Intuitive Eating

Kittens, for the past few months I’ve been struggling on-and off-again with the idea of Intuitive Eating.

To hear the way some healthy living bloggers preach it, Intuitive Eating involves some sort of healthy feasting free-for-all in which at the precise moment hunger strikes, you’ll hear a little voice in your ear whispering You want a half-sandwich on toasted, day-old hemp bread with white cheddar, superfruit spread and arugula.  Don’t forget the segmented blood orange on the side.

Wait…what?

Don’t get me wrong, that’s all right and good.  Power to the people, free expression, do what works for you and all that stuff.

But truth be told, I’d go so far as to say that the only time I’m particularly expert at Intuitively Eating is when I’m confronted with a plate of french fries.

I assume a defensive position and devour them.

Intuitive.

So, with the reality being that french fries aren’t a staple of my diet (as much as I would like for them to be), what helps me to get closer to true, honest-to-goodness Intuitive Eating?

Predictability. Is essential.  I mean this on several different levels.  Sometimes there are food ruts you REALLY don’t need to break.  For example: the delicious salad I brought to work every day for lunch this summer.  It involved roasted red potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, green beans, beets, red onions, cucumbers (all from Gregor Farms) and goat cheese over a bed of romaine.

That, right there is the sort of arrangement that takes you places.

Usually for breakfast, I crave a bowl of oats with peanut butter and assorted toppings (depending on the season) or a fried egg sandwich on a whole wheat english muffin with a few slices of cheddar cheese.

The secret recipe?  Protein+carbs in the morning=a Kat that can enjoy her morning free of hanger.

Sometimes being boring can be a path to contentment.

Deliciousness. In my world, there is no such thing as an unsavory meal.  I mean, yes, there was a time where I’d jubilantly eat a plate of cardboard.  Or seven.

But I’m kind of done with that.

If it isn’t 11/10, I say no.  If you’re ravenous, wandering an airport, fine.  Settle.  But contrary to popular belief, when it comes to feasting, more often than not the grass IS greener on the other side.

Routine. Keeps me on-track.  I don’t manically calorie count or food journal anymore, but I definitely have calorie-ranges that I try to stay within for breakfast and lunch.  They’re not at all limiting, but they definitely allow me to enjoy a little more in the evening and make sure that NOTHING is off-limits.

Since I have a major (and totally irrational) fear of hunger, declaring open season on all foods once I’m home has done worlds for me.

Plus, I found that it was FAR too easy to derail my healthy eating for the day when I was snacking on treats that co-workers would leave out in the lunchroom.

To summarize: Anything that saves me from self-sabotage is worth embracing.

Indulgence. The fun part about healthy living and healthy Intuitive Eating?  You get to eat some pretty awesome things.  Like dark chocolate.  Wine.  Cheese.  Real Butter.  Bread.  Salads the size of your head.  French fries.

When I stopped bombarding myself with mountains of non-fat cheese (hello, plastic), 100 calorie-style packages, I can’t believe it’s not butter! (actually, I can) and diet sodas (drink them if you will, my crusade is my own), I realized I could start living again.

And let’s be honest with ourselves, kittens.  Eating normal portions of real food is a whole heck of a lot more satisfying.

Are you an Intuitive Eater?

Would you like to see a healthy living page on Tenaciously Yours,?

Not that I really know what I’d slap up on it, but if it would be useful to y’all, I’ll get on it.  I am after all, the girl that runs for cupcakes first, a hot bod second and fitness last.

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17 responses to “Intuitive Eating

  1. Ha – while I seem to be better at regulating the volume of food I consume than I used to be, I’m with you: my intuition leads me to consume vast quantities of chocolate, bread, and cookies, which is obviously not a healthy state of affairs. I have to say, though, that when I’m training hard for something, I do tend to WANT more nutritious foods because they fuel me longer and keep my blood sugar stable. And if you want to throw a “health eating” page up, I won’t object!

  2. I do like healthy eating pages, and since your intuition leads you to the same foods mine does, I think it would be awesome to see where planning leads you.

    And I want your salad.

  3. Love this!! I struggle with intuitive eating as well. Eating intuitively means I get half a box of girl scout cookies each night right?

  4. My intuition usually tells me to eat chips and guacamole a few times a day, so I tend to ignore it.

  5. I often give into my “intuitive” eating for time, but not so much for what I eat or I also could devour french fries and then add chocolate cake on top of that. Lately, I’ve been feeling ready for dinner at 4 pm and that’s when I eat it! I may have a small snack later, but it’s actually been working really well. The only trouble is that it’s really difficult to make dinner plans with friends during the week as I get really hungry (and grumpy) waiting for a more appropriate dinner time. Somehow, I haven’t been able to convince anybody to eat at 4 pm 🙂

  6. I am still journaling and tracking my calories because lets be honest, if I ate “intuitively”, that would include fritoes, chocolate and cheese all day. Lol. One day, i’ll get away from journaling, but for now, I need the accountability. It’s worth it to continue losing weight!!

  7. i guess i’m sort of an intuitive eater. i don’t really like “meals” or set times to eat-too rigid. i’m a grazer, a snacker. but, the success in doing that lies in portion control. i know when to stop.
    also, it helps that i CAN’T eat just any ole thing i “want.” i have too many food intolerances to eat just anything (gluten,dairy,casein,eggs,corn)-so i stick to mostly whole unprocessed stuff.
    but, i think intuitive eating needs done in a perspective of boundaries and limits. otherwise it will backfire.

  8. Oh my gosh I’m SO Glad I just stumbled across your blog! I’m literally JUST trying to start this whole “intuitive eating” idea. Like it’s the first time I’m not tracking my calories in… forever?! (Ok not forever, but for a long time, haha) It’s a little scary, not going to lie!

    Thanks for sharing your opinion on it!

  9. I am an intuitive eater – as far as my food intolerances will alow me anyway. I only eat what I really feel like eating and if it isn’t tasty than I will just go hungry – e.g. plane food, bad restaurant food, etc. I am SO happy now that I’m not caught up on, “wow, I ate an 80 calorie string cheese, must stop now.” I hate that I used to think that way!

    You sum up so many healthy bloggers in your little tribute perfectly. I love it.

  10. I think I am just a plain ol’ regular (fanatic…addicted…can’t stop myself…) EATER, perhaps without the INTUITIVE part. Oh well.

  11. Intuitive eating can be so hard! Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m hungry, munchy or simply want something that tastes good, but I work on it all of the time.
    Eating routinely helps me too, because I tend to get hungry at the same times.

  12. I’m really bad at intuitively eating. It takes me at least an hour after I eat to feel full, so I can eat and eat and eat and still feel hungry- but then I’m stuffed to the brim an hour after my meal. I don’t really want to go back to counting calories, but having an idea of how many calories is in something is helpful.

  13. I am working my way toward this. I still journal my food because I need the accountability. And I admittedly still eat those 100 calorie packs because my portion control is a works in progress. I definitely agree with predictability. Because I work at home, I have some flexibility when the mood strikes. But it’s a double-edged sword because I have cupboards of food to graze. So I try to keep to certain meal choices and follow those. Kirstie Alley called this “mono-eating.”

  14. I want to eat your salad every day all summer, too. Sounds delightful! I think a healthy lifestyle section would be fun and useful. You’ve got a great handle/healthy outlook on healthy living.

    My “intuitive” eating revolves around cookies, protein, and carbs, so I have to really think about it some days. That said, when I am most active or training for something (spring-summer-fall) is twhen I crave protein and veggies all the time, and I don’t have to think about eating well because I just do.

  15. I’m working on the “intuitive” portion of eating…but sometime it seems like I just go on autopilot which doesn not involve any intuition…Luckily I learned to stay away from most produce things and HFCS…you win some, you lose some.

  16. I think that would be an awesome idea to add to your site. You definitely inspire me already with your food and fitness posts. I used to be a healthy eater but have slipped into the opposite since Todd’s been gone.

  17. Pingback: Intuitive Eating: A Test Drive | Tenaciously Yours,

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