eating is an anti-diet line of thinking that involves listening to your body’s hunger cues and responding accordingly. I’m not sure how I feel about this approach, but I figured some solid research might help us understand this concept better.
Intuitive eating was an approach I discovered while reading the weight loss memoir by Kelsey Miller (2016), Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting & Got A Life. Kelsey is a writer for Refinery29 in New York and she created a project for herself at work that got world-wide attention. She decided to write her articles on her own journey of intuitive eating coming from a background of a lifetime dieter seeking a way to find a suitable relationship with food. She simply ate what she wanted, when she wanted, because she knew that if she wanted more she could have it. There was no restriction or off-limit foods. Having that in mind let her have a couple bites of French Fries instead of attacking them on her plate then asking her friend to polish off their serving. This approach takes some serious self-control.
This led me to that classic Google search. And I came across Intuitiveeating.org. There is an entire community of counselors and books available. Here are their 10 Principles: (http://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/).
1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently.
2. Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat.
3. Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat.
4. Challenge the Food Police .Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake.
5. Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence–the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience.
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food.
8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint.
9. Exercise–Feel the Difference Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference.
10 Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy.
This surely sounds like the diet to end all diets, but gosh there’s not a lot of structure. I think that if we all could just tune into our hunger and put down the fork when we should, well there would be a whole lot less obesity in this world. If only it were this simple. But I think the principle of this approach is great…. just don’t know many who can successfully do it. For example, here’s a clip from another article I read, “Some days, my body needed french fries. Other days, a big salad. Sometimes I’d have two breakfasts because I was just that hungry. Other days, a light dinner was more than enough. I learned that a small piece of dark chocolate could actually satisfy a craving and that I didn’t actually need three glasses of wine with dinner to enjoy it. Butter, burgers, donuts — nothing was off limits as long as I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full (but not stuffed). It took a few months, but it’s funny how once you realize you can actually have any food at any time, a lot of food’s irresistible draw vanishes” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennipher-walters/intuitive-eating_b_3976172.html).
I personally may not relate to this approach, but I’m in full support of those clients who can do this. In fact, maybe I envy them haha. Every BODY is different so we all have to find what works for us best. If logging food and counting calories sends you into a resistance mode to not follow orders, then by all means find another way. If 30 day tactics work for you, then do it. Lifestyle change my friends. That’s what I believe. And one better choice at a time we are getting to that level of success we are aiming for.