5 Major Downsides to Intuitive Eating

I'm excited to talk to you today. I get this question ALL the time!

I want you to walk away with a better understanding of some significant downsides you want to avoid around intuitive eating in regards to binge eating, extreme hunger, and food obsession or mental hunger.

I've worked with many people who end up stressed and confused when trying intuitive eating to cure their food obsession and manage their enormous appetite.

People are seeking to develop a peaceful relationship around food, free from confusion and guilt around their hunger cues - mental preoccupation with food, insatiable physical hunger, emotional eating tendencies, free from the confusion and guilt around:
-how much to eat?
-what kinds of food to eat?
-how full?
-how satisfied?

They are craving to be free from fears around their body gaining body fat from making the "wrong" decision around eating. They want to be free from these kinds of mental dialogues and mental bargaining. But are feeling worse and more obsessed around food, with intuitive eating. Right, can you relate?

Because people who are experiencing both ravenous mental and physical hunger or are binge eating are looking to intuitive eating, thinking if they "practice" intuitive eating, everything will be cleared up and they'll overcome this hunger and obsession with food. 

Now, I want to say that I am not an intuitive eating coach for this reason because intuitive eating doesn't offer the solution to the real problem that is going on when one is facing such extreme hunger, food obsession, and binge eating. Without getting to the root of this actual problem, one becomes even more confused about eating, they feel so stressed and guilty all the time, and it just destroys their mind and life.

I am not here to bash intuitive eating. I am pointing out that the concepts of intuitive eating aren't able to be appropriately applied when one is binge eating and facing an extreme hunger physically and/or mentally. Alright, I just wanted to get that out of the way.

 

On top of that, they may use intuitive eating to gain a "normal weight" or try to maintain their starting weight.

Or now, even as a weight-loss tool. One may be looking to the number on the scale or the size of their pants to determine "how to eat" and how to make decisions around food, rather than looking at the fundamental problem of what's continuing to contribute to their ravenous mental/physical hunger and extreme draw to food.

 

And why their mind is constantly preoccupied with food, which interferes with their focus and concentration.

They are finding it hard to think about other things other than food (and this phenomenon of food obsession doesn't go away once they're at a certain weight, or even that this can't happen to people at all if they're not considered underweight) 

But this is the problem - they are so afraid they will become obese. One worries they'll lose their identity as the 'fit or thin chick/dude.'

Their fears keep them from doing the thing that will help them find freedom.

So they continue trying to control themselves around food via restrictive intuitive eating and other various philosophies such as reverse dieting and more.

 

 

This is important to understand because there are intuitive eating coaches, diet recovery coaches, eating disorder recovery coaches, therapists, and treatment centers who don't understand the extreme hunger element.

This lack of understanding of ravenous hunger can often cause more confusion and stress for people as they aren't offering the solution to this problem.

Suppose one doesn't address their extreme physical hunger, binge eating, and mental obsession around food (i.e., extreme mental hunger) FIRST. In that case, intuitive eating will make one feel even more stressed, guilty, and still mentally obsessed with food.

It also does not allow the BMR to rise. In other words, it doesn't allow for a complete rehabilitation process to occur of the mind and body.

 

The problem with the concept of Intuitive Eating when dealing with extreme mental & physical hunger or binge eating is:

  1. It can become another way to control your weight through "eating intuitively," aka what people have turned, I.E., into "the intuitive eating diet." 

    "You can hardly talk about health and taking care of yourself without discussing nutrition.  But our experience has shown us that if a healthy relationship with food is not in place first, it's difficult to pursue a truly healthy diet.  If you've been a chronic dieter, the best nutrition guidelines can still be embraced like a diet." 
    -Evelyn Tribole

  2. After being out of touch with your intuition for an extended period due to restrictive eating, your intuition and huger cues will be all out of whack for a while

  3. I.E., does not encourage one to listen to their mental hunger and deems it as emotional eating. Intuitive Eating mainly focuses on fullness and not mental satiety. Which is restriction and will perpetuate your food obsession, binge eating

  4. It often takes on a similar mindset of something you can fail or succeed at, just like the diet mentality. For example, if you follow the rules, you'll either fail or succeed. So one may adhere strictly to "hunger and fullness" as a set of rules - For example, you ate extra spoonfuls of nut butter even though physically you felt full  - therefore, you failed and emotionally ate.

  5. Suggests against binge eating often missing the purpose behind the body and minds desire to binge

  6. Often one needs to feel very full, i.e., you may need to eat more food than you're comfortable with physically, or that a hunger scale would say is unacceptable, for a while, when recovering from restrictive eating, suppressing one's weight (or attempting to suppress without success). So instead, you want to rehabilitate the metabolism to neutralize binge eating and food obsession.

 

In other words:

  • intuitive eating perpetuates the feeling of control -> which perpetuates confusion / stress / guilt
  • which perpetuates obsession with food, binge eating, and extreme mental & physical hunger

 

You don't do this stuff with your bladder. Such as "If I peed more today versus yesterday, that must mean my bladders emotionally peeing, so I need to hold myself back or else I'm going to pee myself into a deficiency.

It's crazy.

Eating intuitively and being an ordinary eater is the goal long term. Still, you can't just go from restricting your food and crazily working out and feeling obsessed around food to eating an appropriate amount of food and eating when you're hungry and stopping when you're full. , So no, this is a big mistake people make: trying to skip the recovery process of rehabilitating your metabolism, hormones, and all else and rehabilitating your mind. 

This is your number 1 priority before you start thinking about anything else. That's where your focus needs to be: rehabilitating your metabolism, your hormones, your adrenals.

And you do this by rehabilitating both your physical and mental extreme hunger and rehabilitating your mind.

Make the necessary mindset shifts around your relationship towards exercise, food, yourself, and your body.

And if you don't understand these things, you won't ever become an intuitive eater, and when you try to be an intuitive eater, you're going to be confused, stressed, guilt-ridden, anxious, and obsessed around food.

 

The counter-intuitive thing to do to fix this problem is to stop trying to be an intuitive eater - you need to get out of your rut and out of what you're familiar with - aka familiar with the perceived control around your body and food.

-you may say: well, I'm doing this, and I'm doing that and following this, and following that, well these are just a bunch of excuses if somethings not working, you need to change it to get what you're trying to do to work. And take a hard look at the things that you're trying to avoid.

The biggest mistake I see is that people are inflexible. They lock into something that they find and may have worked initially, and so they latch onto it and don't want to let go when it only gets them so far, and they're stuck.

So what are some things that you can do to get off the rut you've fallen into and shake things up?

Whatever you're doing, it's time to make a shift.

And when you make this shift, it's crucial you give it enough time to play out.

Healing doesn't always feel good right, so you often need to give your body more time. And just because you're feeling worse initially or for the time being doesn't mean that you should stop recovery altogether.

So keep an eye on - your overall mental health, not the number on the scale - each time you make a change.

This article is just a brief introduction to the downsides of intuitive eating when trying to overcome binge eating, extreme hunger, your mind being preoccupied with food, and things of this nature.

Want to dive even deeper into the topics discussed here to know my exact framework for stopping feeling obsessed around food? I want to invite you for a unique opportunity to watch my free masterclass, and I share it with you. Click here to register your spot.

Xx

Kayla Rose

Holistic Nutritionist

The Creator of The Find Your Balance System

P.S. I'd love to see you in my free community forum on my website to keep the discussion going there by joining here!

 

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