Intuitive eating is not just a list of rules that will tell you what to do and what not to do. While that may sound scary, intuitive eating will give you entry points of investigation so that you can begin to implement new things and get more in touch with yourself. Although it is often very different than what people expect it to be, intuitive eating can be transformative if you prepare yourself with the knowledge you need before diving in. This is why I have created a series all about the 10 Intuitive Eating Principles you need to know before getting started.
Click play to listen right on this page, no app needed:
Why Ignoring Your Hunger Makes Things Complicated
Intuitive eating principle number two is all about learning how to sense and honor your hunger. By building skills such as heightening your awareness within your body, learning how to dismantle diet culture and the systems of oppression it feeds into you can return to trusting that your body signals are not trying to fuck you over.
Many people are ignoring the cries of our bodies because diet culture has taught us to distrust our bodies. Today I urge you to stop listening to them and start listening to what is right for your body so that you can embrace your body’s own innate wisdom and signals. Hunger can show up in so many different ways, and it is only by becoming aware of your own unique hunger whispers that you can take the next step in your intuitive eating journey.
Are you ready to find greater peace with food and honor your hunger? Share what you struggle with most about intuitive eating principle two and how you are working to heal it in the comments below.
On Today’s Episode
- How to build your own interoceptive awareness around feeling hungry (8:10)
- Why intuitive eating is not just listening to your body to know when to eat (11:03)
- The four things you need to know about honoring your sense of hunger (12:05)
- Understanding your biological drive for energy and how to stop overriding it (18:08)
- Tips for catching your hunger at a whisper before it turns into a shout (23:13)
Resources Mentioned In This Show
“Beginning to implement intuitive eating in your life to find more peace with food, to be able to eat the foods you enjoy without feeling guilty, to allow yourself to experience that, and to move away from the extremes that I know you are tired of.” (4:33)
“Hunger is one of your bodies signals, it is a natural body signal. And if you can sense your hunger, that is a very good thing. That means there is a connection, an open line of communication, between you and your body. It is not something to fear, it is something to be grateful for.” (8:40)
“Diet culture is not stopping, and it is certainly not stopping for a fucking pandemic, its not stopping because we are in social isolation, if anything its getting louder, and its getting louder in certain ways as it strives to stay relevant. We are consistently confronted with this stuff, so we can’t just lock ourselves away.” (13:41)
“When you withhold and restrict your food intake, your body compensates by increasing your drive and desire to eat, while also oftentimes decreasing your desire to move.” (22:16)
“This is where it is really important to get clear about your personal body signals that you notice when your hunger starts to creep up on you.” (24:14)
Honoring Your Hunger (Intuitive Eating Principle 2) w/ Steph Gaudreau FULL TRANSCRIPT
Welcome to Episode 289 of the Listen To Your Body podcast. On this episode, you’ll learn about how to honor your hunger. I’m covering four important things you need to know before you dive into this intuitive eating principle. The next evolution of Harder To Kill Radio is here. Welcome to the Listen To Your Body podcast. on this show, we’ll explore the intersection of body, mind, and soul health, and help you reclaim your abilities to eat and move more intuitively. Hear Your body’s signals, and trust yourself more deeply. I’m Steph Gaudreau, a certified intuitive eating counselor, nutritional therapy practitioner, and strength coach. On this podcast. You can expect to hear expert guest interviews and solo chats that will help you deepen your trust with food movement and your body. Remember to hit the subscribe button and share this podcast with your friends and loved ones. Now, on to the show.
Hello there. Welcome back to the podcast. Thanks so much for joining me today if you’re returning Hello, it’s nice to be with you again if you’re new. I’m glad that you’re here and diving in on a very important episode. Today on the show, I’m going to be covering principle two of intuitive eating which is called honor your hunger. I also tend to expand it out or sometimes I refer to it as sincere hunger. Because for a lot of people, the concept of honoring it is a whole other level of like, Oh, this is scary and weird. So sometimes the entry point you Sensing your hunger and that’s oftentimes where we, we start with this principle. I’m really in the next several weeks going to be covering more of the individual principles of intuitive eating and really giving you some insight into the places where my clients tend to get hung up some of the ways in which we move forward, you know, things that they do in practice, insights that help them move through these principles. And so today in the show, I’m going to be covering four things that I tend to find are really helpful for people.
Now, again, as I said, in the last episode, I’m adding my own experiences to this as somebody who coaches intuitive eating and is certified by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch in the intuitive eating framework. So it’s just important to know that I’m adding the things that I see My community in particular struggle with and those tend to be folks and maybe you identify as somebody who’s perfectionistic, their own worst critic. All or nothing thinking, and so on and so forth. So in this episode, four things about honoring your hunger. But before I dive into that, remember to join the listen to your body insiders, newsletter. This is really where I’m communicating all the things that I’m up to, with continuing to offer more support and opportunities to work with me on different levels with unpacking this stuff because reading a book is, is the start and be honest, I asked my community how many people had the book but hadn’t really used it yet. I hear from a lot of people who’d they buy the book, intuitive eating, and it, it arrives, and then they just think Fuck, nope, I can’t This is really scary for me. And so my goal going forward and the thing I really Good is supporting people as they’re walking this journey as a guide, as a coach, helping people unpack this for themselves and beginning to implement intuitive eating in their lives to find more peace with food to be able to eat the foods you enjoy without feeling guilty, to allow yourself to experience that and to move away from the extremes that I know you’re tired of. In fact, people tell me often that they’re exhausted from this they’re exhausted from the back and forth. The swing between the fuck it all eating and as I said last week, food jail.
So anyhow, jump on the newsletter. That’s where I’m going to be telling you how you can work with me on how you can work to get more support on all the different levels that I’m going to be offering. And this is really where I’m focusing my business going forward. So We’d love to be able to share that with you. And you can do that at StephGaudreau.com/LTYB. And of course, if you liked this episode, it resonated with you, you learned a little nugget, and you want to share it with everybody, tag me on social media. I’m always in Instagram stories. I would love to see your thoughts and what you liked, and also have the opportunity to repost it and share your voice and what you liked about this episode. So you can tag these at Steph_Gaudreau. I think if you just start typing in GAU it will come up. I have a lot of vowels in my name, it’s a little bit of a tricky one to spell. Okay, so honoring your hunger. As I said, hunger the idea of hunger is so loaded for many, many, many valid reasons. And it is scary for a lot of reasons for people because food insecurity might be a part of your past or present. We have issues of you know, diet culture. telling us that we should never feel, you know, we that feeling hungry is good because that means that we’re, we’re restricting our food and we’re going to lose weight from that, you know, hunger is fine to be hungry all day. You know, you hit your calorie limit or you know, you don’t have any macros left, which by the way, fucking boils my blood and I’ve done it, I’ve done it and yet it just makes me so like. I call it mad, sad, and mad. But honor your hunger can be a really tricky one for people.
Because in that, you know, every principle of intuitive eating is like a macrocosm in and of itself. It is not just a list of rules. Okay, if you think intuitive eating is a list of rules, you’re going to be disappointed as fuck because it’s going to let you down because it’s not going to tell you to do this. Don’t do that. In if anything is going to give you entry points into investigation. implementing new things, trying new things out, getting more in touch with yourself, and so on and so forth. So it’s very often the opposite of what people think it’s going to be. But starting with something like sensing your hunger is oftentimes where we begin, because if you can’t sense your hunger, how are you going to honor it? And yeah, so we have to comb through all of the judgments, the thoughts, the points of view, all of the fears around feeling hungry. Are we allowed to feel hungry, you know, diet culture says, well, it’s six o’clock pm, even if you’re hungry, because you didn’t fucking eat anything all day. Well, you missed the window, you know, things like that. Again, food insecurity is can is absolutely part of the conversation for some people. And so we have hunger being a really loaded, really scary concept and then we been taught to mistrust. So let’s dive into this, I’m going to be sharing four things for you to kind of build on and think about the first one is to oftentimes start with building your own interoceptive awareness. So hunger is one of your body signals. It is a natural body signal. And if you can sense your hunger, that’s a very good thing. That means there’s a connection, there’s an open line of communication between you and your body. It is not something to fear is something to be grateful for. But starting with hunger, as I mentioned, can be quite challenging. So one of the ways that we build this interoception or interoceptive awareness here, your ability to sense your own body signals is to choose other less scary, less meaning-filled body signals.
You know, nobody has baggage about needing to pee. Oh, I sense I have to pee. I’m going to pee. I’m not going to make a big thing. It doesn’t mean anything about me that I had to pee. I just had to pee. And but we with hunger and fullness, of course, have diet cultures influence like diet culture doesn’t really influence our necessity for using the bathroom. Or for sweating or body gets hot. And is to thermoregulate we begin to sweat or maybe shiver. Evelyn Tripoli and she was on the podcast and we’ll link to that in the show notes for this episode. But when Evelyn came on the podcast, she talked about breathing. You stay underwater for a while you need to take a deep breath, you come you break the surface of the water and you gasp for air. No one judges that is the example that she gave. And then also I talked about this on a couple of different episodes 266 which was a solid A little episode that I did in Episode 284 with Alyssa Chang, where she talked about interoception and neuroscience how neuroscience can help us listen to our bodies. So hunger isn’t the only interoceptive cue that we can become aware of. So sometimes we start by building our sense our awareness of our own body sensations and signals in other less scary areas. So if you come across the idea of honoring your hunger and you’re like, Okay, one, I can’t sense it in two to fuck that’s really honoring it like okay, so that means if I feel hungry, I have to eat and then I have a lot of stuff. I mean, like, mental, emotional, energetic stuff about honoring it. Let’s just let’s, let’s bring it back, bring it back to basics, bring it back to basics, right? Just getting aware of our bodies and remember, intuitive eating is not just listening to your body For when it tells you to eat you, sometimes you have to use your brain, you got to think. So sometimes people think, well, if I listen to my body and my body is telling me to, you know, eat donuts all day, or my body never told me to eat today at all, well, neither of those extremes for a long period of time is going to likely make you feel really good in your body, you know, withholding food or on the opposite end, engaging in that kind of binge behavior. We have to use logic.
Alright, people are like, ‘Oh, if I just didn’t listen to my body, it’s gonna be a nightmare’ and so I just want you to know that if you come across the principle of honoring your hunger, it’s not just eating when you feel hungry. And I talked about that in that 266 solo episode. I think there’s also a blog post on the website called why hunger isn’t your only is not your only cue.
Okay, so you can go And dive into all of that. So number one thing you need to know about the principle honoring your hunger is to consider building your interoceptive awareness skills. The second thing that oftentimes comes up for my clients and the people that I work with, regarding intuitive eating, and this principle specifically, is that there is a distrust of body signals. And I alluded to this in point one, but there’s a distrust of body signals that comes from diet culture.
So we are when we are walking through this process when we are on this journey from stage one, which is first starting off, right so setting out on the journey to stage five, which is I’m an intuitive eater, for the most part, I am blazing my own path. on this journey, we are confronted constantly, look, diet culture is not stopping Right now, it’s gonna take a lot to dismantle this system of diet culture, because it’s not just annoying fizbo memes and annoying advertising campaigns or it goes way deeper than that it is embedded in many systems of oppression. But diet culture is not stopping. And it’s certainly not stopping for a fucking pandemic, it’s not stopping because we’re in social isolation, if anything, it’s getting louder, and it’s getting louder in certain ways as its strives to stay relevant. And so we’re consistently confronted with this stuff. So we can’t just lock ourselves away. We can certainly carry our social media we can certainly set boundaries, but it’s a little bit silly to think that the world is going to just change because we don’t like diet culture anymore. So we have to build these skills, but one of the things that our culture makes us afraid of is our own body signals.
Your body says you’re hungry well check it eat this rice cake or you’re craving oatmeal. This happened on Instagram today a gal shared with me that she was craving oatmeal and the rules in her head said well you should eat XYZ kind of meal to kill your hunger oatmeal is not a good food like oh you know all this shit that we carry around and she said you know what I thought about it I realized I was having these thoughts I thought about it and I said you know what? Yeah, I’m going to eat oatmeal and have berries on it and she was really satisfied. And yet, diet culture would tell us to distress that and we should eat XYZ We should eat that other food. When our body is craving oatmeal or, I don’t know we’ve I’ve had this happen so many times where people try to trick their, their cravings or they makeup so really like a non-satisfying version of the actual food and then not only do they eat the non-satisfying version, but then they end up going out and eating the real thing later on, eventually, or bingeing on something else eventually, because it’s just they’re not satisfied.
So understand that in honoring our hunger, we also have to trust that our body’s signals are not trying to fuck us over. This is not how Evelyn and Elise would say it. I love both of them and credit so much. They’re just incredible mentors. They would not say, you know when I say it in that way, but we’ve been led to believe that our bodies are trying to fuck us over. And there is definitely a war that many of us are waging, or we’ve gotten to the point maybe we’re not actively fighting. We’re just ignoring You know, we’re ignoring the signals we’re ignoring the cries were from our bodies. Because diet culture has taught us to distrust our bodies.
We couldn’t possibly have knowledge or awareness of our bodies says diet culture. Listen to us we’ll tell you what to do, what to eat & when to eat it. What’s right, what’s not right. It’s pretty insidious.
That’s not to say that there is not a place for education. But when we do that, in the absence of our body’s own innate wisdom in our own body signals, and I’m not just talking about the whoo here, right? I’m talking about like interceptive awareness as a scientific thing. But diet culture tells us to fear our own body to hate our own body to distrust our own bodies. So that’s often a huge piece of honoring your hunger is not just you know, diving in and honoring your hunger and saying great, I feel hungry. My logic tells me I haven’t eaten anything in a while. And that this combination of foods not only sounds good to me, but I know it will be truly satisfying to me. Wonderful, but not everybody starts at that point if there’s such an innate distrust because we’ve been, we’ve really internalized the voice of diet culture. It is something to definitely work on. So point three that I wanted to cover in this episode, is understanding and this is kind of a good segue understanding that there are biological reasons for your hunger, not just a sensation of hmm.
I’m sensing that I’m hungry, but understand standing the biological reasons and you don’t have to have a degree in human physiology raises my hand. I have a degree in biology, human physiology, so it just happens to be the place I love to nerd out. But understanding the theory, the very fundamentals that there is a biological drive for energy. But there is a biological drive to eat that we shouldn’t have to earn our food. And the more you override your body’s signals, to things tend to happen. The stronger the signals get, because what was a whisper of you’re hungry turns into you’re hungry into a shout out you’re hungry, turns into a shout. Because you’re not honoring the signal, you’re not completing the loop, need energy, eat, provide satisfying amounts of food, etc, etc. that desire and drive goes down. And again, we’re taught that now can’t eat us all our macros already can’t eat that foods bad for us Kenny already had enough food today. Can’t eat, ate too much over the weekend, can’t eat, on our cheat day yet, fuck cheat days. That’s another episode that’s coming. I’ve done one in the past, but I feel like I need to reprise on that. So that’s the first thing that happens. Your signals begin to get louder and louder and louder.
And number two, sometimes when you restrict you ignore and you diet long enough that your drive goes down like your ability to sense that hunger is dampened. I know this is where I was at for a really long time. I was like, I’m not hungry, I’m not hungry. Part of that had to do with stress, right. But over time the signal can get weaker. We’re just not as adept at tuning into it as sensing it. Until it is shouting. Right, so we met we sometimes become less adept, unable to sense the subtle signals, the whispers the conversational volume, and perhaps even the loud talking until it gets to the point of an absolute scream. And that desire to eat is so overwhelming For a lot of people that end up in that loss of control eating, have binge eating, eating to the point of overfill and feeling really stuffed. So, ignoring those biological drives to eat oftentimes gets us into trouble on those different levels. And if you’re somebody who deals with anxiety, for example, your anxiety can actually be worse by going longer and longer periods can come through a lot stronger. If you have blood sugar issues, like for example, if you have hypoglycemia, then making yourself go for very long periods of time may actually make you feel a lot worse than eating smaller meals closer together. So that’s why there was no one way that works for every single.
So that’s point three is understanding of theory, very basic level, how our drive to eat works, and here’s the thing when you withhold and restrict Your food intake your body compensates by increasing your drive and desire to eat, while also oftentimes decreasing your desire to move. Because it’s saying, conserve energy, conserve energy. You’re going into a deficit, you’re going into this state where there’s not enough energy. So what are you going to do, you’re going to conserve you so you need to increase the drive to the drive for hunger to actually get some energy into your system and decrease the amount that you’re moving. Okay, so that’s the third point, understand the biological reasons for hunger at a very, very basic level. Why are you desiring to eat right now? And then lastly, and this is so important, and this is kind of related to point one which is building your skills of interceptive awareness but if and When you’re getting to the point of examining, and staying open to your own hunger as you’re walking this path is to know your own hunger cues. It’s not just enough to say, Oh, well, I think that hunger means that my stomach is going to be growling. Because oftentimes hunger will come to you, the sensations will come to you as something other than stomach feeling. Remember, we want to catch it when it’s a whisper so we can kind of notice it. If your hunger is whispering, you don’t necessarily need to jump in right away and eat this large meal. It’s just an important thing to notice, huh? I’m starting to feel hungry. Soon. Maybe that hunger goes to that, you know, more conversational voice. And I want to catch that before it’s screaming at me. So this is where it’s really important. To get clear about your personal body signals that you notice when your hunger starts to creep up on you and how do we do that we go through that in coaching. But nevertheless, for you, you may 1 start to notice hunger as a fluttering feeling. In your chest, you might notice it as a, an emptiness, or a hollowness in your stomach. You might notice it as a mood change. You might feel a little bit foggy-headed and there could be stuff to unpack there about blood sugar regulation. Suffice to say you might feel it as dryness in your throat or tension in your throat area, or your kitchen. It really can show up for so many different And so many different people. So that’s why expecting, saying, Oh, well, I didn’t realize I was hungry until I felt my stomach in knots or really rumbling and growling. Well, your signals, the whispers may have been something completely different than you weren’t looking for. So just know that that hunger can present itself in so many different sensations.
So that’s some of the stuff I wanted to share. Obviously, intuitive eating is a pathway. It is this journey from setting out on the path to blazing your own trail, being beholden to the rules, not having peace with food, feeling guilty and exhausted about food and your body that’s on one end of the pathway and on the other end of the pathway is becoming that embodied intuitive eater finding peace finding ease, finding a sense of self. confidence in yourself. That’s the other end. So we walk this path. It’s not perfect. There’s a lot of stuff very intuitive eating is a process. There’s a lot to peel back. But I really want to share with you in this episode, those four main things that I have seen, be very helpful for knowing when you’re going through principle to honoring your hunger. So to recap, number one, build your skills in interoceptive awareness. Number two, start to become curious about the fears that diet culture has instilled in you for guarding your body signals of hunger. Three, understand the biological reasons for your drive to eat. And number four, get curious and start to experience your personal body signals at different levels of hunger so that you can become aware before it becomes an all-out screen. If you like this episode, I’d love to see you share it out on social media, I would love to know. So oftentimes I put things out and I don’t always hear back. And that’s fine, you’re busy, you have the stuff to do. But it’s so amazing when I see that something hit home that something clicked that something was really impactful in a big or small way. So share this out on social media, this episode in tag me in it, I would love to be able to see that and repost it. And number two, go to the show notes for this episode. If you want to get links to the other episodes that I mentioned, the article that I mentioned and so on and so forth. You’re going to find all of those resources in the show notes for this episode. And you will also find a transcript if you prefer to read or you want to send it on to some When else that you love and care about. And then lastly, join the LIisten To Your Body Insiders. This is my newsletter for everything in this universe of intuitive eating body neutrality, and so on and so forth. I would love to be able to share that with you, including opportunities to work with me as the summer unfolds. All right, next week, I will be covering principle three of intuitive eating which is making peace with food. This is a big one. There’s a lot of juicy stuff that we’re going to dig into, and I can’t wait to share it with you next week.
Until then, have an incredible week.