Week 3 Challenge: Intuitive Eating

Hello, week 3! We're ready for you! Today we're talking about intuitive eating (and food journaling), and how it can help us be more mindful of our cravings and what our body needs.

This post is written in partnership with Milk. Love What’s Real.

This month we're pleased to welcome Katie Morford as part of our January Reset Challenge! Katie is a San Francisco-based cookbook author and registered dietitian who writes the blog Mom’s Kitchen Handbook.

Like most teenage girls, I embarked on more than a few diets during high school trying to skinny myself down to what I considered an acceptable size. I rarely had much success in tipping the scales, but I did manage to mess with my natural intuition around eating.

Restrictive diets tend to do that by denying foods we love and ignoring what comes completely naturally—our hunger and satiety signals. This week’s theme is all about tapping into when, how much, and what we want to eat.

Ditch the Diet

I’m guessing more than a few of you can relate to my high school story, since diet culture is quite a thing and has been for a very long time. But there’s a movement afoot to ditch the diets. It’s called Intuitive Eating.

In a way, it’s not all that innovative, since eating intuitively is what babies do from the get-go. They latch onto their mama or a bottle for milk and then pull away when they’ve had enough.

Essentials of Intuitive Eating

This week’s theme is all about that... tapping into when, how much, and what we want to eat. It hones in on the core tenets of Intuitive Eating, a movement founded by registered dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It’s worth reading all 10 tenets of Intuitive Eating, which you can find here.

Below are some of the top notes:

  • Break up with Dieting

Intuitive eating involves letting go of your diet mentality, one that you may have had for a very long time. It means getting off the dieting roller coaster and rejecting the empty promises to “drop 10 pounds in 10 days” or take a magic pill, potion, or cleanse to cure your weight loss woes.

  • Listen to your Body

Intuitive eating is trusting your all-natural, built-in mechanism for nourishing your body. It’s called hunger and satiety. Eating intuitively means paying close attention to when you feel hungry and honoring that. It’s also about respecting when you feel full and listening to those signals just as closely.

  • Make Friends with Food

Try to take the “can’t” and “shouldn’t” out of your head when it comes to thinking about food. Give yourself the green light to eat and enjoy food. Consistently telling yourself “no” to foods you love and crave may lead to weight loss initially, but ultimately can lead to feelings of deprivation and overeating.

  • Know That What You Eat Doesn’t Make You Good or Bad

I often hear people say, “I’ve been so BAD today” in reference to something they’ve eaten. Do your best to divorce yourself from this way of thinking. Watch your thoughts and blow them away like a dandelion when you tell yourself you’ve been “bad” for eating nachos or “good” for drinking a green juice.

  • Move Your Body

Find a way to get some movement into your day, not because it burns calories, but because it makes you feel good.

"Intuitive Eating” Challenge

If you want to give Intuitive Eating a whirl, we have a challenge to cheer you on. This week, we invite you to keep an Intuitive Eating Journal (we're using this one but you can use an app on your phone that you stumble across, or good ol' pen and paper). Log what you eat and drink all week long, noting your observations along the way:

  • How hungry and full are you before and after meals?
  • What eating triggers did you experience that were unrelated to hunger? Tired? Stressed? Lonely?
  • How present is the food police, that inner critic telling you how good or bad you’re eating, at your table?
  • How do you feel physically (and emotionally) after a meal or snack?

We're asking all of our Resetters (that's you!) to share a snapshot of your journal on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #simplyresetjournal for a chance to win this week's prize. We'll have more details at the beginning of this upcoming week, so head on over to our January Reset Challenge Facebook page to learn more!

If you don't have Facebook, don't worry: everyone that's signed up for the challenge is automatically entered to win (if you join us over on Facebook or Instagram and share a photo of your journal using the hashtag #simplyresetjournal, you'll get additional entries each time you share).