How many different diets have you done?
I have done my fair share of diets and the one thing I have learned from all the years of trying every new fad diet is that THEY DON’T WORK LONG TERM.
It took me several years to realize that these diets were creating more harm than good.
It was creating a terrible relationship for me with food and my diet.
I started looking at food as punishment or reward and I was never happy with my body.
I remember thinking to myself….
“Will I ever not care about what I eat”?
Its in those moments I realized that I didn’t have a healthy relationship with food and dieting and that something needed to change.
I always loved eating healthy and exercising but I couldn’t find the right balance.
I wanted a lifestyle but depriving myself of certain nutrients and counting calories and measuring food felt very far from a “lifestyle”.
So I decided to stop and just aim to eat healthy, make healthy tasty and enjoy the process of being a healthy person.
What happened in the process was that I lost weight, got leaner, started exercising less and more moderately and felt more energized and happy overall.
What did I do?
I started doing intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating is just being in tune with your body.
- Knowing when you are hungry and when you are full and taking eating actions based on that.
- Figuring out what foods make you feel satisfied and which ones don’t.
- What foods fill you up and hold you over to the next meal and which ones leave you hungry after eating.
- What foods make you bloated and sick.
It takes time and trial and error but its SO WORTH IT.
It’s enjoyable and it’s not hard at all.
And…. more importantly, it’s so much easier to be consistent that you end up getting way better results, and more SUSTAINABLE results.
Are you tired of doing all this work, all this dieting to lose weight and then gain it back shortly after?
And that’s the reason I am such a huge advocate for intuitive eating.
Today I want to share some tips on how I follow an intuitive eating plan.
Love, Respect & Accept Your Body
This may sound hokey to you, but it is a very important part of intuitive eating.
If you don’t love yourself now, you won’t love yourself when you lose ______ amount of pounds.
If you don’t love and accept yourself now, every kind of eating plan or diet you do will feel more like a punishment and because you don’t accept yourself, you will go to extremest to try to change it.
EXTREMES DON’T WORK.
When you accept yourself and love yourself, you are able to find a more moderate, more balanced, more livable way to eat.
You are able to more easily be in tune and validate the signals your body gives you to feed it what it needs.
It’s ok to want to be better.
Those are goals and aspirations.
But there is a huge difference with accepting yourself and wanting to be better than wanting to look or be a totally different person.
I workout with one of my best friends.
I trained her for 16 years before we started working out together.
- She is a size xxs or size zero.
- She is tiny, no hips, no butt, itty bitty waist, flat belly, ripped abs, crazy toned arms.
- She is in amazing shape.
I will never look like her and I can’t live my life wanting to get to that.
I am curvy, I have hips and butt, my arms aren’t as toned as hers, but I have embraced and accepted all of those things about my body.
I don’t want to be a size zero, I no longer want to get rid of my hips, I realized I don’t need to have ripped arms to look like I’m in shape, tone is totally good for me.
So I work on an ongoing basis on being a better me, and that allows me to eat and exercise at a pace and in a way that serves me and doesn’t hurt me.
I work with myself not against myself.
I don’t diet in an extreme way which allows me to never binge or over eat.
I don’t exercise hours on end so I truly love and enjoy working out.
So, hopefully you will work on accepting and loving yourself too.
How Should I Eat?
Eat When Hungry – Stop When Full
Part of intuitive eating is really listening and feeling your body and its signals.
While, yes, there are certain physiological things like your hunger hormone is elevated when you go more than 4 hours without eating….
It’s important to become sensitive to when you do get hungry and when you should start and stop eating.
People who over eat, is usually because of low blood sugar and hormonal responses.
I always say that the trick to not over eating or binge eating is to NEVER ALLOW YOURSELF TO GET HUNGRY.
If you wait til you are hungry to eat, you will over eat every single time.
You should try to eat before 4 hours so you can control the hunger hormone and also be able to eat in a controlled way.
But part of intuitive eating is not having set rules.
So while you know that you have the hunger hormone that elevates after 4 hours, if you had a higher calorie or higher carb or fat meal, you may not start to get hungry until 4.5-5 hours…. and that’s ok.
You have to learn to feel the signals and make the right choices.
How To Choose Foods?
First of all, quality matters.
You should be choosing to eat foods that are natural at least 80% of the time.
If you do this, it will help your hormones be in balance which will make it way easier to make the right choices.
You shouldn’t have to omit certain nutrients or food groups.
Every food group has its role in your body.
You don’t need to cut out carbs completely to lose weight.
But you may need to manipulate them.
For example, you may eat protein and carbs in one meal and then protein and fats with no carbs in the next meal.
The pairing of nutrients is something you have to play with in order to figure out what is best for you.
EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.
- Some people are better at using carbs for fuel than others.
- Some are better at using fat for fuel.
That is why you have to figure it out by trial and error.
Also by what you enjoy and makes you feel satisfied. If you feel like your stuck and you’re not losing weight, check out this post for 5 tips you can do.
For example, I am very active early on in the day so I eat most of my carbs during the first half of the day.
I exercise in the mornings so I always have a carb for breakfast.
My second meal is a 2nd breakfast and I’m usually not starved and I also love eggs and avocado and enjoy it to the max, so my 2nd meal I don’t need the carbs.
I rather have the carbs for lunch.
Its something I have played around with and tested to find the right meal combo for me.
Spend some time really trying different food combos at different times.
Really trying to not allow yourself to get hungry and making sure you feel satiated after your meals.
Don’t let yourself get thirsty.
Sometimes the brain mistakes thirst for hunger and that is never good.
Eat Foods You Enjoy!
This is so important.
So many people will force themselves to eat foods just because they are healthy but because they don’t enjoy them, they don’t feel satiated and they end up binge eating after even though they are not hungry.
That is why I go the extra mile to cook and bake and make food that I enjoy.
If you don’t enjoy the food you eat, you will end up eating poorly out of EMOTION.
You will eat more because you don’t feel satisfied and happy and not because you are hungry.
Take the extra time and make your healthy food enjoyable.
Don’t eat oatmeal just because it’s healthy.
There are so many options these days, find another source of carbs and fiber that is good for you but that you enjoy!
Enjoying what you eat will allow you to eat clean more consistently and it will also help you control your portions and servings and not over eat.
Healthy before Vanity
The last thing I want to touch on is that your main goal should always be health.
At the end of the day, if you are sacrificing your insides in order to look good, you will still not be happy.
Your primary goal should be to be healthy.
When your goal is to be first be as healthy as possible, you will make decisions with your food that will make you feel so much better.
And that will be all the motivation you need to continue to eat healthy.
It’s your ammunition.
The better and healthier you feel, the more likely and more excited you will be to eat healthy.
There you go…. intuitive eating in one long a** email.
I’m sorry it was long today, but I really wanted you to understand all the components that go into intuitive eating.
I hope you are motivated and excited to start being more in tune with your body and start trying different food combos and different timings and really paying attention to the signals your body gives you.
Start separating your emotions from hunger.
It takes time.
It takes practice.
I still go through it to this day.
When I am feeling emotional… tired, stressed, upset, sad, mad, happy, excited and I want to eat… I always ask myself….. am I wanting to eat because I’m upset or stressed or has it been 4 hours and its time to eat.
You have to stop and have a convo with yourself in your head.
But if you train yourself to do that, it will take just a few seconds and most of the time you will be able to fight the need to emotionally eat with logic.
I hope this helps!
P.S. If you like this kind of stuff and want to learn more, I have all kinds of strategies and videos and tips inside my Fit Mom For Life program.
It’s my favorite and best program yet because its my entire career of knowledge in one place to help women get in the best shape of their life in the most balanced and easy way.
If your looking for some motivation in your busy life, check out this video for 3 secrets to lose weight.