A post all about the basics of intuitive eating, and a FREE printable journal to help you along in your journey to freedom!
As I shared my story and past with you all through this video, and now continue to share my journey as I strive to live a fresh, fit n healthy life myself, I occasionally mention how I don’t count calories, or macros, or ANYTHING for that matter. That I have become completely FREE from any kind of diet mentality. That I do this little thing called intuitive eating.
Well a lot of you have asked me to talk more about intuitive eating, because you are interested in beginning this freeing lifestyle yourself. So let’s begin!
After suffering from an eating disorder and working with many different dietitians, I met one specific, special lady that changed my perspective on food and finally helped me to truly create a healthy relationship with it again. And that’s because she introduced me to intuitive eating.
Long explanation made short, intuitive eating is LISTENING TO YOUR BODY.
It allows you to create a healthy relationship with food again, whether you’ve suffered from any sort of disordered eating, with yoyo/fad dieting, binge eating, or just simply don’t feel like they have that healthy relationship with food. It helps you STOP the constant worry and focus on food. It gets you OUT of labeling foods “good” and ‘bad”. it HELPS you to distinguish between physical hunger and that desire to just eat out of emotions that we all have experienced at least once or twice. And best of all, it helps you LIVE again and be able to be social with friends, WITHOUT worrying about every little thing you put in your mouth.
I learned most everything I know about intuitive eating either from my dietitian, or from the book called Intuitive Eating (it’s great, I highly suggest it!)
But if you don’t want to read it yourself, here are the 10 principles they teach you throughout it.
- Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
- Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.
- Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.
- 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. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created . The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
- Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level.
- 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. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.
- Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.
- Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.
- Exercise–Feel the Difference Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it’s usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.
- 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. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.
The best part about it, you WILL NEVER be overweight if you are truly listening to your body like intuitive eating teaches you to do. Now, that doesn’t mean you will NEVER overeat, or you will NEVER go too long of a period without eating..we are ALL human, we all mess up. But never get upset about doing one or the other on occasion. Just tell yourself that tomorrow is a new day, and you are going to listen to your body again!
This whole thing sounds great, huh? Something you want to give a try? If you’re saying yes in your head to these questions, then keep reading!
First let me give you a disclosure:
- if you’re JUST coming out of an eating disorder..you’re NOT going to be able to “listen to your body” until you have a period of refeeding it, nourishing it again back to a state where it functions properly. Why?
- because after a period of starvation, your body is not going to accurately tell you when it is hungry and when it is full. When I first began my recovery journey, I was “never hungry” and always was quickly “full”. But that was only because I hadn’t been treating my body properly. So initially if you are coming out of any type of eating disorder, you will have to eat when you’re not hungry sometimes, and eat past your fullness. Yes, it is uncomfortable at times and can be scary if just coming out of any type of disordered eating. But don’t worry, there is light at the end of the tunnel..and the intuitive eating lifestyle is the light!
So now that we’ve covered that, here is how to use the printable journal I have below for you all! It is basically a food journal modified to help you with intuitive eating. You log what food you ate, how hungry/full you are feeling before AND after, and your thoughts! It’s so simple! How do we track our hunger?
THE HUNGER SCALE, yay! This is a scale, 0-10, that you will rank yourself on BEFORE you eat, and AFTER you eat.
0 being, OH MY GOODNESS I CANNOT SPEAK OR DO ANYTHING BECAUSE IM STARVING/DYING
10 being, OH MY GOODNESS I CANNOT MOVE BECAUSE IM SO UNCOMFORTABLY FULL.
We’re shooting to stay between 3-8..but I’ll explain every number on the PDF itself so you can more accurately rank yourself!
But overtime you eat, basically you do these steps:
- Write what you are eating
- Rank yourself 1-10 on the hunger scale BEFORE eating
- Rank yourself 1-10 on the hunger scale AFTER eating
- Jot down any emotions or feelings you’re having about eating what you just did. Are you feeling anxious because of eating something “bad” or eating more than you use to? Are you feeling great because you listened to your body and don’t feel uncomfortably full? Get in tune with yourself!
After a few weeks of doing this, you will begin to learn your body more and be more in-tuned to your hunger cues. That way, soon enough, you can throw this little food journal to the side that you’ve created and live a fresh, fit, and FREE life. One that isn’t focused on the food you eat, or consumed with the worry of food.
Getting excited?! I know I was when first beginning! What are you waiting for? Get started NOW! All you have to do is type your email address below in the box, and it will be on your way!
Simply print out as many copies as you think you’ll like, maybe 7 initially to do it for one week, and then begin your journey of intuitive eating!
I would also love to hear your thoughts! Have you heard about intuitive eating before? Do you already practice it yourself? Are you currently feeling stuck with dieting or focusing all the time on food?
Would you be interested in me offering phone/skype consultations to help you in your intuitive eating, so that you can live a FRESH FIT N FREE life??
I know I couldn’t have become FREE through this lifestyle SO QUICK without accountability and advice as I went, so I am offering that to you! just email me for more info/pricing! Only accepting the first few so I can give you my full attention 🙂
Until next time, don’t forget to get your FREE guide and food journal template by entering your email below!
EVEN IF YOU ALREADY ARE ON MY EMAIL LIST, enter your email! it’s a new, special list for those interested in intuitive eating 🙂
xo, Sarah Grace
(and check your spam if you don’t see an email!)