This week I’ve been doing some market research. I’ve been speaking to women in business like you and asking them what they need from a body confidence and weight loss coach like me. It’s thrown up some interesting ideas and things that I do and take for granted that probably you’d benefit from. I’m keeping my cards close to my chest for now but suffice it to say that I will be adding some new simple but effective strategies into my packages and programmes from now on. One of my biggest tools and yet one of the hardest for clients to get their heads around is Intuitive Eating, or eating what you want, when you want and so today I’m going to look at that in more detail.
To be honest, it’s only recently that I’ve discovered that this ‘system’ has a name. For me it was always about listening to my body, not restricting food, ditching the diet. When I first started I just knew that dieting wasn’t working and so I stopped. I stumbled upon the fact that SHOCK HORROR occasionally I didn’t fancy cake or chips or all the foods that I thought I loved eating constantly and had to stay away from. For me, that wasn’t the end of my problems but that’s for another post 😉
So, this way of eating, for me, is a simple way of thinking about food. 1) You eat when you are hungry 2) You eat the food you fancy and not the food you think you should eat 3) you eat it and enjoy it 4) You stop when you’ve had enough 5) You repeat the process the next time you feel hungry (whenever that may be).
You will not be able to do this perfectly the first time you try. But as with last week’s post on my exercise regime, I measure my success by the times I do it. You can’t change the past, if you binged or overate there is nothing you can do about it now. Just start again with eating ‘normally’.
So why do some clients struggle with this system?
The main reason it is so hard is because you have been ‘hypnotised’ to believe that you don’t know what your body needs. All the diet clubs and daytime TV ‘diet’ experts have told you that you can’t control your eating. You’ve been told that in order to lose weight that you need to be told exactly what to eat and to count every morsel. You don’t. I never refer to food as healthy or unhealthy, I never talk about good or bad food. Food is food. Spend a week eating chocolate cake and pepperoni pizza and by the weekend your body will be telling you it wants vegetables and fruit. You can listen to your body. Stop arguing with it.
[Tweet “You have been ‘hypnotised’ to believe you don’t know what your body needs.”]
Part of the problem is that when people first try it, they need time to adjust, to get past the stage of eating all the foods they have spent years avoiding to a point where a fruit salad is as attractive as ‘death by chocolate’ depending on your mood. And it will come but you need to let go of all the misinformation you have learned over [however many] years of dieting and having your thoughts skewed. Unfortunately the more years you’ve spent dieting, the harder it will be. Hypnotherapy can be a great help in allowing you to undo the past damage and retune your thoughts to allow you to trust your body.
I challenge you…
To give it a go. I know it’s scary when you’ve spent years wavering between weight loss diets and the f@*k-it diet. Deprivation followed by bingeing followed by the next big thing diet (have you tried the 5:2 yet?) Forget diets and binges and try my version of Intuitive Eating. I’ll remind you of the steps:
- You eat when you are hungry (don’t wait until you could eat a horse – you will miss your ‘full’ signal)
- You eat the food you fancy and not what you think you should eat, or the food you think other people will approve of
- You eat and enjoy the food as you eat it. Taste it, enjoy it, take pleasure in it. If you’re not enjoying it there’s no point eating it.
- You stop eating when you’ve had enough. This could be when you feel full or before if you just feel you don’t want anymore.
- Rinse and repeat. Ok joking aside, the next time you are hungry do the same. That could be half an hour or 4 hours later.
Tell me below what scares you about trying this way of eating. And if you want to find out more about how my clients learn to love their bodies, be happy with their weight and eat whatever they want then why not book a Discovery Session with me?