How I Eat: An Intro to Intuitive Eating

I remember it like it was yesterday. My track coach told me I needed to lose weight.

It was a year and a half into college and I knew I was going overboard with drinking every night and eating crap all the time. I was sent to a nutritionist and that still didn’t make me change my ways. My parents sent me Nutri-System meals and I would stay on track all day then binge eat chocolate and peanut butter chewy bars until I cried. I was in a deep, dark, negative place because of food. I felt like everyone was out to get me and there was no place to go but run away from it all. 

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I ended up transferring to a school back in Colorado and got a degree without any more track in my life. But the downward spiral with food stayed around because it was one diet after another. I had a very negative feeling towards food and when I came back to Colorado to work in a restaurant on the side, it kept getting worse before it got better. I had to hide things I ate. I worked until 2am and stopped by Burger King on the way home but threw away the wrappers before I got there. Food was my enemy.

It took years to figure out what worked well for my body and the movement I started doing a lot more of. And now, eight years later, not only do I feel comfortable in my skin, but also with what I am putting in my body every single day. I have been learning about what works, what doesn’t work, and what makes me feel good. It’s called Intuitive Eating.

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I had a brief conversation with a fellow Colorado blogger, Work Week Lunch, about this topic and want to share what we both get from the conversation about Intuitive Eating. Intuitive eating is a nutrition philosophy based on the premise that becoming more attuned to the body's natural hunger signals is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight, rather than keeping track of the amounts of energy and fats in foods.

It sounds easy, right? Well there’s a little more to it. In fact, Talia goes into a lot of detail with the reasoning behind it on her latest blog post. First check out these 10 principles of Intuitive Eating and find more research on it here

1. Reject the Diet Mentality - Stop viewing food as being good or bad, your friend or your enemy. You are not and will not be a failure when it comes to eating. 

2. Honor Your Hunger - Make sure your body stays fueled with energy and carbohydrates. 

3. Make Peace with Food - Give yourself permission to eat. If you tell yourself you cannot have something, it will lead you to want it so much more. 

4. Challenge the Food Police - There is no “good Tara” if you eat a salad and “bad Tara” if you eat a piece of chocolate cake. Chase them away and don’t let them come back in. 

5. Respect Your Fullness - Pause in the middle of a meal to put down your fork or have a sip of water, recognize your fullness.

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor - Eat what you really want to eat.

7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food - Do not use food as a way to comfort yourself for any of your emotions like anxiety, stress, boredom, sadness or anger. 

8. Respect Your Body - Accept your genetic blueprint. 

9. Exercise–Feel the Difference - Move your body, every single day. Notice how you feel after you sweat.

10 Honor Your Health - You don’t have to be a perfect eater every single day to be considered “healthy”.

I don’t really eat meat or dairy anymore but I do eat fish. I also will eat meat if I want it or will eat chocolate ice cream if I want it. I focus my eating on mainly whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains. 

Everyone is so different so listen to your body! If you have any other questions or would like to work with Talia, please send her an email at talia@workweeklunch.com.

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