If you're someone who's on Social Media and follows anything to do with the health and wellness industry, you've probably heard of Intuitive Eating. It's a pretty buzzy topic lately so I thought I'd take some time to give you the low-down on Intuitive Eating AND how it relates to what we Savages do (same same but different).
Intuitive eating isn't just some Pinterest worthy phrase designed by the anti-diet community, it's an actual approach to healthy living created by two registered dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, in 1995.
The idea behind Intuitive Eating is to get back to our natural intuitions around nourishing our bodies. As babies, we cry, we eat, we stop eating and then we cry and eat again. Mama helps baby manage her stress (often at the expense of her own, ammiright?!), keeps her from going hungry for too long, and makes sure she has what she needs.
But baby is the one in the driver's seat (oh man, is she ever!). She is solely reacting to what her body is telling her - “Give me food!” Keeping her satiated keeps her sleeping which keeps her stress levels down, which keeps her self regulation in check, which keeps her body giving her the right cues and signals to keep her body healthy and thriving.
At 6 and 3, my boys still can go days barely eating and never being hungry and others where I can't find enough food to put in their holes. They, too, are listening to their bodies and, overwhelmingly, they can't (or won't, as the case may be) go against what it’s telling them.
Infuriating for a mama who hates wasting food? Absolutely!
As we get older, there are rules put in place around food: finishing what's on our plate, treats and candy coming at us from all angles, food as rewards, food withdrawn as punishment, food labeled as bad... and we start to lose our inner intuitive eater.
Rules fall into place, feelings become attached to foods. Stress, fatigue and all sorts of hormones start to challenge our choices and cravings, and we get pushed out of the driver’s seat. We are no longer in control. Our intake is guided by opportunity, rules and regulations, and we no longer feel confident that the cues our bodies are giving us mean what we think.
So we start to look for more rules to fix it. And fighting our physiology and adding more stress to our bodies doesn’t actually feel good and it’s definitely not sustainable. And we get stuck.
But how do we get our intuition back? Unfortunately there is a lot that has tripped us up along the perilous path of life, so there's not an intuition connection switch we can turn on and off, at least not easily. But we can definitely get back there!
We need help regaining our connection to our intuition but once we have it, a whole new world of healthy living, pride, and stress relief will hit you like a(n awesome) wave!
Intuitive eating is actually, very Savage!
It is specifically a non-diet approach to health and wellness that helps you tune into your body signals, break the cycle of chronic dieting and heal your relationship with food.
Like the Savage approach to healthy living, which I call a mindful approach, there’s no counting calories or macros necessary to reach our goals. No making certain foods off limits or telling ourselves something is bad or not allowed. We work toward giving ourselves unconditional permission to eat whatever we want without feeling guilty.
The key phrase being "whatever we want." Let’s clarify:
It's not about wanting Cheetos, donuts and Taco Bell so we eat that and learn to feel good about that and our resulting (unhealthy) bodies, it's about being mindful of what feels good. What are we eating and why? What do we feel after we eat it (physically and mentally)? What goals are we working toward and how will what and when we eat help us get there?
Having a healthy body isn't just about dropping weight or getting strong, it's about developing a sustainable lifestyle that helps us feel awesome so we can keep prioritizing the choices that keep us feeling good. Intuitive Eating, mindful nutrition, the Savage approach, they’re all focused on getting YOU back in the driver’s seat of your healthy choices.
As we dive in to getting Savage, we build mindfulness into our approach to both nutrition and fitness. We balance our hormones, focus on self-love, and steer ourselves back to a place where listening to ourselves and our intuitions is not only comfortable but works to get us to our goals. As we progress, we can move into other “diets” and programs, making it possible to commit to (and flourish with!) a more rigorous approach if that’s the way you choose to go.
Imagine how it would feel to trust yourself and your choices. Imagine if you could feel confident and good about any decision you make, whether it's to eat a healthy salad or stop in at Taco Bell. You can be in control and you will get to feel proud of your choices every day.
Spoiler: It feels pretty effing good.
If you’re looking to get back to trusting your intuition, I have a proven and FUN course designed just for that. Sign up here and get Savage! Looking to test the waters and see how it feels?? I am doing something crazy and giving away 6 weeks of FREE coaching and resources on Facebook. To sign up and join the group, click here and get in on the Savage action!
Taken from www.intuitiveeating.org, here are the 10 Principals of Intuitive Eating. These are not written in my voice, nor am I necessarily promoting their message. Check it out and let me know what you think!
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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?
6. 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”.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.