In the past few years, intuitive eating food coaching has become all the rage.
We’re sick and tired of spending our lives in the exhausting ups and downs of the diet world, and intuitive eating promises a way out. So we dive in, ready and willing, filled with hope and excitement that something could finally fix our “food issues” and get out of the diet cycle.
There’s one small problem.
We don’t actually know how to “do” intuitive eating.
You wonder in desperation:
- HOW am I supposed to listen to my body?! It only tells me to eat carbs!
- You want me to TRUST myself to have just one piece of bread?! That’s not happening.
- You think I can just stop when I’m full?! If it were that easy, I wouldn’t be in this place to begin with!
- How do I know I know when to allow a craving and when to fight it?! I always have cravings!
- What if I just spiral out of control? When I’m on a diet, I feel in control and this feels like a free for all.
The fears are real and you think if you “fail,” you’re back to square one.
You feel hopeless and stuck, afraid that you’ll have to reign yourself back in by going on a diet. Again.
So What Exactly IS Intuitive Eating?
According to WebMD, the formal definition is:
Intuitive eating is a simple idea. It means that you make peace with all types of food. Unlike traditional diets that restrict or ban certain foods, intuitive eating requires you to stop looking at food as “good” or “bad.” Instead, you listen to your body and eat what feels right for you.
Sounds simple, right?
In theory it’s all about listening to your body’s cues when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full.
In reality, it can be extremely difficult to just all of a sudden “pay attention to when you are hungry and choose what feels good” when you’ve spent years (and sometimes decades) in the world of dieting.
Why is it so difficult to actually DO intuitive eating?
Eating intuitively can be difficult for any of these reasons:
- Because our minds are filled with rules and “shoulds” about what to eat.
- It feels impossible to just drop the good and bad labels since we spent years learning them.
- We get stuck in the either/or mindset i.e. dieting or saying “screw it.”
- We don’t know what a balanced way to eat actually looks like.
- We don’t know HOW to listen to our body’s cues because we spent years ignoring them.
- We’re deeply afraid to trust ourselves.
- We may get the hang of it for a bit, but inevitably we backslide and then think it’s not working.
- We secretly want to lose weight and can’t figure out how to do that AND eat intuitively.
My approach to intuitive eating is different.
Intuitive eating food coaching has value, but it’s missing many of the foundational concepts most women are missing after spending years on the diet cycle roller-coaster.
When we begin wanting to find a healthy, balanced relationship to food (meaning we are finally exhausted from being trapped in the diet cycle), we’re usually so far from the place where intuitive eating starts.
Working with thousands of women over the years in my 9 years of coaching, I’ve found women need structure and guidance before learning how to become more intuitive with the body.
I blend structure and guidance with freedom and permission.
Yes you can have BOTH!
Intuitive Eating + Nutritional Guidance
I like to think of myself as an Intuitive Eating Nutritionist who helps you find YOUR normal around food.
Another big piece missing from the intuitive eating conversation is weight loss.
Most of us start a diet in the hopes of losing weight. So when we’re exhausted from the endless cycle of being on and off a diet, it can be hard to just ignore the desire to be at a comfortable weight.
I think it’s an important part of the conversation and not to be ignored.
I address how to integrate the desire for weight loss into the intuitive eating journey. It’s not either/or. It’s not that you can either lose weight OR eat intuitively, but rather a blend of both. If it’s important to you, we bring it in to the coaching sessions.
Here’s what you can expect to learn working with me as your intuitive eating food coach, moving towards normal eating:
- How to enjoy your life again and not be obsessed with what to eat all the time
- How to find your own version of freedom and structure, guidelines and permission
- When to give in to cravings and when to use the “gentle no”
- Trust with your body and your food choices
- How to find the balance of what you want to eat vs what you should eat
- What the “right” amount of food is for you (and when a portion is enough)
- How to make food decisions at restaurant/party/gathering with ease
- How to move through an emotion without eating over it
- What to do if you feel like it’s “not working”
- Understanding the role of weight in the journey towards freedom
- How to balance the desire to lose weight and the desire to feel food freedom
Book a call to explore intuitive eating and food coaching to find your “normal.”Schedule a 20-min Call
Jenn Hand has been helping women like you become normal eaters since 2015.
She’s worked with thousands of women, helping them to balance their bodies, end bingeing, stop obsessing over food, and start feeling amazing again. As a board-certified health coach and holistic nutritionist, Jenn knows how to support you in making real positive changes that last.
Her articles have been published on Mind Body Green, Tiny Buddha, Thrive Global and other local and global media platforms. She’s the author of How to Be a Normal Eater and the creator of The Normal Eater’s Club program. Listen to Jenn’s advice and tips on the Cake Doesn’t Count Podcast, or read more of her articles for free on the Food Freedom Blog.Learn About Coaching!