Intuitive eating, eating mindfully – what does that really mean?
There’s a ton of long winded explanations, crazy meal plans, timed theories, over exaggerated concepts…the list goes on and on. When it comes down to it, intuitive eating is all about connection to your own body and to the food you are placing inside of it.
It’s about slowing down and removing distractions. Eating mindfully doesn’t mean you need to take a 2
hour lunch break – although, if your boss would sign off on it… I say TAKE IT. Eating mindfully means
paying attention to your meal. It means chewing your food, not swallowing it, washing it down with an
iced coffee while scrolling through Instagram or checking emails. Put your phone down, stop counting
the calories on your tracker app. Really taste your food, be present- notice when your body says, “Hey,
I’ve had enough now” or maybe, it’s saying, “Could I have a little more?”
Intuitive eating is more than just the meals we have in front of us. Intuitive eating involves changing the
conversation about diet culture. We see it everywhere. On billboards, in magazines, plastered all over
social media, the perfect image of the female body -Barbie doll, evenly distributed – 34, 24, 34, right?
Blonde, tall, thin, white, not a blemish on her face. This ideal is unrealistic , but still the world perpetuates
the image and women strive every single day to become something that isn’t attainable, isn’t natural, isn’t
normal. We starve ourselves, or work out to exhaustion, binge eat and throw it up. We do these terrible
things to our bodies, ignoring our intuition with what we are doing, how we are acting, what we are
wanting so badly – is wrong.
We become so incredibly disconnected from our bodies with our insecurities and never ending rules –
I’m too fat. I can’t eat dinner until I run 3 miles. My hips are too wide. My legs are too skinny. If I eat this
snack now, I’ll skip lunch. These rules that we make that over time will silence cues that our body is
trying to tell us. Our body could be screaming “feed me” and if we’re stuck in that restrict/repent/repeat
cycle, we won’t hear the cries- we won’t even notice our health is slowly slipping.
I often discuss with my clients, who are trying to break this cycle or better their relationship with food and
their body, this idea of paying attention to who they are – what type of eater are you? Every single body is
different. You and I – we don’t think the same, we don’t act them same, we certainly do not eat the same,
do not need the same nutrients or time or energy. Tapping into what type of eater you are, can be a
great start to figuring out where you are with understanding intuitive eating – what are your triggers and
how can we slowly start the process of changing the story?
The 6 eating personalities:
-Can’t say NO eater
-Hyper awareness eater
As you read through the different types of eating, it’s important to know that each and every type of
eating is completely normal. The way we eat is often stemmed from childhood, we are taught to eat a
certain way. Were you ever told you must “clear the plate” before you could get up from your meal? I’m
talking to you “no-waste” eaters. Or maybe, your habits developed as you got older facing college, out on
your own for the first time. Or possibly, a traumatic event threw you through a loop, everything was
completely out of your control except for what you were eating.
Understanding the way you eat is the first step towards changing your patterns and tendencies relating
to meal time. There are tools you can use that will help re-frame your thought process, knowing how you
personally eat can tailor those tools to fit your needs.
1. Professional dieter
-Always on a diet
-Always up to date on the newest diet craze
-Unhappy in your body, constantly shaming themselves with comments such as “fat” or constantly
restrictive of self. Low self worth
2. Emotional eater
-Eats as a coping mechanism for emotions that they don’t want to feel
-Want to feel a sense of self control
-Eats for a purpose other than nourishment or satiation
-Feels uncomfortable emotionally and doesn’t know of any other ways to cope so uses food to mask
3. No-Waste eater
-clears the plate
-has a hard time leaving food behind
-sometimes even feels tempted to eat others leftovers
-often conditioned from childhood not to be wasteful.
4. Distracted eater
-eats without awareness, often while multitasking
-eats on the go
-desire to be productive 24/7, has a hard time slowing down
-sees little value in being present
5. Can’t say “NO” eater
-difficulty refusing food
-doesn’t give self permission to eat so has little control when around food
6. Hyper awareness eater
-aware of everything eaten
-counts calories, macros, tracks every bite
-others praise this eater for their balanced eating style
-begins with a desire to be healthy but often spirals into obsession
Do any of these resonate with you?
Remember – every “type” of eater is normal. Maybe, you are a combination. Maybe, you’re not ready
to admit some of your tendencies. And that’s okay.
When you’re ready to let go of your label –
I’ll be here to help you take the steps towards body freedom.