Been doing a lot of research and thinking on Intuitive Eating lately. For those of you who aren't familiar, this is the website http://www.intuitiveeating.org. Here are their 10 Priniciples which you can read more about in detail on the site.
- Reject the Diet Mentality
- Honor Your Hunger
- Make Peace with Food
- Challenge the Food Police
- Respect Your Fullness
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor
- Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
- Respect Your Body
- Exercise--Feel the Difference
- Honor Your Health--Gentle Nutrition
A lot about this system I absolutely love. I love how they talk about not calling yourself "good" or "bad" depending on how many calories you eat. I'm also beginning to believe that they are right that when you deprive yourself of certain foods, it makes you crave them to such an extent that you eventually end up going crazy with them, so moderation is the key.
I've been thinking about this when it comes to my quest to just have a normal relationship with food and exist peacefully in maintenance. I have mentioned MANY times that I don't want to have to think about calories every single time I put something in my mouth for the rest of my life. I just want to eat meals and not be obsessive and rigid.
But here's the problem. I don't believe that I have an "off" switch. I am getting to the point where I can distinguish MOST of the time between being truly physically hungry and being psychologically hungry. BUT there is NEVER and I mean virtually NEVER a time when I don't want to eat. I want to eat all the time. I don't recognize "fullness" until I am literally over-full and sick - which happens only after hundreds of calories. I could just have eaten a very satisfying meal and I still could eat much, much more. I DON'T - but I could and I want to - that's how I ended up weighing 344 pounds.
I have employed strategies to help this - I eat waaaayyyy slower now by concentrating on eating slow and chewing my food more thoroughly. I also have learned about cooking and spices to make my meals more flavorful - which sends signals to the brain that you are full. I eat lots of veggies and protein which fill you up faster and longer then crap food.
Having said that, though, I eat a lot of food and am never satisfied. I always, always, always want more.
So while intuitive eating might work for some people, I'm pessimistic that it's ever going to work for me. Like a drug addict, I think my brain is just designed differently that it doesn't have an off switch to tell me when I need to stop eating.
That being said, I am getting better about my food rigidity and my quest to stop bashing myself based on food choices is getting better day by day. This is a healthy thing 9 months into maintenance, I think.
Anyone out there practice Intuitive Eating?