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Intuitive Eating Troubleshooting: Why it’s Time to Put Nutrition and Health on the Backburner

Written by Ashley Seruya, BA

Intuitive eating can be challenging when coming from the diet world, and many of us are tempted to worry about “health” when we first start our journey… but is this helpful? Simply put, no.

Many of us who come to intuitive eating do so after either chronically dieting our whole lives, or struggling with an eating disorder. This means that when we finally decide to make peace with food, we are already at a disadvantage. We’ve likely been depriving ourselves and restricting, physically and mentally. We likely have a lot of nourishing to catch up on, physically and spiritually. We likely have a lot of rules around food and movement, and are terrified to give them up.

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Values and Intuitive eating: Can they help me stop dieting and make peace with food?

Do you constantly diet, feel super motivated and suddenly — out of nowhere —  comes a craving?  You give in to it and your resolve is gone. “I cheated” say those voices in your head,  feel like a failure – so what the heck? I might as well eat more and worry about it later.”

If you value yourself — and authentic health and happiness — than starving, bingeing, and over-exercising certainly seems to go against those values.

 

What are values?

Values are the core aspect of who we are as people. We drive our kids to soccer and attend all their baseball games because family is a core value. We spend hours cramming for an exam because we know deep in our hearts that we value education and want to attend a good college. We get out of bed to earn a living because we value being a productive member of society. Our actions are all driven by the values we hold near and dear.

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Intuitive-Eating-Basics Nutrition Group program

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive Eating is the most effective and lasting nutritional approach to your health.

Intuitive Eating is a method that teaches you to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are comfortably full.

Intuitive Eating helps you integrate the messages of your body with your thoughts and behaviors and ultimately puts YOU in charge of your body and its health.

Research consistently shows that diets do not work, but the problem is we live in a world where our entire perception of health and fitness is molded by a diet mindset. Many of us reach the point where we are done with obsessing about what, how much, and when to eat each meal and snack. We know there must be a better way, but walking away from dieting means letting of many pre-conceived “truths”, and intuitive eating can feel radical!

Learning to eat intuitively neutralizes foods so there are no “good” or “bad” foods. You get to decide if, when and how much of that cake, piece of chicken or chips you will enjoy. When you first allow yourself the freedom to eat without guilt, your choices may skew towards heavier and more “fun” or “play” foods — that is okay and totally normal. You cannot learn to eat intuitively without neutralizing all foods.

Intuitive eating helps people rid themselves of the diet mentality by learning to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, trust their own inner wisdom, and ultimately make peace with food and discover true satisfaction in eating.

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April Showers Bring May Flowers (and Diets / Disordered Eating?)

It’s Spring — time for proms, graduations, and thoughts of warmer weather. For many, this time of the year is also synonymous with insecurities about body size, leading many to start a brand-new diet. The billion-dollar diet industry feeds off our insecurities, and sales of the latest and greatest diet products soar. At the same time, the incidence of eating disorders also rises. Although eating disorders involve complex biological, psychological, social and cultural factors, dieting is a strong risk factor for their development.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, “Cultural pressures that glorify “thinness” or muscularity and place value on obtaining the “perfect body”; narrow definitions of beauty that include only women and men of specific body weights and shapes; cultural norms that value people on the basis of physical appearance and not inner qualities and strengths; stress related to racial, ethnic, size/weight-related or other forms of discrimination or prejudice” play a role in the development of eating disorders.

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Recipes for Eating Disorder Recovery, Barbecues!!

Written by Ashley Seruya, BA

When I (Ashley) first started my journey towards eating disorder recovery, I recall one simple phrase that I thought to myself over and over again: “What the hell do I eat now?”

Having followed various food rules for so long, I was at a point where my brain felt inundated with contradictory, confusing nutrition information. Not only that, but I was just dipping my toes into intuitive eating, a way of eating characterized by tapping into your inner hunger, fullness, and satiety cues to guide eating in a way that works to prevent bingeing and promote wellness; but how was I supposed to eat “intuitively” when starting at the fridge felt like walking into a battlefield? I knew I was supposed to be giving myself unconditional permission to eat all foods, a tenet of the intuitive eating model, but I still held onto so much fear around foods that had felt almost addictive during my eating disorder.

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