While we’re on the subject of what it means to be an intuitive eater (or not), I thought I’d share what it looks like for me, to eat intuitively. Everyone’s intuitive eating looks different, so please don’t use this as a prescription for what you should do (there are no shoulds in Intuitive Eating!), rather insight into what your intuitive eating life could also look like.
Here’s what I want you to know: Everyone (including you) was born an intuitive eater. If you have spent years dieting, tracking, measuring or obsessing over your food like I have, you have simply lost the connection with your body you once had. The good news is- you are always able to re-gain that connection. Intuitive Eating is about reconnecting with your body, her innate wisdom and needs so that you can eat and live in a way that is healthy, joyful and balanced for you.
Intuitive Eating is about reconnecting with your body, her innate wisdom and needs so that you can eat and live in a way that is healthy, joyful and balanced for you.
It doesn’t mean:
We never take advice from experts or ignore valid research
We never make changes to our eating or our healthy habits
We don’t utilize routines and rituals to live a healthy, balanced life
It means we can choose to include all of these things, but we approach each of them under the filter of what feels best for us and aligns with our values around food and the life we desire to live.
So let’s chat what eating intuitively means, for me.
Eight things that might surprise you about the way I eat:
I still plan my meals (but I allow for flexibility). We plan our meals each and every week, because it creates convenience and takes the stress out of dinnertime- however we are flexible if we want to switch up the plan, grab takeout, etc.
I still food prep on Sundays. Similar to why we plan, prepping food ahead creates more space for the things that matter, in our life (we don’t typically prep full meals, rather, ingredients to simplify our meals).
I eat similar breakfasts almost every day. I like what I like, and that’s ok- I don’t have any rules around it, I just eat my favorites.
I don’t eat out all that much. For both budget purposes and because eating out all the time doesn’t feel that great- so we cook at home most of the time. But we LOVE to go out on date nights, and mom's nights out with friends.
I choose to eat mostly real, whole foods. This is what makes me feel my best, and one of the things we value as a family to live our healthiest lives.
I don’t eat much dairy or gluten (but I don’t have any rules around them). When I go out or really crave them, I eat them with no guilt- but dairy gives me horrible breakouts and gluten makes my tummy upset, so I choose to go without them most of the time- this is a self care choice.
My jeans size hasn’t changed in 2+ years. I got pregnant with my second daughter right at the beginning of my Intuitive Eating journey, so obviously I gained and lost some weight. Since then, my jean size (I don’t weigh myself anymore) hasn’t changed- even though what I eat changes all the time.
I’m very active and I’m training for a half marathon. I’m an intuitive eater and I don’t diet or exercise obsessively like I used to, but I LOVE being active and not having restrictions around food has actually made me a much more energized and powerful athlete!
Eight things that might not:
I eat dessert almost every night (without guilt). Sometimes it’s ice cream, sometimes it’s dark chocolate. If I don’t feel like it, I don’t- but usually I do.
I don’t count, track or measure anything (unless I’m baking).
We eat fast food a couple times a month and we don’t sweat it. Chipotle and Chic Fil A all the way!
I don’t have any rules around food, but…
I rarely overeat. Because I listen to my body and don’t restrict anything, I don’t feel the urge to overdo it on sweets anymore.
I eat based on my hunger and stop based on my fullness.
Sometimes I eat when I’m not hungry. Yes- sometimes I eat simply because I LOVE food! It all balances out!
I don’t think too much about food. Despite loving food and being a recipe creator, I don’t think about my meals too much beyond my weekly planning and deciding what to eat for meals. THIS is the most freeing thing, of all.
I hope this was helpful in giving you some insight into what it looks like for me, to be an intuitive eater (which might very well be different than how it looks, for you!).
What is true about you as an intuitive (or budding intuitive) eater?