Category Archives: Intuitive Eating Tips

Mindfulness-based, Intuitive Eating – Learning to Trust the Body

Trust1Your body is a magnificent instrument that is designed to move you toward a state of health on a moment by moment basis.  Just think about it works to heal your body when you injure it in some way.  At the cellular level, the body just knows what to do.  In the same way, the body knows when it needs to be fed and responds positively to food that it determines is healthy for it. It actually works to dispose of food that is not good for its functioning.  And many of us make it work overtime if we are putting food into that is toxic to the system in some way, such as eating too much sugar, fat, and salt.

If you have not been paying attention to your body’s physical signals for a long time, it might sound a little overwhelming to think about trusting your body to tell you what it really needs.  Not listening to your body can happen for a number of reasons—you’re too busy, you’ve followed the advice of diets or diet gurus to tell you what to eat and when, and you listen to the thoughts in your head more than you listen to your body.

In the class that I teach, the idea of mindfulness-based, intuitive eating can be a little scary for people.  The most common things I hear (and I hear them all of the time) are:   If I eat intuitively, I’m afraid that I will get fat. How can I eat whatever I want and not gain weight? If I don’t weigh myself regularly (something I ask people not to do), how will I know how much I weigh?

Let’s take them one at a time. Continue reading

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We are born intuitive eaters!

I’ve become aware of research recently which supported my belief that we ARE born intuitive eaters, but we go astray if we succumb to being conditioning by fast food and highly processed food.  There may be exceptions to this premise, but I doubt that many of us were born with disordered eating problems.  So what happened?

One report that I read indicates children can begin to identify brand name fast food and soda products as early as age 3. This is frightening!  Further, children who have a high brand knowledge (that means they are eating a lot of it) are the same kids who prefer salty, fatty, and sugary brands.  However, if children were fed healthy food, they developed a preference for it. Continue reading

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Finding your balance in the New Year!

Driving back from St. Louis on Monday morning, I was listening to NPR’s Morning Edition.  The story about how parenting style plays a role in teen binge drinking reminded me of how our own attitudes towards ourselves affect our eating behavior.  The study by researcher Stephen Bahr at Brigham Young University looked at three types of parenting styles—strict (typically called authoritarian), indulgent (or permissive), and a style that borrows something from the two extremes(typically called authoritative).  The style associated with the lowest levels of problem drinking, was the authoritative style.  It includes holding the teen accountable and having consequences for behavior, together with warmth and support.  The indulgent style was associated with the highest levels of binge drinking, closely followed by the strict parenting style. Continue reading

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Quick (foodless) Fixes

You’re stressed, anxious, worried, bored, or sad.  You reach for food!  You feel better (at least temporarily).  Anybody had that experience?  It is a well known phenomenon that people tend to eat to feel better emotionally.  It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s quick.  Unfortunately, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, there is a consistent pattern of evidence that people will eat food that is higher in sugar and fat when stressed and worried.  Continue reading

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Intuitive Eating–what it is and why it’s important

In case you haven’t heard about “intuitive eating” I want to introduce you by directing you to the website  Here you will find the 10 principles of intuitive eating outlined in the book “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA.  These principles have become important components of the Eat for Life class taught at the University of Missouri.  These principles, paired with the wisdom of mindfulness training and other wisdoms from academic science, re-teach a way of being at peace with our bodies and delight in the pleasures that can be found when exploring the world of food.  Become a part of the Intuitive Eating Movement by familiarizing yourself with these principles and then reading the article by Karen Koenig (below).  While you might not be a researcher or educator, everyone can play a part in stopping the madness propagated by our culture of dieting, bodily discontent, and the prevailing belief in a quick fix.  I won’t pretend it’s always easy, but the overall quality of our lives can tremendously improve by daily choices to live a more mindful and intuitive life.  Like the title of this blog, “It’s more than just about food.”    Continue reading

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