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Is it Wrong to Want to Lose Weight While Working on Intuitive Eating?

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question is a common question that I hear all the time.  

The question is:

Question:

“Bonnie, I’m told that if I’m “doing” intuitive eating, I “shouldn’t” want to lose weight. Is it wrong to still want to lose weight even though I am learning intuitive eating?

Are you shaking your head now saying to yourself “yes, yes I want to know the answer to this question too.”

 

I want you to know that it’s okay to want to release excess weight. I always tell my clients that saying “I want to lose weight” is not like using curse words. Yet, they are meant to feel like they are not allowed to have this desire.

 

They are. And you are! But here’s the difference.

 

We need to first focus on re-building the trust in your body and in yourself that you have lost over all the years of dieting and abusing your body. In the right time, once intuitive eating has become a practice for you, if you are carrying excess weight and it’s meant to be released, it will do so without you having to worry about it, wish for it, or manipulate your eating to achieve it.

 

Giving up the ‘control’ of “I must lose weight” is scary, as you are probably concerned you will gain weight in the interim.

 

I won’t be able to do a Facebook Live training today like I usually do on Intuitive Eating Wednesdays. So, I am linking below to two YouTube videos that I filmed on the topic of intuitive eating and weight loss/weight gain.

 

Just click the images below, and after watching them, post a comment and I’ll respond!

 

 

 

 

 

I will look for your comments, either right here on the blog, or under the videos!

 

 

I’m Eating Unconditionally but Going Overboard on Sweets. Help!

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from a woman in my Diet Free Radiant Me intuitive eating support community.

The question is:

Question:

“When I give myself unconditional permission to eat the foods I want, all I eat are carbs and sweets, and I eat too many of them!! I’m worried that if I eat intuitively, I will only eat carbs and I will gain weight.”

 

I understand this concern, because I hear it from many people, both clients who are just starting the intuitive eating journey and those in my private intuitive eating support group who are contemplating the journey (If you are not yet a part of our group, join HERE for free).

 

It makes sense. You’ve been restricting carbs and sweets for years, maybe even decades (except when you are bingeing). Your mind has been programmed to think that carbs and sweets are “bad” for you and that you are a “bad” person if you eat them. So, in an effort to be “good”, you restrict them to the best of your ability. Until you can’t resist any longer and you make a deal with yourself – “I’ll only have one”, which leads to many or the whole box. Then you promise to NEVER eat them again.

 

So when the idea of intuitive eating was presented to you with the concept of “give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you desire when you are hungry”, this sounded too good to be true. But who are you to argue. You jump right in. And now you find yourself all the way at the other extreme of ‘carb land’ eating and eating and eating with a fear that you will now gain weight.

 

There are 3 points I’d like to make here to help you be at peace with ‘unconditional permission to eat”.

1. Whenever you restrict something all the way in one direction (i.e. chocolate) and then you release that restriction, it is going to boomerang all the way to the other direction. This means if you’ve restricted chocolate or pizza and haven’t had it in years, and now you release that restriction and allow yourself to eat it, you are likely going to eat a lot of it because you haven’t had it in so long. It’s like a pendulum, when pulled in one direction and then you let it go, it swings all the way to the opposite end.

 

Or, like a seesaw (did you play on a seesaw when you were a kid? I did!). Visualize restriction and deprivation at the highest point (that’s you sitting on the seesaw up in the air!). Then you let the restriction go all at once, bam, the seesaw hits the ground (and your bottom took a big hit!)

 

This is absolutely ‘normal’. This won’t last forever. You will return to a middle ground after a while. At some point you will say to yourself “okay, tastes nice but I don’t feel the need to have it every day anymore. I can have it any time I desire.”

 

2. Part of becoming attuned to your inner body wisdom means being mindful of how you feel while eating and after eating certain foods. So pay attention to how you feel when you are eating an overabundance of sweets. Do you feel energized, sluggish, low energy, tired? Do you have indigestion, bloat etc. You will find that after a while your body will tell you what it wants, and often that is lighter foods because it makes you feel so much better.

 

3. When you allow all foods into your world again, you will begin to identify your true food preferences. You may think you cannot live without those chocolate kisses, but now that you aren’t restricting them, you find that they taste like cheap chocolate. If you are going to eat chocolate, you want the expensive Godiva chocolate (I have a story about this which I’ll save for another time!)

 

This all might sound logical to you, right? So, why are you still scared?

 

Here are several reasons, along with solutions.

 

The solutions include the freebie gift downloads I’ve created for you over the last 3 weeks of Intuitive Eating Wednesdays.

 

1. Intellectually you understand all this. But your inner voices are still shouting diet food rules at you. This is because you still possess a diet mentality and wonder if willpower will help you eat the sweets ‘in moderation’.

 

Solution: There is no willpower required in intuitive eating. Download Your 3 Step Plan to Shift Out of Diet Mentality and the Willpower Trap here.

 

2. It’s not about the food at all. It’s about the WHY you are eating.

 

Solution: Learn what emotions are driving your eating and download the Emotional Eating Inventory Worksheet here.

 

3. You are still labeling food as “good” and “bad”, “healthy” and “unhealthy”.

 

Solution: Reprogram your ‘good food/bad food’ mindset and download the Fleshing Out Your ‘Good Foods/Bad Foods’ Worksheet here.

 

Let’s discuss this further on today’s Facebook LIVE at 5:30 pm EST on my Facebook business page HERE. Go ahead and LIKE the page now so you get notification when I go live.

 

Want to talk? Just go to http://TalkWithBonnie.com, answer a few short questions and we will set up a time to chat.

 

 

 

 

I Feel Full But I Still Want to Eat More

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question is:

 

“How do I stop eating when I know I’m full? I just want to keep eating what’s on my plate until it’s finished. And I do, and then I feel bad, guilty and ashamed that I’ve done it again!”

 

Do you ever have this conversation in your head?

 

I hear this question a lot from my clients, which is why I want to address it with you.

 

As a dieter, you are used to eating on autopilot, and finishing what’s on your plate or in the bag. Part of the journey I take my clients on is learning how to move out of autopilot eating……ahhhh, not always so easy, is it?

 

If you are eating a meal and you know you are full, but you are just loving the food you are eating and don’t want to stop, it may very well be you testing the intuitive eating process. You just don’t fully believe you could actually give yourself permission to eat what you love. If you did, then you’d know that you can put this food away and have it at another time.

This is often tied to emotions.

 

Download your Emotional Eating Inventory Worksheet here.

 

You are feeding an emotional hunger when you continue to eat even after you have recognized you are full. It’s not WHAT you are eating, it’s WHY you are continuing to eat.

 

So the first step is learning the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. This is key. And understanding what emotions you are feeding is the second step that will help you take action to stop.

 

To break the pattern around emotional eating, you need to increase your awareness around this pattern. You then give yourself the choice to respond differently and to find another way to meet your emotional needs without food.

 

Grab this freebie to help you take stock of your emotional eating: Emotional Eating Inventory Worksheet.

 

 

Intuitive Eating…No Willpower Required

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday’s Question is:

“I’ve been trying intuitive eating, but I just don’t have the willpower to stick with it. How can I strengthen my willpower backbone?”

 

I just LOVE this question. But before I get to the answer, let’s get clear on your dieting history. It probably goes something like this:

 

You’ve tried them all. Weight Watchers, Atkins, Weight Watchers, the Blood Type Diet, Weight Watchers. the Scarsdale Diet, Weight Watchers, the HCG Diet, Weight Watchers. Oh, did I mention Weight Watchers?!

 

It is SO easy to get sucked into sensational claims that come with each of these diets. But what you are finding is that they don’t work. Well, they do “work” if by working you mean losing weight, only to gain it back.

 

Yes, I won’t disagree. All diets can work in helping you lose weight. But can we agree that they ultimately don’t work, seeing you are here looking for another way?

 

Throughout all the diets you’ve been on, you’ve tried SO hard to have SO much willpower so you can resist your favorite food that the diets deem bad for you. And, the reason you’ve been sucked into many fad diets is because you only have to endure them for a short period of time and therefore only need to have a little willpower until the diet is over.  

 

Many diets proudly state “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days”, or “6 weeks to flat abs”. I know this is very tempting. And you think to yourself “ok, I need to have willpower for 30 days (or 6 weeks) and that’s it…I’ll reach my goal and the diet and misery will be over.”

 

But we know that you can only resist your favorite food for so long. Maybe you can last the 30 days or 6 weeks. Or maybe you can’t. Either way, what happens? When your willpower weakens and you have an emotional trigger, you cave and have the very food you’ve been longing yet been restricting. And now you don’t just have a serving, you have several servings, and it eventually turns into a binge.

 

Next thing that happens >>> feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, failure and the negative self-talk and body bashing.

 

Well, the good news is this.

 

In the practice of intuitive eating, there is no willpower required. Yay! You learn to take all the conditions off your food and when you do, the power those foods hold over you are no more. Even better, once you learn to trust in your inner signals as your guide to eating, you will no longer need to rebel against the diets that are telling you what to eat and not to eat.

 

Because YOU are in charge!

So, back to the original question that came in from one of my readers:

 

“I’ve been trying intuitive eating, but I just don’t have the willpower to stick with it. How can I strengthen my willpower backbone?”

 

There is no willpower in intuitive eating. What I want you to recognize is if you are still relying on willpower, then you are still harboring a diet mentality. And this will cause you to continue to stumble on your intuitive eating journey.

 

Give thought to how many times a day or week you think to yourself that you need to have willpower to resist a food.

 

How many times do you call up your willpower before heading out to a party or dinner with friends?

 

Call yourself out on it. Recognize it. The more you do and the more you remind yourself that you don’t need willpower in intuitive eating, the more you will see the diet mentality dissipate.

 

Grab this freebie that I have for you and you’ll be well on your way to never falling into the willpower trap again: Your 3 Step Plan to Shift Out of Diet Mentality and the Willpower Trap.

 

Come join me on Facebook Live today, Wednesday at 1:30 pm EST for a free training on this very topic! We will be LIVE on my business page right at this link >

https://www.facebook.com/BRGDieteticsandNutritionPC/

 

Mindful Eating During the Holidays

The holiday season is here and if you are concerned that you will gain weight like in past years, let me assure you that it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

Holiday weight gain often comes from mindless eating such as eating fast without even tasting the food, munching mindlessly on hor d’oeuvres before dinner or having that second piece of pecan pie because you felt pressured by the host.

 

In contrast, when you eat mindfully, you are more aware of your eating habits and the sensations you experience when you eat, such as the taste, texture and aroma of the food.

 

Here are 5 easy ways to get started.

 

  1. Slow down. Are you the first one to finish your meal or the last one? Before you begin eating, think about how you will proceed to eat your meal.  Consciously decide that you will slow down, and allow at least 20-30 minutes to eat.  Take the time to appreciate the food you are eating.

 

  1. Sit down at the table. Eating while standing in front of the refrigerator, buffet table or while walking around will decrease your attention and satisfaction with your meal. Instead, plan to sit while eating, even at a buffet party.  Fill your plate appropriately with food, and find a table to sit.  Friends and family will likely join you and you can enjoy nice conversation while being more mindful of your eating.

 

  1. Savor your food. Focus on each bite of food that you put into your mouth. Experience the taste, texture, flavors and aroma of the food.  Is it sweet, salty, sour, crunchy, or smooth?  Do you like it, dislike it, or it’s just okay?  If you aren’t fully satisfied with it, don’t finish it.

 

  1. Be in the moment. Are you fully present when you are eating?  Be sure to turn off the television, and avoid reading or talking on the phone while eating.  These activities take away from the mindfulness of eating.

 

  1. Put your fork down periodically throughout the meal. Observe what you do with your silverware during the meal. Do you keep it in your hand?  Are you preparing the next bite of food on the fork while chewing what’s in your mouth?  When you turn your attention to the next bite, you are not being mindful and completely miss the food that you are currently eating.  Instead of enjoying the food in your mouth, you are focusing on matters beyond the present.  So this year, put your fork down on the table while you are chewing and give all your attention to the food in your mouth.  When you finish that bite, pick up the fork and take another.

 

Another possible contributor to your holiday weight gain: food pushers.

 

If you have family or friends that are food pushers, it can be difficult to stop eating when you are full.  But it is OK to politely say “No thank you, I am full, but I will take a piece home for later.”  Many people will not push you any further, since you will be taking some home.

 

It is important to listen to your body and know when you are full.

 

Taking the time to listen to your body and following these 5 easy tips will get you started on your journey towards mindful eating and help you avoid unwanted holiday weight gain.

 

If you would my help and support through the holidays and New Year, just go to www.TalkWithBonnie.com and we’ll set up a time to talk.

 

Another New Weight Loss System that’s Doomed to Fail

balloonsTrying to figure out how the picture here connects with the blog title? Read on…

It is not unusual for you to open up a magazine or hear on TV about a new weight loss procedure or miracle diet/supplement to help you lose weight quickly.

If you are a chronic dieter, you probably take notice whenever there is a new “best” way to lose weight.  And, you’ve probably tried most if not all of them.

Well, today I had to write about another new weight loss procedure that is about to hit the market because I just can’t believe it.  I will describe it to you, without naming names (for good reason).

This latest FDA-approved weight-loss system is minimally invasive.  It consists of three tiny capsules, each containing an inflatable balloon attached to a catheter.  You would swallow each of the capsules, three weeks apart, and X-rays are taken to ensure they are just in the right spot.

(You would be swallowing inflatable balloons!)

Once the balloons are in the right spot, gas is pumped through the catheter, filling the balloon up.  The catheter is removed, and you would go home with a small balloon (or balloons) in your stomach.

The balloons stays there for six months, filling up the stomach.  This is meant to help you feel full so you don’t eat as much.  After six months, the balloons are removed via minimally-invasive endoscopic surgery.

UGH!

But, why do you need to resort to this type of procedure?

Wouldn’t it be better to learn why you feel the need to overeat, and to change your relationship with food?

The research for this procedure did have the volunteers meeting with a registered dietitian every three weeks, helping them making healthy lifestyle changes, which is good.  This system is meant to be done in conjunction with diet and exercise and the company says you would need to meet with a dietitian regularly as part of the program.

But, why not meet with a registered dietitian certified as an intuitive eating counselor to do the deeper work that you have to do NOW so you can finally be free of all these weight loss systems and procedures (which by the way doesn’t keep the weight off long term)?

This is where intuitive eating can be beneficial.  If you learn the why behind your eating and what is actually driving your overeating you will no longer seek to fill those needs with food! You will learn how to listen to your body’s hunger and satiety cues and give your body what it wants.

You CAN do this.  No device or procedure or pill is needed.

Remember, there is no “quick-fix” to obesity, it is a disease that requires a long-term solution via a multi-faceted approach.

Start by understanding the real reason(s) you overeat, the WHY behind your eating. As I have said many times before, it is not about the food.

If you would like my help to create a healthier relationship with food, your mind and your body, just go to www.TalkWithBonnie.com and we’ll set up a time to chat.

 

 

Read This if You are an Emotional Eater

facebook-live-ee-body-image-pvt-groupThere is nothing wrong with foods being a source of pleasure.  In fact, the more positive your relationship with food, the better you will feel about your eating habits.

 

But, there is a fine line between a positive food relationship and using food as comfort.

 

The notion of seeking “comfort” from certain foods can lead to problems with your relationship with food.  If you are eating something to gain a sense of comfort, this begins to connect your eating to emotions instead of satiety.

 

There is a difference between eating a food you love because you are enjoying the taste of it or the ceremony for which the food represents, and eating to soothe emotions.

 

If you eat to feed your emotions, then you may be an emotional eater.

 

Let’s take a look at the cycle of emotional eating:

 

Your emotional trigger might be stress or even lonliness, which can lead to overeating and bingeing.  You might be looking for “something” to fill a void that you seem to have in your life.  That food may give you relief in the moment, but shame, guilt and body bashing can quickly follow.

 

This can become a vicious cycle, leaving you with a poor body image, negative self-image and those same emotions you started with.

 

When you eat for comfort, you are likely looking to avoid feeling whatever feelings you are experiencing. Because let’s face it, feeling feelings is hard! You hope that food will solve whatever problem you are having, but you know what? Food will not solve the problem.  Once you stop eating, the root of your problems will still be there. And on top of that, you likely feel bloated, tired and physically uncomfortable.

 

The best way to deal with your emotions is to look at the root of the problem, instead of turning to food.

 

Use food as fuel rather than therapy.

 

This is not to say you can’t eat the foods you previously considered to be “comfort foods”.  Instead, simply redefine their place in your eating plan, and make them a part of your healthy lifestyle, not a part of your mental well-being.

 

Would you like to delve further into your emotional eating? 

 

Join me for Facebook Live in my Private Facebook Community on Thursday October 6th  at 8 pm Eastern where I will coach you through your biggest emotional eating and body image challenges.

 

No Facebook? No Worries!

 

Sign up HERE for a FREE TRAINING on October 13th

 

Topic: A Simple (and Delicious) Way to End Emotional Eating

 

 

PS: Even if you attend our Facebook Live, I recommend you still register for the Free Training.

 

 

Taking Your Kids on Your Intuitive Eating Journey

child-eating-bananaIt is a lot easier to reach your goals when you are working with someone else, right?

 

You can share your intuitive eating journey with someone who looks up to you the most, your child.  Your child can be that someone!

 

As a parent you are a role model for your child. Even if you aren’t aware of it, you can influence your child’s thoughts and behaviors.  So whether you already have kids or are planning to have them in the future, it’s a great idea to model your intuitive eating journey to help instill a healthy relationship with food and feelings of self-worth.

 

You are born an intuitive eater, so chances are your child can help you on your journey as well.

 

Young children…

 

  • Have the ability to listen to their hunger and fullness cues.
  • Will not starve themselves or overeat.
  • Eat slowly, waiting between each bite until they reach for their next forkful.

 

As children age and see family members or the media describe food as “bad”, they may start to move away from eating intuitively.  Their relationship with food and their body may start to change.  If you take them on your intuitive eating journey with you, you may be able to help them continue on as an intuitive eater.

 

Here are 3 ways to help your kids stay intuitive:

 

  1. Banish the “clean your plate before dessert” threat. Like I said before, children are very in tune with their hunger and fullness cues.  If you want them to clean their plate, they will most likely overeat.  If this is a chronic problem with your child, try giving them smaller portions.  If they are still hungry, they will ask for more.

 

  1. Focus on a healthy relationship with food. While on your intuitive eating journey, you learn about the importance of moderation and listening to your body.  If your child sees that you are not afraid to eat certain foods and you stop when you are satisfied rather than stuffed, they will model that behavior.  You will show them there is no such thing as “bad food” or “good food” and they will develop a healthy relationship with food.

 

  1. Show the importance of loving your body. As you’re sitting with your child, talk about what you love about your body, whether it’s physical (“my eyes”), or something your body does for you (“my eyes help me see your beautiful smile”).  By doing this, your child will gain a positive body image and show her own body love.

 

I know showing self-love can be hard to do, especially if you are struggling with it yourself.  So here is an activity you and your child can do together before bedtime:

 

  • Ask your child to tell you what they love about you, or their favorite characteristic about you. Then you tell your child what you love about them, or your favorite characteristic about them.

 

Your intuitive eating journey can become a way to bond with your child.  The two of you can work on your journey together, making it a family affair.

 

So remember, don’t go on this journey alone!  Include your child and teach them about your journey.  You never know, they might teach you a few things too.

 

If you would like more guidance on how to teach mindful eating to your kids, come join my free training Mindful Eating for Families: A Parent Class with Megrette Fletcher, RD.  Sign up for notification on when the next class is available here.

 

 

How to Slow Down the Pace of Eating

timerIn today’s fast paced society it’s only natural that we rush around trying to get everything done before the day is over. You rush to work, school, and everywhere else you have to go. While moving fast may be a necessity for you, eating fast can be detrimental to your health and body.

 

Did you know that eating your meals quickly can actually lead to overeating and weight gain?

 

Think back to your last meal… did you inhale it or take the time to enjoy every bite?  How long do you think it took you to finish your meal? If it’s less than 20 minutes then keep reading.

 

Don’t worry you’re not alone, most people devour their meals in about 5 minutes. They put a forkful of food in their mouths and before they even swallow, the next forkful is ready to go. Do you do this too?

 

When you do this you’re not savoring your meal and you’re not being mindful as you eat. Slowing down as you eat will allow you to really taste every bite and get the most satisfaction out of the meal as possible.

 

Eating quickly also prevents you from eating until you are comfortably satisfied because you don’t pay attention to your inner fullness signals, instead you eat until the food is gone. It takes the brain 20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full. If you eat fast you can completely miss that fullness cue and you can overeat. It can even cause bloating, gas and heartburn.

 

In a Japanese study of over 3,000 people, both male and female, those who ate quickly until they were completely full were three times more likely to be overweight than those who ate slower.

 

Slow down your eating by:

  • Setting an allotted 30 minutes to sit down and have a good meal
  • Putting your fork and knife down between bites
  • Chewing slowly
  • Using your non-dominant hand to hold the fork
  • Eating with someone else
  • Eat without distractions (meaning no T.V. or Phone)

 

Challenge yourself

Set the timer on your phone and see how long it normally takes you to finish a meal. It might be 5 minutes and you might think that stretching it out to 20 is impossible. It’s not! Continue to use the tips above every time you sit to eat to help lengthen your meal minute by minute. Before long, you will be eating slower and using your inner fullness signals to guide you when to stop. And, you’ll enjoy your meal a whole lot better.

 

Comment below and let me know how this goes for you!

 

Can I Fail on My Intuitive Eating Journey?

No failures in IEI was thinking about a conversation I had with a new client a few weeks ago. She was really fed up with dieting and was looking for a solution to help her finally be at peace with food and her body.  We talked about the process of intuitive eating and it resonated with her greatly, but she had one big fear:  would she fail at this process, like she failed at dieting?

 

Her fear of failure was initially holding her back from saying yes to embarking on the intuitive eating process.  So we talked about that fear and one of the things I helped her to understand is that you cannot fail at intuitive eating.

 

You see, dieting is something you go on and you go off. Dieting is what actually triggers overeating.  Dieting is what causes the feelings of failure.

 

With intuitive eating, there is no failure. Intuitive eating is this process where you’re learning to become an intuitive eater, which is an ability you are born with.  That ability is already within you.   Every step along the path, is a lesson learned.  Every experience you have will be another lesson learned.

 

So what you might have thought of as a “failure” or “setback” on your diet, is now going to be thought of as a lesson learned.  Its growth and progress.

 

If you can view the process of intuitive eating from this place, a place of growth, a place of learning new things and new experiences, it will help propel you forward towards reclaiming being an intuitive eater. Here you will realize that you will always learn something from the process and you will never fail.

 

Once my client realized that she is not embarking on another diet, she realized she cannot fail on this journey.  This process is not something that ends.  You learn to live as an intuitive eater, it’s a practice.

 

And so when there is no endpoint, there’s no failure and no fear that’s attached to that.

 

Once she was able to let go of that fear, she was able to say “YES, let’s do this.  Let’s go on this journey together so I can reclaim being an intuitive eater”. She’s on that journey now and really enjoying it.

 

I say the same to you.

 

There are lessons learned in every experience you have on this intuitive eating journey.

 

If you come upon an obstacle or you think you have fallen off the wagon, let’s change that thought process and just think of it as a lesson learned that’s given you growth so you can continue along your journey.

 

As always, if you need me, I am here.