Intuitive eating has changed my life. I eat good food when I am hungry and I enjoy a treat within reason. Intuitive eating is defined as, “eating is based on physical hunger rather than prescriptions from diet books and experts. Eating should satisfy physical hunger without causing guilt”.
I don’t count my calories. That is a scary statement for almost every female not satisfied with their body and weight. I also don’t count my steps, I do light intensity work outs when I have the energy, I don’t weigh myself, I eat good food when I am hungry and follow the 80/20 rule. I know when I talk about “dieting” people can get disgusted with me because of my size. Everyone’s body is made to be a certain size, the biggest goal anyone should have for themselves is to feel healthy and comfortable in their body. I have been at both ends of the spectrum from too thin to overweight. At neither end did I feel comfortable or healthy. I don’t read into nutrition labels for anything other than nutrition and mainly focus on the ingredients. I believe in intuitive eating, a balanced diet with health y food and indulging with out guilt…and I am in the best shape of my life! Yes a simple science of subtracted x amount of calories a day will equal in weight loss, but you also are going to stress yourself out by tracking and stress yourself out when you aren’t perfect… and your body doesn’t function well under stress. So in turn, your anxiety and obsession with your weight and diet will only leave you stressed unhappy and not working properly. Lacking energy, anxiety and chronic pain have been issues I have suffered with on top of body confidence issues…and I know I am not alone. That’s why I am promoting a healthy lifestyle so others can begin to heal and feel better!
Stress and weight loss.
We all have stress in our daily lives. Especially in our current state with Covis-19. But even “pre-virus”, we were obsessed with our weight status. Most women have measured their bodies before and step on the scale obsessively. We obsess over how many steps we took and how many calories we ate and burned. We work long and odd hours and all have families or other obligations that make healthy eating the last thing on our radar. A lifestyle change is the secret to looking and feeling your best. That’s the truth but no one wants to hear it. Simply eating good food when you are hungry, recognizing emotional eating habits and make peace with your food choices. The answer is not a supplement, not a calorie restricting diet or a new cream filled with chemicals to help shrink your legs. Sadly, we know this but we like the fast paced, instant gratification, convenient lifestyle. I’m American, so I enjoy these things as well… but I enjoy feeling good and living a healthy lifestyle more!
What does stress do to our digestive system?
- Decreased blood flow and oxygen to the gut. You know how important I think the gut is to your overall health so this is an important reason to de-stress.
- Decreased metabolism. Slowing this down will keep you from burning those those pounds you are stressing over losing so badly about.
- Decreased nutrient absorption. Being in a chronic stress state will not allow your gut to work properly and absorb the nutrients needed for your cells and body to function at it’s best.
- Increases your food sensitivities. When you are stressed you don’t digest food, and your gut becomes more leaky and inflamed. Once this happens your body can easily become sensitive to inflammatory foods.
So how do you eat healthy without counting your calories or “macros”?
You should follow a balanced diet but you don’t have to count your calories to do so. You simply have to fill your plates with real nutritious foods with emphasize on filling your late with good fats, vegetables, fruits, grains (if you tolerate the) and protein! You should be able to eat as much “real food” as you want to fill yourself and not have to worry about the caloric amount in it. I personally eat every 2-3 hours, but everyone is different. You should eat when hungry and eat enough to where you are full but not overstuffed. Over eating causes digestive issues and the gut and digestion plays an important part of our health.
Eat less processed food! Try to cut back to a processed food item to a few times a day and workup to one if none. There is nothing as “healthy processed food “. Yes- there are healthier options, but if it is in a bag and has more than one ingredient… it’s processed.
Make leftovers. Make a big batch of sauteed veggies, beans, rice, quinoa etc. Having easy access to real prepared food makes it easier to get in nutritious foods while saving you cooking time. You can always freeze meals also. We do this all the time if we know we don’t want leftovers and then you have something for work or in the future when you don’t feel like cooking.
Enjoy a treat! Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t eat sweets. Eat a sweet without rationalizing about the calories and enjoy it. Remember it’s a treat, not ten cookies a day. Simply work on not over eating and watch out for emotional eating… and enjoy your treat!
Mindfulness and the importance
- Focus on just eating. We are all guilty of multi tasking and eating and driving. The easier way to start being mindful while eating is to put your phone away while you are eating! I have a hard time with this one but digestion actually starts with your sight and smell. By visualizing and smelling your food you begin to secrete digestive enzymes to aid in digestion. Without this you have to work harder to digest your food which leads to a slew of issues!
- Be thankful and think of you food as nutrition and nourishing. Thinking of your food as fuel instead of calories allows you to enjoy your meal while focusing on the food to allow for those salivary glands to produce digestive enzymes.
- Eat slow! This is why cutting back on multitasking and mainly focusing on eating can come in handy. Most of us do not chew our food well, leading again to digestive stress.
So the secret is?
The answer is… a lifestyle change! Start small by trying to eat the rainbow daily. Then start adding in new foods and trying to not eatthe same food more than 3x a week. Food is fuel and we don’t appreciate our food as much as we should. Variety in our diet provides us our nutrients and good bacteria for our bodies to thrive. Eat good food 80% of the time and enjoy yourself the other 20%. You can learn to enjoy real nutritious food and move away from a processed chemical diet. It’s worth it and your brain and body deserve it. You deserve to feel better, enjoy life and simply be happier and more present. This is the magic answer to being healthy, not a secret pill or diet fad.