Not ready yet for intuitive eating. I was binge eater for years....just found out that I am allergic to milk!! I had suspected it because nothing made me binge but ice cream! I could eat 1/2 cup and then I wanted the whole half gallon! And potatoes, and any starch I could get my hands on!!! Well, I started here and the first week I overate my calories every day and walked every day. Didn't lose but didn't gain. Didn't have any milk, either. The second week I got my calories within range and started losing a pound every day or two...still with no milk in my diet. Then I had some half and half in my coffee (it was close to expiration date and I wanted to use it up) 4 mini moos for 2 days and my cravings came back and !whammo! I quit losing. Got off of it and started losing again. Now I know why weight loss was always so difficult for me....food allergies/sensitivities. Haven't been eating any peanuts, which is also a common allergen, and in a couple of weeks I will try that and see if it slows or stops my loss. When I weighed the correct amount, I didn't eat until my stomach growled and stopped as soon as satiety set in (always ate slowly and deliberately). But was eating almost nothing, and that isn't healthy. I have never in my life been able to eat the amount of calories that I am eating now and still lose weight! This is marvelous, and I feel so energized...like I could climb a mountain! Maybe my metabolic syndrome is fixed!! My friends and I are amazed at the amount of healthy food you can eat if there are few or no "empty" calories.
I pre-plan my meals and snacks, either the night before or first thing in the morning. Then, when mealtime comes, everything is mapped out. As my body gets used to this, hunger comes at about the same times every day. My mood is better, there is more energy available, my skin looks clearer, there are no cravings, and I look forward to the treadmill every day. Have spent the last 15 years making little changes...quit smoking in 1997, don't eat pork at all and very little red meat, stopped drinking sodas 4 years ago and started drinking tons of water, have walked and worked out sporadically over the years.....but getting my fats, carbs, calories, sodium, and proteins all within the range that SP gave me is the key to my losing. Couldn't have done it without that tracker!!! I love it.
Fitness Minutes: (3,151)
4/27/13 6:11 A
I can't imagine that I will ever get to intuitive eating. My mouth stays hungry long after my stomach is full!
Fitness Minutes: (524)
49 4/26/13 10:45 P
I am so out of touch with my body that I am just beginning to discover what it feels like when I am hungry or when I just want to eat for some other reason. Right at this moment, I need to track diet and exercise. Eventually my goal is to intuitively eat at a healthy weight.
History: * Lost a little over 50 pounds using Weight Watchers over 10 years ago. Since then I've put back on 5-6 of those pounds. My original weight loss was going from 172 to 120 (plus some time spent below 120, where it was too low). I am currently wavering between 124-126, which is a safe range.
* Up until a year ago I was trying to get back to 120. I liked WW when I was doing it, but was feeling restricted. Started counting calories using Spark probably 3 or so years ago.
* A little over a year ago I decided I had had enough. I changed over to Intuitive Eating, and I have never been happier. I will admit - I have given up on trying to get back down to that original goal weight. I prefer to be not driving myself nuts trying to get somewhere, and then spend too much mental energy trying to stay there. No thank you.
* To those who make jokes about intuitively eating sweets all day long, it's true - at first it's like a freedom. Goodness knows I had a couple bags of red Twizzlers disappear faster than they should have. That passes. I still eat the fruits/vegetables that I learned to love using WW plus I eat MODERATE amounts of sweets.
* I still plan my meals and most of my snacks. But when I am actually, physically hungry I don't deny myself. The most important piece is that I have learned to recognize that physical hunger. Or maybe it's that my emotional hungers don't come as often, because I don't deny them.
* I still struggle with guilt, there is no doubt. The scale can still make me feel bad - if I let it. Most of the time I don't. There are definitely still times when I feel extraordinarily hungry even after eating "a lot" (not really), and it's hard to get myself to remember - if I am hungry, eat now, or run the risk of not being able to recognize hunger cues later.
* I am approaching a challenging time. I run a good amount - I am just finishing up HM training for a race on 5/5. I've been averaging 30+ miles per week since the beginning of the year, and I've been upping that, getting to totals such as this week's 50 miles. At the beginning of June I will be training for a back to back challenge - a half marathon on a Saturday, a full on a Sunday. I will be running A LOT and upping my strength training. I will feel extraordinarily hungry. I will just have to remind myself - "Eat when you are hungry; stop when you are not".
Fitness Minutes: (470)
22 4/26/13 11:35 A
the surest way to a stomach ache for me is to eat an apple and an orange in the same sitting, or to drink milk and eat a cheesestick in the same sitting. I space the fruit and the dairy about an hour apart.
Fitness Minutes: (25,596)
286 4/25/13 9:56 P
I enjoyed reading everyone's comments about this. I think intuitive living is all about paying attention to our own needs and fulfilling those needs in the best way we can. This is something I am striving for when I am not avoiding myself and ignoring my needs. If I were able to tune into my body and its needs and respond appropriately to those needs then I would not be 50+ pounds over weight and would be much happier in my life.
I can only maintain this way, not lose. To lose, I need to be tracking in some way, and limiting myself to some extent.
Fitness Minutes: (2,987)
4/25/13 3:52 A
If you are very tuned in to yourself and your body, it may work...the problem is most of us have no clue about what we really need...good luck with this approach!
Fitness Minutes: (14,522)
4/24/13 11:38 P
This sounds like a lovely way to eat.
4/24/13 7:58 P
My intuition too often tells me to eat gummy bears.
Hahahahhahaahhahaha! So true...except in my case it's chocolate covered anythig!
Edited by: COLOMAGIRL at: 4/24/2013 (19:58)
4/24/13 4:12 P
Intuitive eating for me would be ice cream 24/7. and chocolate the rest of the time. I need a plan to follow. I need someone to tell me the plate needs to be 50% veggies - that is not intuitive to me at all. So I'll keep on reading articles, until sensible eating becomes intuitive!
Back in the late 80's I was in a group at church that followed Gwen Shamblin's Weigh Down Workshop. It basically followed an intuitive eating idea. Eat only when you have true hunger and stop when you are satisfied (not FULL) I lost 30 pounds but it takes as much discipline to eat this way then any other way of eating. There were days in the beginning when I only ate junk but eventually I craved vegetables and fruit. I think whatever works for you!
I wasn't for sure what this meant so I researched it...reject diet mentality, honor your hunger, make peace with food, challenge the food police, respect your fullness, respect your body, honor your feeling without using food, discover the satisfaction factor. Something to really think about and I mean that. If you have the right mindset, you can practice all of them.
Fitness Minutes: (2,148)
4/23/13 6:19 P
i have never really heard this term before but i am guessing that it means your body will crave foods that contain the nutrients that it needs/is low on? i think maybe with some people (most?) this could work to an extent, but i know many people who "hate" so many foods (read - fruits and vegetables) that even though their body is certainly in need of those types of foods, they would never be willing to eat them much less crave them. is NOT eating intuitively a "learned behavior"?
Fitness Minutes: (12,636)
4/23/13 3:53 P
I never had a problem with this until I hit about 40-ish. Then the combination of lifestyle changes, financial and family stresses and physical issues all seemed to hit at once. The reality is by now I probably couldn't eat "intuitively" the way I used to because my body and daily physical work have changed so thoroughly. I have to learn all over again what I really need because somewhere in the back of my brain, I am hearing a voice saying I can eat whatever I want!
I never ate junk food, but I always had quite an appetite. I ate like a man. I STILL have quite an appetite. I'm trying to figure out how to increase the energy expenditure/decrease the food intake so that I am never overweight again.
Edited to add: the one thing that has helped the most with decreasing food intake is to just LET myself be hungry and eat fairly large meals during the day but to make any food intake after dinner be completely off limits. I used to be a habitual midnight snacker. No more!
Edited by: SHIRAZSOLLY at: 4/23/2013 (15:58)
4/21/13 4:15 P
emotional eating (like the poster below) is too hard for me. I am working through that.
I have a long history of eating disorders and intuitive eating is the only thing that doesn't trigger me.
When I follow the actual proper guidelines of Intuitive Eating, or Paul McKenna's I Can Make You Thin (which is much the same) I eat far less and generally lose weight at a nice steady pace without counting calories, without being obsessed by food and what I am eating and most importantly without triggering me into bingeing, purging or restricting in dangerous ways.
It is an incredible way to get back in tune with your emotions, with your body, with hunger and satiety cues. It takes a reasonable amount of effort to do properly, there is a LOT more to it than just eating whatever you want.
I am currently doing ICMYT, or IE, as well as tracking the calories of what I eat just so I have an idea...
Fitness Minutes: (1,732)
4/20/13 7:14 P
i so agree i have a problem with good fats and bad fats but since getting this program it is gettig easier and i am having fun with it
Hi, Nickycrane! How are you doing with working in protein and fiber, things that might help you stay fuller and keep your blood sugar stable. Also, are getting enough good fats? Sometimes too little fat can lead to feeling unsatisfied. Just a couple thoughts. I would agree, though, it's sure good to listen to your body - if it's saying it's truly hungry, it needs to be fed.
Fitness Minutes: (72,123)
2,075 4/19/13 2:46 P
I have always had a weight problem (since 6). I always will. when I say that I mean that the so-called bmi weight is dangerous for me. even at my smallest,everyone thought I weighed 120, I weighed 135. I wore a size 7-9.
so . . . my goal is to go down to a maintainable size 10-12.
but the thing is, I've been at this since 15. I have just RECENTLY (happy dance) have gotten to the point where I can't eat when I'm sad. I just can't. I wait. then when the feeling is gone i eat (I'm usually soooo hungry by then).
I still have problems with comfort eating. just these blah feelings where I just want comfort, comfort, comfort
progress not perfection.
Fitness Minutes: (10,889)
4/19/13 1:32 P
Discovering satisfying meals that work within my nutritional range is exciting, and planning a day of meals has actually become *empowering* for me :-)
The process is becoming more intuitive the longer I go at this, though. Through experimentation I'm learning what "supplies" I need to stock my kitchen.
After losing almost 20 lbs with SparkPeople, I decided the hard part was done, I only had 10 pounds to go, so with my new knowledge of portion sizes, balancing proteins/fats/carbs, and nutritious food, I tried intuitive eating.
After 6 months, I had not lost any weight, though I didn't gain any either. Since my goal is still to lose a bit more weight I'm back to tracking everything and feeding numbers through a calculator, but once I get to maintenance I would like to try intuitive eating again. As others have said I think it's a bad idea for starting out - 2 years ago "intuitive eating" for me was in excess of 2500 calories a day, most of it perfectly healthy food! (I honestly wondered why I was gaining weight when I was eating salmon, rice, and salads. 8 oz of salmon, rice slathered with butter, and a salad with cheese and cream based dressing and egg and bacon. Healthy. Yeah.)
I think it depends on your weight/eating history. I've noticed that most of the proponents of "intuitive eating" are people who did not have a weight problem in childhood. They're people who either never had much of a problem, or who gained weight suddenly in adulthood after an illness, an emotional trauma, or just a lifestyle change. For example, one of the authors of an intuitive eating book (I can't remember which one) is a doctor who gained 40 pounds during medical school and internship because he never had time to exercise or plan/cook/eat healthy meals instead of grabbing junk from vending machines.
If you're that kind of person, then intuitive eating should work. You had reasonably good eating habits at one time, and you just need to find your way back to that mindset, while maybe adding a few new good habits. You have the instincts and just need to use them.
But some people, like me, have always battled weight, since infancy. If I eliminated all junk food from my environment so that the only food I could access was 100% healthy, and then I ate whatever my body told me to eat from among those good foods, I would eat too much and be overweight. That's the way my instincts are set-- and in fact, that's probably the natural state of human beings. We're NOT designed to know when to stop eating; we're designed to eat whatever we can eat when there's food available, so that we're ready for the times when there is no food or when gathering and preparing food burns more calories than the food provides. For most of human history, there was no need for any instinct that told us to stop. If you're one of the rare people who have developed that instinct, use it! But for most people, the natural intuition is to eat more than our not-so-natural lifestyle requires. When you're living in a non-natural environment, there's nothing wrong with needed non-natural tools to substitute for instincts that haven't adapted yet.
4/19/13 9:57 A
Really? That's so interesting.. I wonder if the same will happen to me... I'm trying my best, although it gets a bit discouraging when you aim to eat within your calorie range and then fail at times to do so...
Fitness Minutes: (3,412)
4/19/13 9:48 A
I, too, used to have no control over my eating especially in the evenings. Right now I'm going into my Spark page in the morning and planning the meals and snacks I'm going eat during the day. I plan my breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and enter it on my Nutrition page. I check to be sure I have the food on hand, and if I have to eat during the day somewhere besides home, I pack it and bring it with me. I try to balance my calories throughout the day between my 3 meals, and I'm finding if I know what I'm going to eat when I'm going to eat it, it's easier for me not to just grab whatever is handy - which is usually something high in calories, fat and sugar. I try not to have those food available in my home, and when they are available at work- I try to stick with the meal I know I already have on hand.
Good luck to you. I hope you find something that will work for you. - I used to do what I call "stress eat", if I was mad, bored, tired, scared or not sure what I felt - I'd turn to food. Now I'm trying to learn to identify my feelings and figure out how to deal with them in a healthier manner. Usually it involves me re-thinking the situation and looking at what evidence I have to support my negative thought, and try to see if there is evidence that my thought isn't true and then honoring my initial emotion and considering the alternative emotion or thought what is most likely to be really true and is there something I can do to resolve it, or is it something beyond my control. If it's beyond my control, then I know I have to let it go - and know it's not about me. Sometimes it helps just to change my location - like go into another room, or if I'm at work - go down the hall or climb the stairs. That helps me get out of my thinking rut and changes how I feel.
I hope my sharing what seems to be working for me will be of some help for you. Take what you like and leave the rest. One day at a time, one step at a time. Small changes are progress.
I used to track everything, which helped me learn a lot. But I've come to realize it doesn't need to be so complicated.
I have found when since I switched my diet to one based on real whole foods like 50% vegetables, 25% meats, 25% fats (by volume not caloric content) at each meal and some low GI fruit with minimal sweets and treats I am able to eat until full and I don't have to track each morsel that goes into my mouth. I have also lost a few pounds, which I am not trying to do but hey I'll take it.
Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 4/19/2013 (10:15)
Fitness Minutes: (45,342)
1,317 4/19/13 6:25 A
I'm getting hungry, really hungry, so am choosing to go above the upper end of my calorie guidelines. The scales continue to stay stable or go down, though I'm now on weight maintenance!
4/18/13 7:53 P
I feel as though I do not have control over my eating patterns. It's really bad and I don't know how to change it. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Fitness Minutes: (72,123)
2,075 4/18/13 2:25 P
real radiant you are RIGHT on the money. for me measuring blah blah blah actually makes me more compulsive and I end up falling right back into binging
i don't know why
but just eating without recording and seeing ALL those numbers I feel more at peace with my eating. most of the time anyways.
I think it's important to try lots of different methods until you find the one that works for you. I totally wish I could be an intuitive eater, but I am too much of a compulsive eater for that to work for me. Every time I tried the experiment of intuitive eating, I always would overeat. But I have friends who can do it just fine and it totally works for them.
What's working for me now is to plan my food, weigh and measure my food and eat what I've planned. I've eliminated all personal trigger and binge foods. It makes me feel the most free of my obsession and compulsion with the food.
I love what I'm eating right now. I tend to eat the same thing day after day until I get sick of what I'm eating and I change it up.
Good luck on your path. It's so important to experiment and find what works for you.
Fitness Minutes: (4,362)
4/17/13 8:39 P
I would seriously die if I tried to eat intuitively! I have anorexia.
You are right, mindful eating is a better choice for people with disordered eating (binge eating), and eating disorders NOT intuitive eating. There are tons of workbooks and books about eating mindfully.
4/17/13 6:31 P
Fitness Minutes: (72,123)
2,075 4/17/13 3:39 P
okay I guess mindful eating is much better and probably more realistic lol
I try to to be at least. and sometimes I realize I depend too much on eating everything off my plate. and if I wait too long to eat i eat with my eyes more than my stomach. sigh.
I personally believe that our bodies are designed to live this way. If you treat your body right (eat the right kinds of foods and don't over or under eat), they will tell you when to eat and how much. Your cue to eat is hunger, and your cue to stop is satiety. However, it takes a lot of discipline, and people who have made a lifestyle out of eating outside of healthy bounds may find that their bodies don't quickly respond to this.
I think it's ideal but hard to do. Good for you for trying it!
Fitness Minutes: (49,983)
1,073 4/17/13 1:07 P
Okay, this is my little soap box moment on "Intuitive eating". The first time I read something where someone (a SP leader) claimed they were an 'intuitive eater' -- I was actually sort of offended. I like and understand the idea though -- and I do agree that eventually you need to get to the point where you crave and eat the nutrients that your body needs. But maybe "mindful eater" would be more appropriate. I think mindful eating is more in tune with what many of us struggle with here -- knowing what to eat, and choosing the healthy options/portions etc, rather than imply that one simply never thinks of what they are eating and they just naturally eat healthy. I don't think many people here are able to relate to that sort of "intuitive eating".
I think it's an individual thing. While it may work for some,it will never work for me. I am one of those who's eating habits have all kinds of baggage attached and I don't have enough years left to resolve ALL my issues with food. I "intuitively" know I have to watch myself very closely.
Edited by: WEEDLADY at: 4/17/2013 (13:26)
4/17/13 11:47 A
When I left home and went to college I lost 30 pounds....got away from my mother's cooking and demand to eat everything on my plate. I kept it off and lost the weight gained from having kids by listening to what my body needed and thinking of food as something to keep me alive rather than happy. Happy could be found in other ways. Then an injury and menopause struck and I stopped paying attention. So those 30 pounds have found there way back. I'm tracking calories and exercising and the mindful or intuitive voice is coming back. It takes effort, but it does work. This time around, I want to enjoy the food instead of thinking of it almost like medicine.
4/17/13 10:58 A
It seems to work for some, I don't think I'm at the stage yet where I would be successful at it.
Fitness Minutes: (430)
372 4/17/13 10:24 A
My journey includes moving back to Louisiana from Dallas and being reintroduced to all the carbs in the world when every meal includes rice. This has been going on for 20 years. At first you have missed the Louisiana cruizine and you feel you have to make up for loss time, then b4 you know it, its a habit you have gained 50 + pounds 5 years turns into 10 and 10 into 20. In essessence it remains a struggle to go back to healthy eating with Gumbo and crawfish etoufee now a daily option....who can choose salad....aaaaah....:)
Fitness Minutes: (72,123)
2,075 4/16/13 3:53 P
well I guess I should have mentioned I have been trying to be healthy since 15. I have re-started getting serious with health in june 2011. so not totally new. its been a very long journy.
trust me I have had my bouts of unstopable eating, binging on sweets, etc.
To me, intuitive eating means trusting myself to give my body what it needs. So often we eat when we are not hungry that we don't know how to listen to what our bodies really need and want. Geneen Roth has some useful books on the subject . I especially liked "when you eat at the the refrigerator pull up a chair".
I think Bubble is right. Intuitive eating is actually a smart thing, because our bodies were designed to tell us what we SHOULD have. However, after years of not taking care of ourselves, our bodiees might craved junk food the way an addict craves drugs or alcohol. SO, I think if you start feeding yourself healthy foods, and get used to eating healthier, then add on the intuitive, you will be right on goal. I know it does work for me!!! (now that I have lost some of my addictions!!!)
And like another poster said, if I feel like eating chocolate or junk all day, I know that is my mind, not my body telling me what to eat!!!
I found that as long as I don't want to intuitively eat chocolate all day long that it works for me. I eat when I'm hungry, don't when I'm not. I eat what I want, but limit portion sizes and I tend to prefer healthy foods anyway. It can work.
i think it's a really bad starting strategy, but it's something to work towards.
4/16/13 6:45 A
Not quite sure what you mean. If I were to just choose things that I 'think" I want - I'd likely not eat very well balanced menus.
I might be inclined to fill up on any one given category - grains, protein, fruit, etc.
Glad it's working for you. You must be well informed, and able to regulate your choices better than I likely could.
Fitness Minutes: (72,123)
2,075 4/16/13 1:10 A
I have recently started exploring intuitive eating. so far so good my experiment with it is awesome. i am learning a lot of things about myself. However, I don't think its THE smoking gun for eating healthy. theres more stuff to it too
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