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Intuitive eating challenge

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The theory behind the intuitive eating challenge is that you eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full, and don't rely on the clock or measurements to tell you when to eat. I further assume that the idea was to stay between 3 and 6 on a hunger scale, where 1 is weak and headachey from hunger and 8 is stuffed. At least, this was in a prior challenge (on the consistency and motivation team of SparkCoach).

I sort of did okay, I mean there were a couple of times I ate when I wasn't technically hungry because I was headed off to the dentist and I didn't know how many hours it would be before I would get to eat again. They didn't need to numb me, so I was able to eat immediately after. Later, I was supposed to go to a meeting and ate a little early. And I didn't wind up going to the meeting because we were going in too many directions, and the meeting was kind of optional. And I was probably full to an 8 there, because it was a little uncomfortable to play Kinect.

The really surprising thing, when I ran my nutrition feedback report at the end of the day, was that I had 71% calories from carbs, 17% from fat, and 12% from protein. Now, since I wasn't measuring as I went along, I'm not sure how accurate that is, but daaaang. (suggested range is 50% carb, 30% fat, and 20% protein). I guess one reason for this is I had made some unloved apples into applesauce last week and I wanted to use it up, so I made a pretty much fat free apple bread. And I guess eating something with so little protein or fat will keep me from feeling satisfied. Also, the reason I went to the dentist was to get a permanent filling over my root canal from last month, and there were some things I hadn't eaten while I was waiting on that (chex mix and peanut brittle) that I could finally try because I had my tooth back. It hasn't kept me away from everything sticky or chewy, but those things had particular tooth breaking potential.

Well, it was an interesting exercise but it made me pretty anxious all day. I was constantly wondering if I was hungry, and the answer was most often "no, not really".
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Intuitive eating is a process and less a challenge. I takes time to regain trust in ourselves. If you were to really free yourself from all the rule based eating you would return to the most natural way of eating (just like infants do and if you've ever tried to feed baby that isn't hungry you'll know what I mean!)

    It's a process worth pursuing - as diets and rule based eating is a never ending process - when you gain rapport with your body, your choice are made based on respect and love for your body - your body's inherent wisdom and you make peace with food.

    I've lost over 100 lbs this way!

    1923 days ago
    Hmmm - sounds like an interesting challenge. As I do not trust myself at all with food at this stage, I'd be worried, too. Plus, schedules change and sometimes we need to make perfectly appropriate adjustments knowing you may not have a chance to eat until much later. But I think it is great you tried it out and got the learning experience from it!
    1926 days ago
    1926 days ago
    42 years after reaching goal and I still cannot eat intuitively. My instincts are permanently broken. But that's OK, I can track and count. It looks intuitive to people looking from the outside, I'm sure, but it isn't.
    1926 days ago
    I'd love to be able to transition to intuitive eating one day--it sounds so liberating! I'm happy to know that until I get there, I can rely on tracking to help keep me on the straight and narrow. I kind of view it in the same way as I look at my bank account--I've got a certain budget and once I exhaust it, I'm done! If I overdraft, I have to live with the consequences and develop a plan for getting myself out of the red.
    1926 days ago
    This sounds like what I do! I adjust it everyday...but I know what I need to eat( not high in carbs). Basically...i eat when i'm hungry. I've maintained my weight for 2 years so I guess....it works for me! I have to admit....it took me awhile to get used to not measuring my food!

    1926 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/16/2013 6:01:36 AM
    Oh, it was definitely just one day. I don't think this is even an ideal for me to move toward. But it was an interesting experiment.
    1926 days ago
    Someday I hope to be at the point where I can do this but for now I still rely on the nutrition calculator to direct my eating habits and routine meal/snack breaks.
    1926 days ago
    I'm not sure I understand this concept. But from what I think I understand, I don't trust my inner whatever to make the best choices for me. They are so "jaded" from all the years of getting whatever i wanted, in whatever amounts I desired, whenever I wanted. I would always be wondering if it were my "I WANT IT" gremlin speaking, or if I were truly hungry, or if what I wanted was something my body truly needed for health.

    On the other hand, I'm not eating meat for my eating plan, Yesterday, I wanted chicken, Strong want. Before I ate a whole chicken, I considered where it might fit in the day, so the rest of my healthy choices were still met, and if it would definitely be a healthy choice. I decided against the southern fried chicken variety I first wanted, and then checked to see if roasted chicken was still wanted. The answer was yes, so that's what I had.

    It seems this thought process was a little piece of a whole day or week like you were doing? If so, that little piece wasn't easy. I WAS anxiety producing. I think because I was in uncharted territory for that short time, fear of making a mistake when i had been working so hard with the whole analytical brain being used to make menu choices.

    I'd like to think it is not going to be a war over control between my conscious and subconscious as I move away from close control over my healthy food choices.

    Thanks for giving me this to think about.
    1926 days ago
    It is a good process to work with hunger scale before eating.
    1926 days ago
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