Have you ever stopped to notice if you are actually being present and enjoying the foods that you are eating? Instead of being held captive to the strict rules that diet culture forces you to conform too, Intuitive Eating can help you find pleasure and peace in the foods you are consuming.
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Intuitive Eating Principle #5
Intuitive Eating Principle #5 is all about finding the satisfaction factor in food. With 3 simple steps, you can start to check in with yourself and start truly experiencing and enjoying the act of eating.
Don’t Let Dieting Restrict You Anymore
Instead of adhering to the ‘black and white, all or nothing, either/or dynamic’ that diets push as the only way to do things, Intuitive Eating will empower you to trust yourself more. It is time to start giving yourself some grace when it comes to the negative thoughts you have internalized due to diet culture. Alternatively, you can start giving yourself the compassion and kindness necessary to embrace Intuitive Eating and break up with the diet cycle for good.
Three Things That Will Help You With the Satisfaction Factor of Food
By finding out what foods you actually like, being present in the experience of eating, and choosing things that will actually satisfy you, you can gain more clarity and awareness on what foods are serving you. It is time to stop giving diet culture permission to choose what goes into your body, and Intuitive Eating Principle #5 is here to help you accomplish that.
How do you work to be more present and mindful when you are eating so that you can bump up your Satisfaction Factor when it comes to food? Share how you are incorporating Intuitive Eating Principle #5 with me in the comments below.
In This Episode
- Learn why hating or loving your body does not have to be black and white (5:50)
- Why you should stop letting diet culture take away your autonomy and make your choices for you (10:45)
- How to eat more mindfully and actually enjoy the foods you are eating (14:41)
- Tips for discovering what will actually satisfy you in a moment of hunger (19:52)
- How to differentiate between foods you really want or are just craving as a reaction to deprivation (22:40)
- Key Takeaways
The Top 3 Things to Remember About Intuitive Eating Are:
- Intuitive Eating is a framework, not a gospel that must be followed with restrictions and limits
- Being mindful and present during your eating experience can help you check in with yourself throughout the meal
- By focusing on what will actually satisfy you, you can build your trust in yourself and reject common diet tactics
Resources Mentioned In This Show
“If we set a black and white, all or nothing, either/or dynamic, that says either I love my body all the time or I am hating on my body all the time, then that sets us up for that kind of ‘failure’.” (6:12)
“As long as we have this diet culture around us, we are in it, we are swimming in it, we are going to be confronted with these thoughts. The skill that you can develop through things like intuitive eating and body neutrality is giving yourself the time to stop, pause, consider, before acting, or realizing how you are feeling in a certain situation.” (9:20)
“The food as fuel mentality can be a helpful stepping stone for some people, especially when you are afraid to experiment or trying to overcome the do’s and don’ts of the food police.” (16:32)
“Are you ever allowing yourself to become present when you are eating and be in tuned with what you are enjoying about the experience?” (19:05)
“If you put off your satisfaction or you deny your satisfaction for a particular food or something that you think would sound really good… and then you eat it and you pay attention, little by little you build these skills.” (23:08)
How to Never Go Back to Dieting (Intuitive Eating Principle #5) FULL TRANSCRIPT
This is Episode 296 of the Listen To Your Body podcasts. On today’s show, I’m digging into three things you need to know about making eating a satisfying experience so that you don’t go back to dieting.
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, welcome to the show today. Thank you so much for joining me on today’s episode of the Listen To Your Body podcast. I am so glad that you’re here. This is another installment in our 10 part series on the principles of intuitive eating and today we are covering principle number five, all about the satisfaction factor of food, say that five times fast.
Today I’m going to be giving you three things to remember when it comes to building this practice into your journey to intuitive eating and body neutrality and getting away from the diet cycle really breaking that diet cycle.
So I’m going to be sharing those tips with you today and I hope that if you haven’t, you have time to go back and start listening to the other parts of this series. I covered principles one through four previously, and next week, I’ll be covering principle six. I’m dripping them out a little bit at a time. So that way, it gives you a chance to digest it. Think about it, apply it, test it out, experiment, and see what happens.
If you try to do all of this in a week, you’re going to be really mad or really frustrated and think, Oh, see, I knew it, intuitive eating is a bunch of horseshit. It doesn’t work. It’s horrible. It’s not for me, I can’t do this. And that’s going to perpetuate that cycle of thinking. And of course, now we have celebrity fitness trainers coming out and giving their two cents about intuitive eating and here’s the thing everybody is entitled to their opinions.
However, the impact of those opinions cannot be understated. I recently sent an email to my intuitive eating or Listen To Your Body newsletter list, which you can get on here in a minute, and I talked about this very issue. And I had people write back to me and say, I saw the video in question by that trainer and it made me want to go back on a diet immediately and I just thought, see, this is why I’m here and this is why I’m so passionate about helping people break up with the diet cycle. And look, it’s not something that you just snap your fingers. And it happens most for most people. It doesn’t happen that way, it takes time and it takes compassion and kindness for yourself and it takes knowing about yourself and it takes being supported with a community and it takes caring for yourself of which feeding yourself enough food, enough energy in ways that are, yes, satisfying.
What we’re going to talk about today are so very, very important. So before we get into today’s episode, remember to join the Listen To Your Body newsletter. You can go to StephGaudreau.com/LTYB for Listen To Your Body, of course, and that’s where I share expanded thoughts coaching, extra tips, things of that nature regarding breaking the diet cycle, intuitive eating, body neutrality and so much more. So I would really love for you to be there. And then, of course, hit subscribe on your podcast app, so that the show automatically shows up next week. And if you share the show out on Instagram, I would love to see what resonated with you, did you like this episode, and just tag me out so I can see it and that way I can reshare.
Before I dig into the satisfaction factor, which is principle five of intuitive eating, I wanted to share a quick story with you because there’s attention that comes with learning about eating more intuitively, eating more mindfully. Questioning diet culture, removing yourself from the diet culture conversation, from participating in that, treating yourself with more kindness, and care and compassion. And there’s this belief that I see happening which is if you have challenging thoughts, negative thoughts, junk thoughts, if you have these thoughts about your body and your or about food and you’re on this intuitive eating journey, it means you’ve failed, and you’re fucking it up.
And I’m here to tell you that that is not true. If we set a dynamic, if we set a black and white, all or nothing, either or dynamic that says either I love my body all the time, or I’m hating on my body all the time, then that sets us up for that kind of, quote, “failure”. Because if we’re not loving our bodies, then we’re back hating our bodies. Or if we feel any kind of negative or challenging thought about our bodies, then we’re doing it wrong and that is not the case. The goal is not perfection and the goal is not to be in love with your body all the time, forever and ever, Amen and you’ll never have a crappy thought about yourself ever again. Maybe there are those unicorns out in the world. I would love to meet them. Even though I’ve been on this journey for intuitive eating and body neutrality now for a decade, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have those challenging thoughts. And I’m guessing if you’re on this journey as well, that these thoughts will come up. I want you to give yourself some grace.
And remember that either being all-in on a loving yourself 100% of the time or hating on yourself 100% of the time or not your only two options and that’s what neutrality, really offers is more of a middle ground and it becomes more of a spectrum, where you can ebb and flow and some days you’re gonna feel freakin amazing and you’re gonna love things about yourself. And some days you’re gonna feel like absolute hot garbage, and you’re gonna think you will, like look like a potato, and you just are hating on your thighs, or whatever the piece of your body is that you don’t particularly love. And then there might be days where you’re hanging more out in the middle and you’re not paying a lot of attention to your body. Either way, you’re caring for it, you’re respecting it, but you’re not stuck in overwhelmingly positive or negative thoughts, that’s really what neutrality allows you to do. It buys you back some brain space so that you can just be. So I just wanted to offer that some to us a little bit of advice before we get into the principle for today because I am now working really closely with the members of my membership program, which the stories and the aha moments are blowing my mind and I am so loving this and I can’t wait until we open the doors again, because the amount of awareness in progress in just a couple of weeks is bananas. It’s amazing.
But I see this happening a lot this prevailing belief that if I had a thought that isn’t all cheery and hunky-dory and perfect and positive, that I’m doing this wrong and when diet culture is still the prevailing way that our society ranks certain bodies and prioritizes certain bodies and then yes oppresses certain bodies as a result. As long as we have this diet culture around us, we are in, we are swimming in it. We’re going to be confronted with these thoughts. The skill that you can develop through things like intuitive eating and body neutrality is giving yourself the time to stop, pause, consider before acting, or realizing just how you’re feeling in a certain situation or moment, or what kind of thoughts Am I having right now? And do I want to choose something else?
So there you go that’s my little preamble before today. And this principle sounds simple on the surface, it’s called the satisfaction factor. And it does touch many of the other principles of intuitive eating because remember, this is a framework. It’s not a set of yes or no rules. It’s something that is almost like a network, a mesh, that kind of surrounds your decisions about food and movements and how you treat your body and things like that. But the satisfaction factor touches all of these parts and it is the piece that people who are trying to move away from a diet mentality, they’re trying to leave dieting behind often get really hung up on because dieting and yes to reference said fitness trainer, I think we all fucking know that we’re talking about diet as a term for restrictive eating principles and practices, not diet as in the food we eat. Okay, let’s not be pedantic. But when it comes to the diet mentality, dieting tells you what to do. Dieting takes away your choice, your preferences, your likes, your autonomy. Dieting tells you what to eat, when to eat it, how to eat it, and it removes all of your say.
Which is tempting in today’s society in today’s culture because we are so busy, we are overwhelmed right now we are stressed. And so the idea of giving someone else really the permission to make our food choices for us sounds very tempting. And look if you get some meal service as we get from my friend, Joey, I’m here in San Diego. Every week, you know, we go online, I choose the meals that help me supplement the cooking. I still get to choose which things I like, I still go to the grocery store and buy certain things but I’m not taking that as the gospel or the dogma of what I should and shouldn’t be eating. So you still have wiggle room with those things and they don’t want you to feel like oh my gosh if I get a meal service or oh my god if I meal prep, that I’m taking away all of my autonomy and choice in the matter, but it’s worth thinking about. How long have you outsourced your own choices? Do you even know what you like? So here are my three things that I want you to think about today. Number one, what foods do you like?
This could be a hard question to answer and I’ll never forget, I ran a group coaching program where we were doing intuitive eating principles last year and one of my clients, I asked her this question, and she was really, she just kind of sat there for a minute and it dawned on her at that moment, that she didn’t even know what foods she really enjoyed, which foods she really liked, which foods are really satisfying to her, and it took her some time to go away and do some homework and come back and to give herself that time and space to think about this particular question because when you are used to diets or even lifestyle diets that tell you to cut this out and don’t eat this and you have to eat that and data it’s easy to lose touch with your own experience of eating. You know forcing yourself to eat foods you don’t actually like at all and I promise you if you hate kale, and you’ve tried it every which way and you’ve given your taste buds time to adjust and you still fucking hate kale. Guess what, there are many other green vegetables that you could try.
Or if you really like bananas, but you’ve been told because of dieting and you know it’s like a bad game of telephone when I started eating lower carb and it was just like don’t eat bananas like they’re the scariest fruit on the planet, because they have done carbs in them right? So bananas became bad and it sounds really silly, especially if you’re sort of coming out more toward him being a more tuned-in experience, intuitive eater, but at the beginning, you can be terrified to eat certain foods. But maybe you really fucking love bananas. And you just think I can never eat that again. Right? What foods do you actually like? Or another way to answer this question is what foods don’t you like and make a list? This could be your practice and your homework for the week is pause right now, go write it down. And if you’re not sure, start paying attention. Okay, so that’s number one.
Number two, eat more mindfully. Are you enjoy the experience now? We have to be practical here, intuitive eating doesn’t say be impractical. Okay, so this question came up when Evelyn Tripoli one of the co-authors of intuitive eating the book was on the show. People want to know. hey, can you meal prep? Can you cook ahead of time if you’re an intuitive eater? Or do you only have to eat what you want to cook at the moment? And she basically said, like, look, we have to be practical, right? If the only way you’re going to eat is that you cooked ahead of time, that’s totally fine. You don’t need to be a short-order cook and be cooking at the moment, all the time.
So think about the experience of eating though. And this is what I am practicing all the time because I’m constantly being pulled to multitask. When I am eating again, I say multitasking is horrible. Please don’t misunderstand or miss hear me here, but if you’re happy, if you’re feeling disconnected from your food, if you’re feeling disconnected from the experience of eating, if you’re like, I’m just eating it’s extremely robotic. The food is fuel mentality can be a helpful stepping stone for some people.
Especially when you’re afraid to experiment or you’re trying to overcome the do’s and the don’ts and the food police and if you missed that episode, last week, or a few weeks ago, it was the last in this series go listen to that one. So if you’re stuck in those rules of like the yes and the no and that this and that and the good and the bad and the clean and the dirty and the good and you know all these things. It can help to consider food as fuel, because they’re like, Okay, I need to get enough energy today. And I notice I don’t eat enough energy. I feel sluggish. I feel cloudy headed. I can’t concentrate. I feel sleepy all day. Right? My energy is just not there. It’s hard to concentrate, whatever it is right?
It can help. But once you get to that point where you’re like, Okay, food, I need to eat enough energy. We also need to reintroduce the context. The other contexts of food, right? Food is can be an enjoyable experience. And in the book, they write about food being even a sensual experience, the tastes, the flavors, the textures, the temperatures, the smells, the aromas, the all of it goes into our experience of the food. Now that doesn’t mean that every meal has to be a five star meal. It has to you have to have spent four hours cooking it, but I would challenge you here. How are you being present to that meal in some small way? For me, as I said earlier, it’s this is the piece of it that is challenging for me because I’ve got too much stuff to do, which I’m working on and I’m always like, Oh, I could scroll this or read that. And if you’re working on your own ability to sense your hunger and fullness, we’re introducing ways that you can become more mindful and check-in throughout the meal is incredibly important. So we can probably do a whole other episode just on eating mindfully in and of itself because mindful eating is a component of intuitive eating, but they’re not the same thing. Intuitive eating, as I think is a much more broad way of looking at food, and other things, but it’s just worth considering. Are you ever allowing yourself to become present when you’re eating and be attuned to what you’re enjoying about the experience?
Quick story, last night I went to the refrigerator, I grabbed something out and I started eating it and I’ve got about four, maybe four bites in my mouth and I just thought, I am not enjoying this in the least, it just wasn’t hitting the spot. It wasn’t tasty and so I put it back. Now I have the luxury of going in and pulling out something else. So just want to mention that. But I picked something that was more satisfying for me. Okay, so I would just encourage you to be open-minded to that this week.
And then the last thing, what would satisfy you? This is the part that people have the most resistance to the question of what do you like is sometimes just an unknown, right. But the question of what would satisfy is oftentimes where the food police voices come in, and it’s like, but if you let yourself eat this thing and if you let yourself enjoy this thing and if you let yourself experience any pleasure from this or any satisfaction from this, then it’s going to be gloves off. You won’t be able to control yourself and that sets up the dynamic of I can’t control myself, I can’t trust myself. We have to build those things back, like piece by piece that trust, however, thinking about what would satisfy you. So this is a common diet tactic and some of you are probably going to get really pissed about this, but it’s, I’ve got to mention it. So if you are thinking, oh, gosh, I really what would be really satisfying to me right now is some crunchy crackers with a little bit of cheese on them. And I don’t know, whatever you put on crackers and cheese…fig jam. I don’t know I just made that up. Like that would hit the spot. Right.
And diet culture comes in and it goes, oh well, you could eat something. It’s like the devil on your shoulder, right? You could eat something else that’s crispy, but is healthier or has fewer calories? And you think yeah, yeah, yeah, you know what, that’s right like it’s too late at night or I shouldn’t eat that it has too many calories, and notice the food police language, right, the show dance the cans, the not supposed to use, and so you think ah, celery, crunchy, it’s a vegetable.
And it’s, you know, one of those negative calorie foods right noticing when that languaging comes in. And so you go and you eat some sticks of celery, and you still don’t feel satisfied and then you put off eating and then later on you, you’re like, you’re so hungry that you just raid whatever’s in the fridge. When If you go back to the crackers and cheese, a little bit of fig jam, or whatever you put on it, you just think I probably would have been satisfied with a few of those. And that would have been that.
So, it’s worth considering if you’re putting off your satisfaction. And then how does it come back to bite you later? I would love for you to think about that, that this week if you put off your satisfaction or you deny your satisfaction for a particular food or something that you’re, you think would just like sound really good. And it’s worth looking at here, you know, is the food something you’re craving because you’re denying it to yourself, and then you’re gonna maybe end up overeating, like eating the whole bag of cookies, and you have very little recollection, you didn’t enjoy it. And, like, to me that’s not a satisfying experience. That’s a reaction to deprivation rather than what sounds so good, and then you eat it and you pay attention little by little, you build these skills and you think, damn, that really hit the spot. And you’re good.
So that’s the third piece that I’d like for you to consider. There is more that goes into this principle, but I feel like leaving it with three actionable things for you to explore or think about or consider, makes it manageable. So I’ll just recap really quickly. The satisfaction factor here is three things that you can do to get clear or clearer and more aware of how dissatisfaction factor in for you. One, what do you like? Is there a food that you actually really do like and enjoy and is really satisfying for you but you’ve made it off-limits for a particular reason? And yes, I know, if you can’t eat it for a medical reason, or an allergy reason, obviously we have to respect that.
Number two, are you enjoying and being present to the eating experience ever? If not, it may be appropriate to try for part of one meal. Look, don’t set up this they met is like I’m going to eat mindfully with no distractions and no electronics for the next 30 days. We know that’s not going to work. And it’s don’t set yourself up for something that you know is going to be overwhelming. Start with one a part of a meal. Can I check in with myself in this meal today? One time. I know it sounds so easy, but start there and build as you go.
And then lastly, what would satisfy you at this moment? Or then you know, when you’re thinking it’s going to be mealtime? Is there a way to add that X factor to your plate or your meal in some way, like for example, textures. You might want something crunchy or crispy. Like how can you add that kind of texture to your meal to give it that crunchy satisfaction or what something cool really hit the spot right now is super hot here in Southern California at the moment with something cool, satisfied, or is there a particular flavor or a particular food that you just are so drawn to right now, and it would really hit the spot again? Hitting the spot satisfying is different than I ate the whole bag of whatever it is because I felt really deprived and I didn’t actually enjoy any of it and now I feel kind of icky. Alright, so those are two different things. It’s very nuanced, right? That’s should be the subtitle of the show, Listen To Your Body nuance.
So that’s a little bit more about the satisfaction factor which is the fifth the principle of intuitive eating. Okay, that does it for today’s show. So a couple of things first, get on the Listen To Your Body newsletter at StephGaudreau.com/LTYB, go check the website for the show notes for this episode. You can find a full transcript there if you want to, you know, share that with a friend or loved one, somebody you care about who’s talking about intuitive eating, and share this episode out on social media, particularly Instagram Stories is probably pretty much the easiest place to do that. So you can do that just tag me, Steph_Gaudreau so I can see it and then share it out with everybody as well. Thank you so much for being here today. Next week, I’m going to be covering the sixth principle of intuitive eating which is all about your fullness. It’s gonna be a juicy one. So you’re gonna want to stay tuned for that and until then, be well.
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