March 17, 2014

Intuitive Eating: What it is & Why I’m Doing It.

I first heard of intuitive eating as a “thing” on a twitter chat a couple of months ago. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t really think any more about it until just before the Princess Half when I started researching it online. I then ended up buying the book “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works” on my iPad to keep me busy on my flight back from Disney. I read through about a third of the book on my flight and have been slowly working through the rest as I can.

intuitiveeating

Simply put, diets do not work for me in the long run. Over the years I have tried a few and they all had the same thing in common, either they had long lists food restrictions, or in some cases the diet is so restrictive that they give a list of foods you are allowed to eat instead since that list is much smaller, or they require you to “count” your food.

Whether it be points, macronutrient ratios, or calories I absolutely hate counting my food. I see how keeping a food log can help one realize just how much they have or  haven’t ate, but what happens when you have eaten your allotted calories for the day and are legitimately still hungry? Here is where intuitive eating just makes more since to me. 

Much like it sounds, intuitive eating is all about learning to trust your body to tell you what, when, and how much to eat. It sounds simple enough, but unlike all the diets out there you can’t just print out a shopping list and be on your way. Instead there is a lengthy road ahead of you as you work through the 10 principles of intuitive eating.

DietPrinciple 1 is to reject the diet mentality. For many, years of dieting and watching everything that they eat has been ingrained into their brains so this principle can be a huge first step to breaking free from their serial dieting.

I haven’t been a huge dieter, although I have always “watched what I ate” for as long as I can remember. Kicking the diet mentality has gone pretty well for me, but I do find myself trying to revert back to some dieting “tricks” I picked up along the way every once in awhile. On the bright side I am more aware of them now so they are not as much of a habit as they use to be, and I realize what I am doing.

Principle 2, honoring your hunger, is where I am currently at. I feel I will probably be stuck here for quite awhile. After suffering from an eating disorder in my younger teen years, being hungry doesn’t bother me all that much so I have to relearn my hunger cues. Not only do I need to learn what my cues are, but then I also need to honor them. I am notorious for not knowing what I want to eat, which is usually more of a battle between what I really want to eat and what I feel I *should* eat, which leads to me delaying my meal until I am starving and then I eat anything and everything I can get in my mouth fast enough to try and catch up to my hunger.

Yes, we can all see the flaw in this method, yet I do it over and over again and I really seem to be surprised each time it happens.   

I will be covering the other 8 principle in future posts, as I am working on them myself, but a few things you should know, and keep in mind, about intuitive eating is that it is not so much a weight loss program as it is a listening to your body thing. Also your body has a natural weight, which probably will not be the weight you want it to be, so you have to dump the scale and trust how you feel.

born intuitive eaterThrough observations over the years I know that my body likes to hang around 145 lbs. That is a weight I can usually maintain easily and the weight my body tends to naturally fall back into time after time. For my 5’4” body that put me on the high end of normal, according to all the BMI charts, but about 10-15 pounds over what they feel my “ideal” weight is. I fully expect, that through intuitive eating, I will find myself right back at that weight but I am hoping to switch some of my fat weight over to muscle weight through exercise and weight training.    

Have you ever heard of or done intuitive eating before? What other “diets” or “lifestyle changes” have you tried in the past?

16 comments:

  1. Very interesting concept - I like it! I kickstarted my diet in 2012 with Jenny Craig. Yes, it was a diet, but I took it as more than a diet. I used it as my learning opportunity. What the correct portion sizes are, and the correct number of servings per day of each type of food group. It was incredibly helpful and it worked for me! After about 3 months of Jenny Craig, I was able to do the rest myself.

    I really like this intuitive eating vs diet though. If I had known about this a couple years ago, I totally would have gone for it! Does it explain if you can predict when you'll be hungry though? I find I get hungry at the exact same times every single day. Is that out of habit or out of true hunger? Like which came first, the chicken or the egg? lol

    I am definitely looking forward to more posts on this!

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    1. I haven't seen anything directly addressing that yet, but I'll let you know if I do.
      I would think it could be a little of both. If you have set yourself on a strict, timed, eating schedule most likely your body has adapted to that and using it's energy accordingly.

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  2. Interesting Summer! I can't wait to hear more as well.

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  3. I've never heard of "intuitive eating" but I have made some "lifestyle" changes in my diet. cutting out the junk and definitley not sticking to a "diet" so much as just striving to eat healthier and make better choices. Hope it goes well for you! #imfitpossible

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    1. Thank you, Jeremy! I think cutting out the junk is the best step to take. Diets tend to make me just want all the junk I can't have and normally wouldn't care about.

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  4. I have issues with food...I love to eat and its hard for me to stop....but this concept sounds really interesting. Can't wait to hear more about it.

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    1. What I love about the program is they address this issue. They take the stance that it is easier for you to stop eating when you know you can eat again anytime you need to. Even if it is only an hour later. It's designed to get rid of the feast and famine cycle.

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  5. I have never heard of this before. As a nutrition teacher I have many books with many different theories on eating such as eating only the "magic foods" and eating according to the Glycemic index, and what not. Will be interested in learning more about this.

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    1. I have a very difficult time with diets like those because even if I never really eat certain thing as soon as I can't have it I'm going to instantly want them.

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  6. I think I am about 10 pounds over what my body wants to weigh - because it takes a LOT of work to get under that number. I could probably benefit from reading this book!

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    1. Kristen I am really enjoying it. I feel like so much of it is my life! If you do read it I would love to discuss it with you!

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  7. I am looking forward to your other posts about this! I've never heard of intuitive eating but it makes sense. I've tried many diets but never learn anything good from them or had the weight stay off, maybe this is my solution.

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    1. That is why I was so drawn to it. It really makes since to me. Plus a lot of the side effects about dieting that they mention I have seen myself.

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  8. Yes!!! My friend Cam has talked about this for years and I definitely find it interesting. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say. xo

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    1. Has she been doing it for years?
      I think if I can get my head into it it will be really good for me. I have unknowingly done something similar in the past and at the very least maintained my weight. At this point not gaining is a success.

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