Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy intuitive eating this holiday season!

Just wanted to post a quick note to wish everyone a happy holiday!  This holiday season, I hope that you can eat intuitively, and enjoy all the wonderful food that this time of year has to offer without guilt or remorse.  Just try to relax, taste the food you're eating, and listen to your body's signals telling you when you've had enough.  And try your best to ignore well-intentioned but misguided advice (such as from this article: "Tips for surviving the holidays emotionally intact and without weight gain"- wearing tight clothing most definitely will not keep you from eating too much!  If anything, it will have the opposite effect of making you focus more on the parts of your body that you're not happy with, causing you to feel terrible, very possibly resulting in a rebellious binge eating episode).  

Most importantly, be kind to yourself.  Get lots of rest, take care of yourself, and if you overeat or eat something when you're not hungry, it's okay!  Sometimes there are circumstances where we have to eat out of obligation (or risk offending Aunt Betsy by refusing to try her creamy green bean casserole!), even if we're not hungry, and these seem to come up even more frequently during the holiday season.  Just remember: No one meal or snack will cause you to gain weight.  It's what you eat over the long term (over several days or weeks) that's important.  

Also, with the New Year approaching, it's tempting to make resolutions that involve dieting.  But, as I've said before in a previous post, these don't work, and can often do more harm than good.

Anyway, enjoy the holidays!  Stay tuned in 2013 for more exciting posts on!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Quality vs. quantity

One of the things I love about Intuitive Eating is the idea that satisfaction and pleasure are important tenants of the philosophy, arguably even more important than actual nutrition.  That may sound can you place pleasure above nutrition and expect to be healthy and fit?  Here's how: When you experience satisfaction in your eating, you tend to need less.  Satisfaction means eating what you truly want, and allowing yourself to enjoy the experience of eating it.  When you eat what you think you should eat, you might get the same amount of calories, but you won't feel satisfied, leading you to look for satisfaction elsewhere, which could result in overeating.

This article talks about how foods we would traditionally think of as "off-limits" in a healthy diet can actually be enjoyed regularly (and, I don't know about you, but the way they describe the foods in the article totally made me drool!).  By using quality ingredients, preparing the food with care, and truly paying attention to the food you're eating (also known as mindful eating), you can absolutely include these foods as part of a balanced diet.  It reminds me of the experience I wrote about of eating chocolate beignets in San Francisco.  Had I been eating a pre-packaged donut, I very likely would have finished it, while the freshly-made beignets, which were likely made with high-quality ingredients, satisfied me in just a few bites.  

So, instead of worrying about calories and fat in the foods you eat, try to focus more on flavor, and the quality of the ingredients used in making the food.  You may find that, when you allow yourself to actually taste and savor these rich foods, you end up eating less of them, as opposed to filler foods made with lower-quality ingredients, which are easier to fill up on without feeling true satisfaction.  Including some decadent foods in your diet may actually be the best thing you do for your health.  

What are some deliciously rich foods you include in your diet?  Do you notice the difference in satisfaction when you eat them?  I'd love to hear from you!  Feel free to leave a comment below.