Hi there! I am so honored to be guest posting here today on Bri’s blog. I love the concept Bri has embraced of mindful living and am delighted to share with you my thoughts on nutrition and intuitive eating.
With every New Year brings countless dietary resolutions, usually stemming from some innate desire to reinvent yourself, right? Well, what if this year you tried something different?
Something that is totally unconventional, yet, completely innate…
Enter, intuitive eating!
As a registered dietitian, I am a big proponent of allowing your body to be your guide to healthy eating. Sure, my hope is that a majority of your diet will be based on fruits, vegetables and other nutrient rich foods, but I also know there needs to be a healthy balance.
Thus, that’s why in my masters I became engrossed in this concept of intuitive eating.
Just as the base word indicates, you are allowing your intuition to guide your eating behaviors.
Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD is the pioneer of intuitive eating. She has a great community here that really provides support and encouragement as you begin to switch your mentality to allowing an intrinsic rather than extrinsic force guide your eating.
For instance, 1500 to 2000 calories a day is the range given for most people to meet. While I do understand there is a need for calorie counting when it applies to certain clients (athletes and others who really rely on those numbers), a majority of people prefer to focus on their body, using their internal hunger and fullness cues to guide their intakes.
When you do this, you would be amazed how satisfied and satiated you feel, both mentally and physically.
Let’s break this down for a moment. Think about the last time you went to a party. Did you avoid the cake, thinking about the added sugar and calories you’d consume if you had a slice? More often than not, avoiding the cake when you truly wanted a slice only means you found yourself making up for this at a later point, whether it be having two cookies when you got home, an extra donut the next day, etc.
My point is when you deprive yourself the joy that food brings, you place an external focus on the calories, the nutrition and the act of eating rather than the internal evaluation of how your body feels, your satisfaction and satiety.
I challenge you the next time you are faced with a “good versus bad food” decision, allow your body to be your guide. Listen to your inborn cues for hunger and fullness, they will never fail you.
I like to think of this concept on a scale of 1 to 10. To be in “harmony”, maintain your body in between a 5 to 7 range. This means you are adequately fed, satisfied and satiated. If you start to lean towards a 2, get some food! Your body is nearing that HANGER stage and needs nourishment. On the other hand, the 8-9-10 range means you are FULL! No need to have another piece, allow your body to digest and appreciate the nourishment it has just received.
Though intuitive eating involves a lot more than I can tell you in one post, I do encourage you to break free of that dichotomous thinking, labeling foods as good and bad. Rather let your body be thy guide! I promise, it’s amazing what you will learn!
Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT
Liz Shaw is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in San Diego. She own a Nutrition Communication Consultant Company, Shaw’s Simple Swaps, where she speaks as a nutrition expert in the media and through her freelance writing. Liz’s passion lies in helping consumers make healthy living easy and fun through her recipes and tips on Shaw’s Simple Swaps. Liz also specializes in fertility nutrition and is co-author of Fertility Foods and runs the community at Bumps to Baby, a support forum for those struggling with infertility.
This is a guest post written and photographed by Elizabeth Shaw.