Intuitive Eating: How to Make Lasting Change
Intuitive Eating is being able to know which macro- and micro-nutrients your body needs without tracking. It means eating to be healthy and not “dieting”. Calorie-counting goes out the window. Rather, the focus becomes listening to your body and giving it the fuel it needs to strive.
This may be a shock to some. After all, many of us from a young age have adapted the mindset that calories must be counted and a specific amount of protein/carbs/fat must be eaten each day in order to build muscle and lose fat. If we don’t track these pieces, how will we know if we are making progress to our goals?
Instead of looking at this nutrition choice as a lack of a diet plan that will help you reach your goals, I encourage you to think of the goal instead to be able to intuitively eat long term. How can you make this a lasting change?
Focus on choice over calories and macros. In today’s world, we are given so many choices of what to put into our mouths. Walk into a grocery store and you will see a section designated to fresh fruits and vegetables, one to meat, one to grain items, and everything in between. Instead of looking at labels to evaluate the calories and macros, think of it’s nutritional value as a whole. Did it come from a mother? If so, it’s probably something your body would thrive on.
Fill each plate with a protein, fat, and carbohydrate source. Keeping your meals balanced will support your body as it builds muscle and burns fat. With healthy macronutrient sources, micronutrient needs are usually fulfilled simultaneously.
Ensure that you have a good relationship with food. Do you see that salad as a way to fuel your next activity, or is it a punishment for eating a slice of cake earlier in the day? Having a good relationship with food shifts the focus to quality and nutrition.
Focus on how you are feeling. Do you have more energy when you eat a specific snack before heading home from work? Or does it make you feel crummy? If it’s the latter, include a different variety for the next day. Did you feel hungry after dinner or were you satisfied until the next day? If you felt hungry after dinner, prepare a healthy snack to fuel your body and ensure your needs are met day to day. Intuitive eating is a call to listen in!
Be patient - progress over perfection. It’s difficult to jump in full force to intuitive eating without feeling like you’ve lost control or you’re headed in the wrong direction. Before adapting this nutritional goal entirely, try eating intuitively a few days a week. How are you feeling after? If you were to track your meals, would you be at the “just right” Goldilocks amount of nutrients or would you be too high or too low in some areas? Focus in on making small gains and changes in this lifestyle and soon you will be there.
Intuitive eating is being able to listen to your body and not rely on a calculator to tell you whether you met your goals for that day or not. This gives us a life we all seek - the ability to life a free, balanced lifestyle knowing we are fueling our bodies efficiently. If you’ve participated in one of my FASTer Way to Fat Loss bootcamps before, I urge you to register for VIP and let me support you to obtain this goal!