Ironically, intuitive eating feels like the antithesis of anything intuitive. Trust my intuition on what I want to eat, how much, and when?? The lack of restrictions, rules, or guidelines can be terrifying.
We sat down with Robyn Youkilis, certified health coach and author of Go with your Gut, Reset your Gut, and Thin from Within, and Lex Daddio, certified in intuitive eating and as a health coach. We chatted about the process of re-learning your "intuition," the practice of mindful eating, and how to best set yourself up for success.
If you couldn't join us last night, no worries! We're sharing our key takeaways on these topics below:
When nothing feels intuitive about your intuition:
1. Actually taste your food. Do you even like it? Spend time getting honest about what foods you actually like vs. what you've been eating because you're bored, sad, or trying to be healthy.
2. Think like a child. Eat when you're hungry, drink when you're thirsty, and stay active.
3. Food is neutral. There are no good foods or bad fads. Try to not use use food as a reward or depriving yourself as a punishment.
4. You officially have full permission to eat anything. When you no longer have to bargain with yourself or justify french fries because you've "earned it," you can start to make more balanced, intuitive decisions.
What's mindful eating and how do I do it?
We love Robyn's simple 1,2,3 method to mindful eating:
1. Look at what you are eating. Eating is not just an act for the mouth, but a full sensory experience.
2. Take a breath...let's do it together. Yes, now...in through the nose, two, three, four, out through the mouth, two, three, four. How's that for simple?!
3. Chew! Your stomach doesn't have teeth, so hook a sister up and chew your food ideally 'til mush. YUM!
Lex's approach for mindful eating actually involves focusing on everything else around you rather than the food itself. Stop expending so much energy on the food and focus on the environment, the company, the conversation. See which style works for you!
Are we there yet?
Don't know if this is a relief or a big, fat bummer, but there is no there. Even expert intuitive eaters like Robyn and Lex admit that just because they eat intuitively does not mean they never overeat or eat merely because they're bored. We love that message because it indicates to us that we should ease up on ourselves! We can eliminate a lot of the frustration, disappointment, and self deprecation that too often go hand in hand with one too many cookies (oops) and move on!