The ideas that I have written about this week are potentially more useful to people who are tracking their food. I have given ideas of how they can be implemented if you are not tracking but they will not work for everyone.
I understand that for a lot of people, ideas like taking a diet break or reverse dieting can seem very difficult for people who don’t track their food intake.
I know that ideas like reverse dieting can be quite advanced and I hope that I’ve broken it into simple terms for you. However, if you have any questions feel free to reach out.
Today I kind of wanted to flip things on their head and bring you more from the intuitive eating and the mindful eating space.
Intuitive eating is a movement that is not new, but it’s definitely gaining traction at the moment.
It is about rejecting the idea of dieting, I think in terms of language this is very, very powerful. I, myself have tried to talk about deficits and habits, rather than ‘dieting’.
This intuitive mindset and eating framework can be very, very helpful for people who aren’t ever sure whether they’re hungry or whether they’re full. People who have bad relationships with food, for example, thinking in terms of ‘good’ food and ‘bad’ food.
It is for this reason that I wanted to cover the subject, because I want to encourage you to think in terms of losing weight for good, avoiding fad diets and avoiding weight regain after diets.
Intuitive eating can be a great thing to do on a ‘weight loss journey’. Going through the steps I have mentioned earlier this week, you would start with a deficit and then you might have a deficit break at some stage.
After a period you might do a reverse diet to get back to a nice level of food. Then, in terms of maintaining weight without tracking or without some other anal method, intuitive eating might be a great way to to move into eating for life without piling the weight back on.
It may be that you struggle with losing weight because you struggle with adherence, or you struggle with your relationship with food, you might then want to put the deficit on hold. Embrace intuitive eating and improve your relationship with food first.
After a good period of losing the guilt about eating you could then go forward with the deficit from a place of kindness and a place of having a good relationship with food.
The 10 Pillars of Intuitive Eating;
What I’m going to do is talk about them in a bit of detail, but none of this is my idea, this is from Evelyn Tripoli and her partner, so you can check out the book Intuitive Eating and you can check out the website as well.
This is to reject the diet mentality, throw out the diet books, the magazine articles, stop with the idea of losing weight quickly, and then keeping it off. Remember that the diet culture relies on you doing a diet and then doing another diet.
Every time you fail a diet, or regain the weight lost, you’ve got to bring up another. So, reject that diet mentality, understand that this isn’t the ‘quick fix’. you’ve got to be in this for a long term behaviour change.
Honour, your hunger, keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy. This is about honouring real hunger and getting over cravings, they are different things. So you want to make sure that you’re not over starving yourself at any time because that can cause overeating.
Think about hunger on a scale of one to ten, making sure that you eat at an appropriate level of hunger. Don’t let yourself get too hungry through the day.
Make peace with food. Stop calling foods good or bad, I mentioned this on Instagram the other day. Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. This is an intuitive eating quote.
Intense deprivation can lead to uncontrollable cravings and binge eating. Remember that forbidden fruit is the one that’s always wanted the most.
Challenge the food police. Don’t listen to the thoughts in your head, or the people you know, that say that you’re good for eating too few calories or bad because you eat a piece of chocolate.
Don’t fall into these traps of good versus bad thinking and especially avoid or challenge the people who judge you for eating certain food choices. We all know who those people are in our lives.
Discover the satisfaction factor. Think about eating in a completely mindful position. Think about taking pleasure and satisfaction from those foods. Eat really, really mindfully, eat what you really want. Eat in an environment that you enjoy, then you’ll find an immense amount of pleasure in that eating experience, which of course it should be.
Feel your fullness. Eat slowly, give yourself the foods that you actually want to eat. Listen to the body signals as you’re eating that tell you you’re no longer hungry, observe those signs and then listen to them. Put the rest of the food back in the fridge and have it again later.
Cope with your emotions with kindness. Recognise that we often eat out of stress and emotions, try to deal with those emotions or stress in other ways.
Use activities, contact with others, self care activities, activities that you enjoy, do things like that rather than fixing them with food and or alcohol.
Respect your body, accept the fact that you do have different genetics to different people. You’re never going to have the same body as someone else, you’re never going to have the body of that Instagram model that you desire or that crossfitter you desire.
Know that your body is unique, you’re only going to ever be the best of your body, respect it and feel good about who you are now, before you go forward and try to change it.
Use movement for enjoyment, rather than just burning calories. This is a massive point; feel the difference between punishing yourself with exercise and moving for the sake of enjoying it.
I always say that training should be done with activities that you enjoy and I stand by that. If you want to dance, then dance, if you want to do Zumba do Zumba, if you want to play sports or if you want to go for a walk. Any of these things are a great move for the sake of movement, rather than the sake of burning calories.
Honour your health, with gentle nutrition. Remember, you don’t have to eat perfectly. You’re not going to become suddenly nutrient void if you have a piece of chocolate cake, you’re not going to die if you have a pizza.
Honour your health and taste buds at the same time, by making food choices that make you feel good. Remember that as soon as you take away these rules around food, you are actually going to want to eat more nutritiously because you’re going to have a much wider choice.
A better balance between having junk food and having fruit and vegetables, proteins, and all of the nutrient dense foods that we are aware of.
These then are the 10 pillars of intuitive eating. You can see that there is a huge difference if you adopt healthy habits, have an inclusive mindset and a more balanced attitude to food. Rather than exercising for the sake of burning calories while eating restrictively and then bingeing on foods that you desire.