3 Reasons You Are Struggling With Intuitive Eating
If you are struggling with Intuitive Eating, you may be falling for these common traps.
You love everything about Intuitive Eating: The philosophy, the freedom. You’ve been working on Intuitive Eating for a few months, or maybe even a couple years, and now you feel stuck.
You understand all the intellectual aspects but you’re struggling to really make the leap towards complete freedom with food and your body.
Have you been working on Intuitive Eating but you feel like you’re not making additional progress?
Perhaps you have fully ditched diets, but you’re still having trouble around food and your body.
In my experience with working with hundreds of women over the years, I have found common reasons why women get stuck.
The 3 most common reasons women struggle when they are working on Intuitive Eating are:
1. You’re not really allowing all foods.
Since you started Intuitive Eating, you’ve been challenging yourself to eat many foods you might have previously avoided: chips, ice cream, baked goods, and/or refined carbs, anyone? But maybe you’re still bingeing on these foods when you eat them, or feeling really anxious when you think about eating them.
If this is you, I need to ask you:
Are you unconditionally allowing these foods?
Things like measuring, single serving containers, only eating on certain days, are all situations that have conditions around them. Your brain and body know that you aren’t really buying in to this and it’s backfiring by keeping you stuck.
Think about your experiences eating treats and forbidden foods.
Do you eat them:
- Regularly (more than 2-3 times a week)?
- While sitting down and in a pleasant mood?
- With other people?
- Without guilt?
Do you keep a supply of these foods available in your home?
Unconditional permission to eat all foods is a key element in becoming an intuitive eater. For more info on this specific topic, check out my other article: Make Peace with Food here.
2. You’re picking and choosing from the 10 principles.
Remember unconditional permission above? So many women really, really, really want to skip this step.
Sure, they can buy into the ‘eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full’ thing, but asking them to eat all foods without external limits is just going too far!
Or perhaps, you can’t seem to let go of bashing your body (see Principle #8, Respect Your Body), or trying new ‘wellness’ trends (see Principle #1, Ditch the Diet Mentality). Different people struggle with embracing different principles, but these are often the most common.
My point is that picking and choosing from the 10 principles is going to keep you stuck because you’re calling the shots and making arbitrary rules, rather than allowing the scientifically-validated process to work its magic.
While diving into all 10 principles at once is really too overwhelming, you can’t ignore the principles that feel ‘too much’ for you! Remember, the amazing research that supports Intuitive Eating is based on using ALL of the principles.
No picking and choosing if you want to achieve freedom with food forever! Got it? Good!
3. You haven’t really put weight loss on the back burner.
This is a biggie.
I want to be as open and honest about this issue as possible:
When you hit diet rock bottom, you may have been dieting for 20+ years.
I did. And most of my clients do.
Coming to terms with the harms diets of done is tough. And, while you might know that you can never diet again, you might still desire weight loss.
Who wouldn’t… given how thinness is praised in our culture?
But, here’s the thing: You can’t really tune into your body fully if you are constantly worrying about how your eating is going to affect your weight.
I know you might be thinking you can be the exception to this rule. But, trust me, if you’re struggling with making progress on Intuitive Eating, you need to tuck the thoughts of weight loss aside, at least for now.
And lastly, if any practitioner or influencer is promising weight loss from Intuitive Eating, run away from them fast! This means that this person has not trained in Intuitive Eating, and they are just using Intuitive Eating’s popularity as a way to promote another diet.
Becoming an Intuitive Eater is a process that takes time and practice. It’s common for women to get stuck along the way because they have been dieting for so long that it’s hard to see harmful, arbitrary rules sneaking into their thinking.
It’s normal to need help with challenging things. You deserve to stop obsessing about foods and your body and food freedom is within your reach.
If you’ve embraced the idea of Intuitive Eating but you find yourself stuck, working with a professional can help get you to the finish line where you’ll find peace with all foods and stop the daily obsession with food and your body.
When your family, friends and even the media have different values and actions, it can make it even harder to do this work.
Sometimes, having an ally who shares your values and goals can help get you unstuck in your journey to become an Intuitive Eater.
Schedule your complimentary Take Action Call with me today to learn what it’s like to have the support of a professional as you become an Intuitive Eater and embrace the life you were meant to have.
Kelly Abramson MS, RD is a dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who works with clients in Alexandria, VA and virtually via telehealth. She guides women as they break free from dieting to find joy in food and their bodies. Kelly blogs regularly at NpowerYou.com and has created a free e-book for download, “7 Steps to Overcome Stress Eating.”