Friday, August 17, 2012

Intuitive eating so far

I'm finding the experience of real Intuitive Eating (and not the unconscious eating I used to call "intuitive") to be surprisingly challenging. It's so easy to eat past fullness, or to mindlessly grab a snack because I'm bored or tired. 

I'm also finding that it feels sad sometimes to stop when I reach fullness. The other day I had made homemade waffles for breakfast and topped them with some stewed peaches. It was such a delicious breakfast, but I felt full after about 10 bites. I was disappointed because I was going to be in meetings all day and knew that when I was hungry again, there wouldn't be anything as good available.  I stopped anyway, but I felt frustrated.

Because I'm not dieting, I don't feel the need to finish everything. If I want, I can use DietSnaps to record how much I left on my plate, but I usually don't bother.  I also find that the portion sizes that I learned so well from Weight Watchers  and calorie counting are often too big if I'm having several items. In that way, dieting might have actually made me eat more at times, because if I was counting it, I was sure going eat it.

I also realize that since I had the summer off and didn't have my French lessons or my art classes over the summer, it's not surprising that I was bored and using food for entertainment. Having the summer off feels like a luxury, but it's expensive to live a life of leisure -- almost everything we do costs money, so we were either spending too much to entertain ourselves or spending a lot of time doing very little. It was so beastly hot that outdoor exercise wasn't as much fun as it usually is. I'm enjoying the cooler weather now.

Have you tried Intuitive Eating? Any useful strategies you'd like to share?


  1. 10:18 AM

    I am doing the intuitive eating thing as well. I am currently on phase 2 though. I am just trying to master to eat when hungry and not to feel guilty eating something. I am almost ready to go on the phase 3.

    I also write about it on my blog.

  2. I always need to remind myself to slow down and chew...

  3. 5:45 PM

    All day I have wondered why you would eat past full rather than just reducing your count - ?

    If you only were hungry for half, you only count half.

    It seems that there are a lot of WW people that have rather unique ways of looking at counting. I have always remembered the ice cream lady who seemed to feel cheating the system was not cheating herself.

    1. 6:56 PM

      It was usually only a few bites, which was hard to figure. Also, there was something about feeling that restricted -- my WW points allowance was very low when I converted it to calories, and I was always hungry, despite what everyone else says -- that made me a little weird around food.

      I'm not trusting to claim that I eat less with IE than I would if I faithfully followed WW. It's just that I couldn't faithfully follow WW for long, and when I went bad, I went very bad.

      The IE answer to that would be that dieting is what caused this disordered thinking. And after hearing a lot of weird things that people said in meetings, I'm inclined to agree. And that's following a moderate plan, and not the crazy fasts and cleanses some of my friends do.

  • 9:01 AM

    My iPad does not do well with the reply app for some reason, hopefully this will work.

    I counted for the first year, exactly as you said, learning portions.

    When I found a way not to have to count, then it became all about nutritional balance for me.

    It is still nutrition based for me. I think that because I have so many secondary conditions, this has been self reinforcing. I don't want acne, dizzies, migraine, GI trouble, migraine, therefore, I take care of myself.

  • 9:04 AM

    I agree there is a lot of game playing/weird thinking out there and a lot of it seems to be WW people, but that might be purely a statistical thing with a distortion ate number of people having been in WW at some point in their life.

  • 9:05 AM


  • 1:39 PM

    I call myself a normal eater, to me normal eating is intuitive eating without having to think about the rules. I don't diet, I eat what I want in any amount I want, and I'm losing weight(slowly). The big bonus is that I no longer think about food all the time.

    When it clicks, the food/eating dieting struggle disappears. But it takes time and a change in mindset to get here. I was in a intuitive eating support group for 6 months, and I still didn't get it.

    I have some tips to help you get started, but I think I'll write a post linking to your post, unless I'm too tired, I'll write it tonight...

  • I just came across this: "you can’t listen to your body until you are consistently eating foods that are good for you."

    This has been true for me...the better I eat, the more I find that junky food doesn't taste good or feel good in my body. That said, I am certainly not close to be a 100% clean eater.

  • 11:50 AM

    Great post, thanks. I've got the IE book and plan to read it soon. I had a couple phone sessions with Evelyn Tribole (one of the authors) as part of a Fitness mag article that will be out in the fall. I'm very curious to learn more about IE and I feel I'm moving in that direction, in my own way, as I "drop" WW "rules" one by one, slowly, verrrry slowly.

  • Intuitive Eating changed my life. I now have a healthier relationship with my physical body, my mind, and with food. FREEDOM!


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07