I’ve been using Intuitive eating lately to help guide my food choices and it has been a true game changer. I give my body the fuel it needs and wants, when it wants it. And, I’ve discovered much including…
- Less obsession with food
- Stabilized weight
- Less overeating
- Which foods my body needs for the best energy, sleep and overall sense of wellbeing.
- And, much more.
If you want to learn more, keep reading!!!
What is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating involves tuning into your body and eating based on its cues. At the most basic level it is eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. As you learn how to implement intuitive eating, it guides not only when to eat but what to eat. By listening to your body’s signals you can determine what it needs.
Learning to use intuitive eating especially for the chronic or frequent dieter takes time. Honestly, maybe it’s a lifelong journey? I am still working on implementing this approach fully in my life. But, in the past six months, I feel that much has been repaired in my relationship with food.
Who will benefit the most from learning to eat intuitively?
Intuitive eating is quite simply perfect for just about anyone. It’s a very natural approach to food and eating. And likely there are many people who simply eat this way without any thought.
But for some you ( and me as well), it is actually a much needed shift in our approach to food. This shift will free us from so many bad habits and a negative mindset relating to food. For us, discovering intuitive eating is a process and will likely take time.
If you identify with one of these dieting personas, intuitive eating may be the answer to the constant dieting. You will learn to listen to your body and focus on your overall health.
What kind of dieter are you?
The yo-yo dieter
The yo-yo dieter is always on the hunt for a new and improved diet to help you achieve your weight goals. Each time you get excited knowing that this time, you will be successful. And yes, you lose weight and look great, but eventually you revert back to your old ways of eating. Then, the weight comes back as well. And, you find yourself actually gaining more weight back, and now you weigh more than you did when the diet started. Over time, this leads to a messed up metabolism and losing weight keeps getting more and more difficult.
As a binger, you successfully start a diet and do well for a while. But eventually, you begin craving all the foods you can’t have on your current diet. Eventually when you can’t stand another moment of restriction, you cave in. But rather than eating just a tiny bit of your favorite foods, you overeat. Ending in feeling both physically sick from eating too much as well as emotionally defeated because once again you failed at a diet.
The obsessed food seeker
When obsessed by food you are constantly thinking about what you will eat next. Always planning and seeking out food. Often you are eat without being hungry. Overtime, your body has desensitized itself to the signs of hunger. You may not have any idea what hunger actually feels like any longer because you are eating and overeating all the time.
The social avoider
Another aspect of chronic dieting are the social ramifications that it may have on your life. Think about it, you don’t go to a dinner with friends or a party because you just started a diet and you don’t trust yourself to stick to your diet. Since you are constantly dieting, you miss out on tons of good times with your friend or family and become quite isolated. Eating becomes a chore, it is surrounded by rules and is no longer something you enjoy.
If you are a restrictor, you approach food from the perspective of what you can’t eat. There are long lists and strategies that you constantly follow to make sure you don’t gain weight. At times, you even restrict major food groups that provide your body with valuable nutrients. Unfortunately, this approach has led to the point where it consumes your life and you no longer receive any pleasure from eating. As a result of restricting yourself for so long, you find yourself lacking energy and an overall sense of just not feeling well.
An eater with a combination of traits
You may be someone who actually identifies with some or ALL of these types of eaters. They all resonate with me and while I have a little bit of all of them in me though some are more prevalent than others. And I have also found that some are more difficult to set aside.
My lifetime of dieting in a nutshell
The early years
I can’t tell you when my first diet actually took place. But for sure, in high school I was aware that I was curvier than the other girls and that my pants size was definitely bigger than all my friends. The first time I do remember following a strict diet was the summer between my sophomore and junior year in college. I had gained some weight after two years of dorm food and decided it was time to work on it.
I counted calories, started exercising, and was successful. I went back to school that fall feeling great about what I achieved and how I I looked. I stayed fairly consistent at that weight for a while and even dropped to my thinnest at some point in my early twenties.
The many diets I’ve tried
In my late twenties, the weight started creeping on. And I began trying out many different diets during that time. Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, The Cabbage Soup Diet and many more I don’t even remember. I would lose some of the weight and then it’d come back along with an extra 5 – 10 pounds. During this time, I hated how I looked. I wouldn’t wear a swimsuit in pubic. I skipped weekends with friends because I was either dieting or didn’t want to be seen in a swimsuit. I missed out on living some incredible moments in my life.
And later on
As I entered my forties, I found myself overweight – actually at my highest weight ever. In addition, I was single for the first time in over a decade. With the prospect of dating on the horizon and needing to improve my self-esteem, I committed to Weight Watchers and did well for quite a while though the weight was slower in coming off than before. Eventually, after several years, this weight loss method lost its appeal and the weight came back.
Stepping away from dieting and discovering intuitive eating
In the last year, I have stepped away from dieting and been allowing myself to eat as I feel I want.
What I have found during this time is that my weight has stabilized. I don’t weigh any less, but I haven’t gained any either. For me, that is a big change because my weight has steadily been creeping up since that last Weight Watcher experience.
Today, I am much more aware of how food makes me feel. This shift allows me to make healthier choices simply because I want to feel well. And to be honest, it is much easier to make healthy food decisions when it’s about your overall sense of well-being than when it’s about losing weight.
Becoming an intuitive eater is a process. And to be honest, I am still working to implement the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating into my life. But, I can already see changes and I firmly believe that while I am not at my ideal weight according to all the charts, I am healthy. And, I more frequently make healthy food choices these days than not because I know that will provide me with the most energy and make me feel at my best.
I see that there are some behaviors that are deeply entrenched and will require more work than others. But like I said earlier, it’s a process and one that I may actually be working towards for the rest of my life.
I believe in Intuitive Eating. I see how it has benefited me. Also, I have read tons of stories about how it has helped others as well. It is my mission to share this approach to eating with you and other women who have had similar struggles with weight and food in life.
If this is a struggle you can relate to, it is my deepest hope to work with you and others through making this shift to help you achieve diet freedom while at the same time building healthy eating and lifestyle habits. In this process you will make peace with food and also find yourself reenergized by your new healthy habits.
Stay tuned to learn more about Intuitive Eating as I write about more about it on the blog. What are your thoughts on Intuitive Eating? Do you think this type of approach to food would help you? Do you have any questions about how Intuitive Eating works? Leave me a comment or question here in the comments or send me a private message via social media or using the contact form on the website. I would love to hear from you.
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A huge part of Intuitive Eating is a focus on building healthy habits that support your ability to listen to your body. Check out these posts and pages for further reading!!