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What Is Intuitive Eating?

How overwhelmed do you feel by all of the different terms for EATING in the fitness world? Keto, IIFYM (if it fits your macros), tracking calories, weighing your food… doesn’t it all feel a bit… much? Warning: I’ve got a hot (and probably unpopular in the fitness world) take on the topic of food during a fitness journey.

I think that tracking your food is more harmful for people than beneficial in the long run. Yes, it’s a surefire way to lose weight right away. Yes, it’s a nearly necessary tool if you’re competing in a body building or physique competition. But for the average person? I personally think that MOST of the time it’s going to be damaging to a person’s mental health which directly ties into their physical health.

I have never in my life tracked my food. And I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained weight, I went through pregnancy, and I’m now postpartum. My body has changed both intentionally and intentionally throughout my 26 years, and I still couldn’t tell you how many calories are in a spoonful of peanut butter. Eating intuitively has not only allowed me to keep a super healthy relationship with food, but it has also helped me reach various fitness goals I’ve set for myself in a sustainable way.

So… now you’re probably wondering. What is eating intuitively? Honestly, it’s a fitness-world term for simply… eating. It’s about eating what you want when you want, while still focusing on eating nutrient dense foods. It means you don’t look at the calories, fat, carbs, or protein contents in what you’re eating. It means you’re not attaching a number to the things you’re putting in your body. It means you’re being intuitive to eating when your body is hungry and stopping when it’s full. And intuitive eating is what my program Bicah Body was built around!

Contrary to what some expensive fitness coaches will tell you, it is a great way to intentionally lose or gain weight according to your goals. We’ve all seen fitness coaches who post before and after pictures of their clients to show their “6 week progress” or “one month weight loss”. But have you ever seen fitness coaches who post their clients’ follow up pictures? Who update you on how that same client is doing 6 months after they stop working together? I genuinely wonder what the sustainability rate looks like for those crazy-fast transformations.

Because here’s the thing: it would be very easy to lose weight quickly if you’re counting the calories in every single thing you eat and restricting your calories each and every day. But, will that weight stay off? Studies say: NO. Studies have shown that only 5% of dieters with restrictive diets will keep the weight off. That means that a whopping 95% of restrictive dieters will gain their weight back after going back to normal eating habits.

So, how does this relate into intuitive eating? Well, intuitive eating is all about eating in a way that feels natural and normal to you. Intuitive eating is the most sustainable approach to fat loss, muscle gain, and any other fitness goals you may have. Let’s break down how you can eat intuitively while reaching your goals!

1. Focus on eating nutrient dense foods! We all know what foods benefit us and which ones don’t. So to make things simple, make sure most of the food you eat is food with a nutritional benefit to it! But don’t restrict yourself from having the fun treats every once in awhile too.

2. Adjust your portions for your goals! If weight loss is your goal, make your protein and veggie portions the biggest ones on your plate. If weight gain is your goal, add some more carbs to your plate! If maintenance is your goal, just make sure to have a protein, fat, and carb in every meal and have whatever portions feel right to you.

3. Remove guilt from food! Food is quite literally FUEL! Your body needs it to survive. Yes, even if you eat McDonald’s for all three meals of the day, your body will turn it into fuel. Of course, that isn’t good for you and isn’t something you should do, but you get the point. If you want to eat a food that doesn’t really have a nutritional benefit to it, do it! Just don’t overdo it. There’s no need to feel guilty about enjoying your favorite foods! Food is enjoyable and it’s an experience, so don’t remove the fun from it!

4. Don’t overthink it! Intuitive eating is as simple as it gets. Eat when you’re hunger, stop when you’re full. Eat your fruits and veggies, but also your chocolate cake. If you’re craving it, eat it. Just don’t overdo it. Fitness does not need to be so complicated!!! 

If you have any other questions about intuitive eating, feel free to DM me on Instagram @chloegottschalk and I’d love to help you out. Otherwise, if you are looking for some delicious AND nutritious recipes that’ll help you on your intuitive eating journey, we’ve got over 300 of them in our workout and recipe fitness program! And it’s only $9.99/month with zero commitment to join 🙂

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