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intuitive eating tips
Wellness
Published Tuesday Oct 22, 2019 by Connie Weissmuller

5 Things You Might Not Know About Intuitive Eating

Nutrition
Food
Expert Advice

Intuitive eating is an approach to eating that has nothing to do with diets, “lifestyle changes,” cleanses, or anything of the sort. It is a powerful way of giving trust and peace back to your body and mind, likely after a time of giving that trust up to external means of control such as using apps to count calories and steps, or intentionally trying to manipulate your body size. 

Intuitive eating, in its truest sense, is supportive of one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. However, as diet and wellness culture have co-opted the term, there has been some misinformation that actually isn’t in line with intuitive eating at all. As a Registered Dietitian and nutrition expert, I’m here to hopefully clear up some blurry lines and share with you some ways to get accurate information about intuitive eating.

If you see someone promoting intuitive eating as a means for intentional weight loss—run!

Here’s the thing; intuitive eating isn’t used for weight loss. Weight change may be an outcome of intuitive eating, but we have no idea whether that means an increase, decrease, or no change in weight. If someone is promoting intuitive eating as an explicit weight loss, slim down, or detox strategythat’s a red flag.

This is why many intuitive eating informed dietitians, counselors, and therapists suggest ditching the scale. The scale doesn’t tell you how well you are eating intuitively, and it certainly doesn’t give you helpful information regarding your health. At the end of the day, intuitive eating helps you move towards a healthy weight that is right for you. That’s also called your set point weight. It’s different for everyone. Intuitive eating is the nutrition paradigm supported by the larger paradigm of Health At Every Size, which respects body diversity, challenges scientific and cultural assumptions related to body size, and encourages finding joy in moving one’s body. There’s so much nuance, which is why there is value in working with a professional well-versed in intuitive eating and Health At Every Size

1
If you see someone promoting intuitive eating as a means for intentional weight loss—run!

Here’s the thing; intuitive eating isn’t used for weight loss. Weight change may be an outcome of intuitive eating, but we have no idea whether that means an increase, decrease, or no change in weight. If someone is promoting intuitive eating as an explicit weight loss, slim down, or detox strategythat’s a red flag.

This is why many intuitive eating informed dietitians, counselors, and therapists suggest ditching the scale. The scale doesn’t tell you how well you are eating intuitively, and it certainly doesn’t give you helpful information regarding your health. At the end of the day, intuitive eating helps you move towards a healthy weight that is right for you. That’s also called your set point weight. It’s different for everyone. Intuitive eating is the nutrition paradigm supported by the larger paradigm of Health At Every Size, which respects body diversity, challenges scientific and cultural assumptions related to body size, and encourages finding joy in moving one’s body. There’s so much nuance, which is why there is value in working with a professional well-versed in intuitive eating and Health At Every Size

It’s not just the hunger and fullness diet; there is so much nuance!

Often times, intuitive eating gets the most attention from “honoring hunger and fullness,” which is a huge part of intuitive eating, however; it’s not that simple. There are plenty of instances I can think of within myself, or with my clients in eating disorder and chronic dieting recovery, where you simply don’t get appropriate hunger and fullness cues.

Your body sends amazing signals when it needs nourishment, yet the culture we live in tells us that those innate signals can't be trusted. This can lead to diminished hunger and fullness cues from dieting, skipping meals, or following the bogus rule of no eating after 7 pm. This is where working with a professional to gain back appropriate cues is helpful. 

Sometimes we have to eat when we aren't hungry just for the simple reason that we need energy and nourishment. This can be uncomfortable. For example, before exams and presentations, while I was in school, I had no appetite, but I knew that my brain needed fuel. I practiced the gentle nutrition piece of intuitive eating and ate anyways to perform my best academically. This is just one example where it’s not merely honoring hunger and fullness. 

3
It’s not just the hunger and fullness diet; there is so much nuance!

Often times, intuitive eating gets the most attention from “honoring hunger and fullness,” which is a huge part of intuitive eating, however; it’s not that simple. There are plenty of instances I can think of within myself, or with my clients in eating disorder and chronic dieting recovery, where you simply don’t get appropriate hunger and fullness cues.

Your body sends amazing signals when it needs nourishment, yet the culture we live in tells us that those innate signals can't be trusted. This can lead to diminished hunger and fullness cues from dieting, skipping meals, or following the bogus rule of no eating after 7 pm. This is where working with a professional to gain back appropriate cues is helpful. 

Sometimes we have to eat when we aren't hungry just for the simple reason that we need energy and nourishment. This can be uncomfortable. For example, before exams and presentations, while I was in school, I had no appetite, but I knew that my brain needed fuel. I practiced the gentle nutrition piece of intuitive eating and ate anyways to perform my best academically. This is just one example where it’s not merely honoring hunger and fullness. 

It’s not just about eating donuts all day.

Another common misconception is that intuitive eating is all about fun food all the time. The truth is that yes, in order to make peace with all foods, there’s often a “honeymoon” phase, if you will, with certain foods that have been off-limits. Those foods are typically deemed “bad” in our culture, so that’s why you might see more photos of those on Instagram to normalize them. After that honeymoon phase, all foods are fair game, and there’s eventually a great balance in the diet of fuel food and fun foods. Fun foods, like donuts, get old after a while when there are no restrictions (mental or physical) around them, so that’s why intuitive eaters have no moral dilemma when presented with a donut. They eat it, or they don’t because they know that donuts are fair game whenever the craving hits. 

4
It’s not just about eating donuts all day.

Another common misconception is that intuitive eating is all about fun food all the time. The truth is that yes, in order to make peace with all foods, there’s often a “honeymoon” phase, if you will, with certain foods that have been off-limits. Those foods are typically deemed “bad” in our culture, so that’s why you might see more photos of those on Instagram to normalize them. After that honeymoon phase, all foods are fair game, and there’s eventually a great balance in the diet of fuel food and fun foods. Fun foods, like donuts, get old after a while when there are no restrictions (mental or physical) around them, so that’s why intuitive eaters have no moral dilemma when presented with a donut. They eat it, or they don’t because they know that donuts are fair game whenever the craving hits. 

It’s a process, and it takes time.

The last big misconception is the notion that you can become an intuitive eater overnight. Tapping back into your body’s innate intuitive nature takes time. Just learning to re-trust my fullness cues took me what I think was about half a year. Finding joy and peace in moving my body took so much longer after years of using exercise as punishment or to manipulate my body shape and size. It takes time to release the mental rules and rigidity around eating. It takes time for your body shape and size to fall at the range that’s right for you. It takes time to appreciate size diversity and maybe even grieve the loss of the body you had when dieting or restricting. This process can take years, and it’s imperative to give yourself a whole lot of self-compassion and grace, because you are surrounded by a culture that tells you dieting is the norm. It’s hard to swim upstream, but I promise you, it’s a lot more peaceful than living in diet culture. 

Feel free to follow and reach out to me on Instagram at @constancelyeating or if you would like to work with me in-person in Denver, or virtually, check out Nourished With Hannah to learn more about Hannah and me! 
 

5
It’s a process, and it takes time.

The last big misconception is the notion that you can become an intuitive eater overnight. Tapping back into your body’s innate intuitive nature takes time. Just learning to re-trust my fullness cues took me what I think was about half a year. Finding joy and peace in moving my body took so much longer after years of using exercise as punishment or to manipulate my body shape and size. It takes time to release the mental rules and rigidity around eating. It takes time for your body shape and size to fall at the range that’s right for you. It takes time to appreciate size diversity and maybe even grieve the loss of the body you had when dieting or restricting. This process can take years, and it’s imperative to give yourself a whole lot of self-compassion and grace, because you are surrounded by a culture that tells you dieting is the norm. It’s hard to swim upstream, but I promise you, it’s a lot more peaceful than living in diet culture. 

Feel free to follow and reach out to me on Instagram at @constancelyeating or if you would like to work with me in-person in Denver, or virtually, check out Nourished With Hannah to learn more about Hannah and me! 
 

Connie Weissmuller MINDBODY
Written by
Connie Weissmuller
Registered Dietitian
About the author
A registered dietitian who loves helping people achieve food and body freedom, Connie specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, intuitive eating, and body image from a Health At Every Size lens. Working with clients to overcome food and body struggles, she is all about giving you the tools you need to find what healthy means to you.
Scorpio Zodiac Sign
Wellness
Published Friday Nov 15, 2019 by Sara Lesher

What's the Deal with Mercury Retrograde?

Expert Advice
Personal Growth
Perspective

You’ve probably heard lots of buzz about the planet Mercury this month, or maybe you’ve felt a little out of whack and just can’t seem to figure out why. Well, the answer is retrograde. It began on October 31st and will last until November 20th, so right now, we’re still in the thick of it. If you’re wondering what the heck that means, read on. We asked our resident astrology guru, Heather McCormick, to give us a quick run-down on Mercury retrograde and what you can do to get ahead of it this month.


What does it mean when Mercury is retrograde?

When Mercury retrogrades, Mercury appears to be moving backward in its orbit. This happens three or four times a year, and lasts for around three weeks at a time. Mercury retrogrades are great, as they catalyze change by shifting the energy related to our communication and expression. This type of energy can be frustrating and test our patience, or it can allow for introspection and growth, depending on how you choose to participate. Mercury retrograde can make things feel weird, uncomfortable, and difficult, but these are the emotions necessary for personal advancement. It’s a time to review, observe, and pause the mind. I like to think of a Mercury retrograde as a mini New Year’s. At the end of every year, we assess our actions and make changes. Mercury retrograde is a marker, just like New Year’s. You can review what you learned during the past “year” and your goals for moving forward during this period to be in better alignment for continual growth.

 

Sun, moon, and stars
 
What can we expect from this retrograde?

Depending on which sign or signs Mercury journeys through during retrograde, specific energies will surface (think of your zodiac sign). This retrograde is in Scorpio. When I think of signs and what energies they have, I try to dissect the word. For example, Scorpio sounds like scorpions, which are piercing and deep. The colors associated with scorpions are black and red. They hide in the dark and prey at night, and they typically only hurt humans when they are stepped on. Mercury retrograding in Scorpio will target areas that are intense and sensitive. That means something different to each of us, depending on where we require healing. As I mentioned earlier, Mercury in Scorpio will provide an opportunity for headway and enduring transformation. Don’t fear the pain, but expect this retrograde to sting.

 

How does a retrograde impact each sign?

The sign that Mercury is retrograding in sends out a general vibe to everyone. Scorpio demands transformation. It also rules a different area of life for each individual sign, which is where we see it impact us. The area of life that Scorpio rules for your sun sign holds the highest potential for change. The more attention you bring to that area of your life at this time, the more you will get from this retrograde. Here’s what you can do...

Aries - Pay attention to the power you give to your thoughts.
Taurus - Restructure how you relate to others.
Gemini - Align your lifestyle with purpose.
Cancer - Own the ways you unconventionally express yourself.
Leo - Understand the roots of your home.
Virgo - Communicate to strengthen your connections.
Libra - Be aware that what brings you joy is an extension of yourself.
Scorpio - Recognize your relationship to your own agenda.
Sagittarius - Make the unseen seen with your creative process.  
Capricorn - Contribute your most unique opinions and ideas without judgment.
Aquarius - Strengthen your self-worth through achievements.
Pisces - Adjust your perspective to create opportunities.

 

Mercury retrograde planets

 
What should we try to avoid during this time?

The feelings and situations we avoid and blame during this time are exactly what we need to confront. To make the most out of this time, avoid having quick reactions, since Mercury retrograde is notorious for creating technical difficulties and can increase frustrations. Addressing challenging situations is never a bad thing, but take a moment before you switch on your autopilot reaction. Mercury retrograde gives us that moment as a choice with the potential to make impactful change. Also, steer clear of major binding decisions like signing a contract. If you can’t avoid this, cross your T’s and dot your I’s twice, and have your neighbor double-check it for you. 

 

What should we try to embrace during this time?

Reassess, reflect, and realign with what is true to you—no matter what your sign is. Embrace what finds you during this time, for it is an opportunity for transformation. When we look back on our past with a Scorpionic lense, situations, thoughts, and people that carry a bittersweetness will stand out. Think about what area of your life Scorpio effects during this time based on your sign and see what surfaces. You don’t need to understand astrology, to be honest with yourself. Seek ownership in all areas of your life and let go of blaming. 

 

Solar System
 
Do you have any tips for spinning it into something positive?

Mimic the motion of the planet. Shifting your mindset and being open to other perspectives is progressive in itself, especially if you are willing to revisit the past during a Mercury retrograde. Be prepared for things to be intense and serious (think journaling and meditating to 90s grunge instead of having a heart-to-heart with your best friend). Thank Scorpio. Proactively take care of your physical and emotional needs so that you can do intentional work. No matter what your sign is, increase awareness of your behaviors and reactions to your surroundings to make retrogrades work for you instead of against you.

 

Still curious about astrology? Find out what your horoscope *actually* means to learn even more about your sign and how all this planet stuff really works. While you’re at it, be sure to check out The Best Beauty + Wellness Treatments for your Zodiac Sign and The Best Workouts Based on Your Zodiac Sign!
 

Sara Lesher About the Author Headshot
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As MINDBODY’s Marketing Content Associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).