intuitive eating; ryann nicole

015. How to Begin Intuitive Eating Before Actually Starting Intuitive Eating

January 31, 2021

Ryann Nicole

Hi, I’m Ryann.

Your Not-So-Average Food Freedom Therapist & Virtual Coach. As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Nutritionist with a BA in Psychology, and a MA in Professional Counseling, yes I do a little of the "so how does that make you feel".

But my ultimate goal is to provide you with the resources you need, in an easy-to-understand way, on healing your disordered relationship with food and your body. 

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On the Food Freedom Lab Podcast today, we are talking about how to begin intuitive eating before actually starting intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is an amazing and helpful way of returning to our innate eating habits. However, beginning intuitive eating can feel extremely overwhelming and scary – especially when you don't know where to start. In this episode, I am sharing the three things I did to get started before the intuitive eating piece happened.

Before diving in, I felt it was important to share my intuitive eating definition. I define intuitive eating as making food decisions (on what to eat at whatever moment) based on what your body is telling you to want rather than your mind (choosing food you should have). If you have been in the grip of diet culture for a while, this will NOT be easy. So rather than trying to overwhelm yourself by eating all the feared foods you've ever had, trying to force yourself to be okay with it when you are not, what if you tried this instead?

01. Look at what your relationship with food is like now.

How consuming is food for you? When do you remember that starting? And what are the food fears you are currently holding onto? Once you have reflected on this, you will challenge your thoughts. If you have a fear of gaining weight, here is an example of how you would challenge that:

    1. I Awareness uncovered: I am holding onto the fear of weight gain.
    2. Ask yourself: why am I emotionally attached to mat weight?
    3. Ask yourself: what do I believe my weight would say about me?
    4. Ask yourself: is that true?
    5. Ask yourself: What evidence do I have to prove that is not true?
    6. and continue with this until you have completely exhausted the limiting thought

02. Become aware of how often you are making decisions with your mind rather than your body

The key is to look at it with curiosity, not judgment. Notice where you are making these decisions. Do you choose what to eat based on what sounds good or what you feel you should have? Again, notice, and become aware but do not judge. Here are some examples of making food decisions based on your mind rather than your body:

  • I am not going to have a snack now even though I am hungry because lunch is in an hour.I can wait it out
  • I will not eat anything after dinner because I have already hit my calories for the day. I am not going to go over my calories
  • I am not going to have the salad for lunch rather than the sandwich because I had bread for breakfast and I can't have bread twice
  • I am not going to have the chocolate I am craving because I didn't work out today

03. Start small

Begin by challenging some part of the diet culture you are holding onto. The goal here is to create a snowball effect. Once you realize you can go a day without counting every calorie and be okay, or you can have the chocolate even though you didn't work out, or eat bread twice in one day and still BE OKAY, that will empower you to keep going. It is okay to slowly peel off the bandaid with this one if you are not ready to rip it off yet completely!

Last but not least, I want to give you something to reflect on if you are struggling with letting go of the diet, and that is: How far has what I’ve been doing gotten me?

More in this Episode:

My journey with intuitive eating and in-depth examples and details of the tips above! Click below or press the player above to listen now!

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Your Not-So-Average Food Freedom Therapist & Virtual Coach