Chicks in Control - IE - Choosing healthy foods




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Wannabeskinny
02-14-2014, 12:27 PM
I'm only at the beginning of my journey with IE and already I feel a release of guilt and tension in my day and undeniable weight loss. I'm finding myself comfortable confronting hunger and I look forward to all the benefits of not having to follow a plan or a diet.

But I do have nutritional goals. Like I said it's still early and I'm in the stage where I'm trying to mend my relationship with food and get over my fear of forbidden food. So I'm eating what my body seems to be craving and right now that's alot of carbohydrates. I don't mind it, I mean I'm losing weight and my portion sizes seem fine. And I suspect I'm craving carbs a lot because I spent so many years abusing my body with a low-carb mentality. So I'm working really hard to alleviate my guilt eating bread or sugar or pasta.

But realistically I know that my body feels better when carbs are limited, so I'm asking - does there come a time in IE when you naturally feel inclined to eat more healthy food? Does there come a point where you feel comfortable making a few restrictions?


krampus
02-14-2014, 01:33 PM
It is swimming upstream perhaps pointlessly to try and teach your body to crave healthy foods while feeding it grains and sugar and foods that are not filling and are habit-forming.

You say your body responds better to limited carbs. What was so abusive about a low-carb mentality? The problem seems to be forming emotional attachments and assigning virtue or lack thereof to food.

Weight loss requires consistent restrictions and it's not possible to restrict nothing and lose weight.

Wannabeskinny
02-14-2014, 02:08 PM
Hi Krampus thanks for joing the discussion. These posts labeled IE are an attempt to diversify the long standing IE thread which seems to bury itself within the diet forum. IE is not a diet at all, just a way of eating by responding to your body's hunger and fullness cues. The major tenant of IE is that diets don't work and restrictive approaches to eating ultimately backfire for so many of us. It's about trusting your body to only eat as much as you Need. For this reason I have given up my long held beliefs that low carb would fix me when for so many years it has led me to binge instead. I don't believe that food is the problem but rather that I have unhealthy ties to food as you pointed out.


Wannabeskinny
02-14-2014, 02:15 PM
Weight loss requires consistent restrictions and it's not possible to restrict nothing and lose weight.

Yes I don't disagree that it's not possible to restrict nothing and lose weight. So I guess you could say that an approach that requires no restrictions sounds a little wacko. The only restriction that really comes into play is eating ONLY in response to hunger and only eating until you are physically full. This approach is allowing me to learn how to discern my hunger cues, which are really messed up after years of dieting. I'm learning how not to overeat and so in reality I wind up eating much much less than I thought possible. In essence I'm eating less without restriction.

krampus
02-14-2014, 02:25 PM
I'm a big proponent of IE for people who have fairly healthy relationships with food and are educated about/have access to nutritious food choices. I don't think it works for everyone but I do think it's a pretty good "ultimate goal," and is more realistic and within people's grasps than more radical concepts ("No more cheeseburgers ever," "Food is FUEL ONLY," etc).

Sometimes simply allowing yourself to eat whatever you want does the work for you, and while a person might gain weight initially, it will fall off and then some. I do think IE requires an open and flexible "goal" mindset.

Wannabeskinny
02-14-2014, 02:33 PM
I'm lucky that I'm not finding an initial gain although I chalked myself up for one. Instead there is loss. I find that I'm doing ok left to my own devices without rules regulations and restrictions. I find that I'm starting to learn what real hunger is and it's not so scary. Of course I'm combining this with a lot of stress management techniques since I eat from boredom, stress, loneliness, anxiety etc. I'm learning, it's not easy for sure, but it's not as difficult as dietin I will say that.

freelancemomma
02-14-2014, 09:24 PM
I think the danger with IE is that it can become just another diet: you still have to monitor your fullness at every step, to avoid overeating. Also, I think some of us (raising hand) either have damaged satiety controls or a greater appetite than average. To me, IE sounds like a recipe for massive regain, but that's because I can easily pack away 3,500 calories (or more) in a day without feeling the slightest discomfort.

F.

Wannabeskinny
02-15-2014, 09:15 AM
I think the danger with IE is that it can become just another diet: you still have to monitor your fullness at every step, to avoid overeating. Also, I think some of us (raising hand) either have damaged satiety controls or a greater appetite than average. To me, IE sounds like a recipe for massive regain, but that's because I can easily pack away 3,500 calories (or more) in a day without feeling the slightest discomfort.

F.

It sounds like you know yourself pretty well, I'd never argue with someone who's lost and maintained for so long and who's self awareness is so acute. And I admire that. For myself I don't think it's too late to try to reset my satiety controls. For years I've been relying on diets to work "do this for x amount of time and we promise you'll see results" eating at timed intervals, eating my assigned foods and following the diet's rules of how much to eat and when to eat and when not to eat. And most diets start out with the "clear out the pantry" rule. In essence I've been ignoring what my body wants and basically telling it to shut up, I know better and we're gonna fix this.

In some ways I can see how IE would be scary and not for everyone. But this is my chance to put trust in my own self for once. This is very much NOT a diet, you say that I have to monitor my fullness - yes I have to monitor my fullness but this is not as difficult as I thought it would be. It can be scary if you're not quite sure what hunger or fullness is but this is the process I'm using to figure it out. At the end of the day, if I'm not eating out of hunger then something is way wrong and no diet will address that.

This is my 3rd week so I'm really nobody to pedal this, and I don't mean to. I'm pushing it with this system too, I've tried to binge and I haven't been able to because I've had no need to. I planned a binge, got there and stopped eating when I was full - even the manager of the restaurant came over and was concerned that I didn't like the food because I had eaten so little of it. This is remarkable for me, binges are like the life force that have kept me alive for so long lol. I have never planned a binge I couldn't follow through on. So I can't say it's not easy but somehow my hunger fullness signals are present, they're weak but they are there for sure and if only I can coax them out for good then I foresee being able to be a normal person!!!!

freelancemomma
02-15-2014, 02:00 PM
Don't get me wrong, I think it's great if you can make IE work for you. I just think it would be a risky proposition for me because it takes A LOT of food to give me that full sensation.

F.

Wannabeskinny
02-15-2014, 02:14 PM
No worries, I did not derive any negativity from your post. I heart food too hehe, that's why I'm not willing to divorce any food group.

Mazzy
02-19-2014, 05:05 PM
Wannabe...what is your motivation for wanting to eat "healthy" and how do you personally define healthy? I am going out on a limb and going to assume that you mean - when will I want vegetables?

I can only draw an analogy. If you watch a toddler who has been raised with no food restrictions, you will see strange patterns. My son, for example, loved broccoli. It was his first food. He ate it periodically. He ate vegetables often when he first learned how to eat. But at 2 years old, he refused all veggies. Fortunately, he will eat any fruit presented to him. Is one better than the other? Maybe...if you buy into the idea that sugar is a sin, even in fruit. But both are packed with vitamins. He's getting his nutrition as needed.

Now, my son loves lollipops. He can have them if they are available. I restrict his consumption of them to a point because I don't want his teeth to rot. But I have a sneaking suspicion that he reserves the capability of getting really sick of lollipops if he had as many as he really wanted. I know I would.

The fact that you're asking this question suggests to me that you have your doubts, and you are looking over your shoulder wondering when this will stop working. I say this because you ask when you will eat healthy as if your body isn't already prompting you to eat exactly what it needs. The question is, how do you feel? Do you feel satisfied? Happy? Comfortable? Alive?

In the intuitive eating world, healthy means responding to your body's needs not implementing the eating mandates of what science suggest are the best foods for everyone. Your body's needs ebb and flow. Trust it. Let go of control.

Wannabeskinny
02-20-2014, 09:43 AM
Thanks Mazzy, you're right I do have doubts. When you've been on the "carbs are evil" and "calories are bad" and "sugar is the devil" bandwagon for as long as I have it's hard to let go!! I spend a perfectly nice day eating what I want, and then at the end of the day I go and tally the calories just to make sure I'm under the golden number. I enjoy my food thoroughly and then feelings of guilt start to creep in a little.

BED by definition implicates a problem with control. Sometimes I think it's too much control, which makes me feel out of control. I do trust the process of IE. I do know that I'm making progress. I do know that I feel less guilty and less anxious than when I was restricting. I do know that I'm seeing weightloss. I do know that I'm starting to learn what hunger feels like. I do trust myself around food. There's a lot of good things happening and I don't have that terrible anxiety that diets cause - you know that feeling of when the other shoe drops? I don't feel like I'm going to mess up in a way that will throw me off kilter. Yes there have been moments where I've eaten without being hungry - I'm not perfect. But I have acknowledged it and I've even stopped it and even mid eating I pause and think about my hunger lol.

Thanks for responding. But yes you're right I guess I'm waiting for the day when I will wake up and not want carbs. For the record I do love veggies and I eat them all the time. I'm just having a hard time with my desire for carbs, I still feel like that needs to be punished.

Mazzy
02-20-2014, 11:29 AM
I re-read your initial post (I admit, I'm terrible at reading or listening for that matter. Like most people, I love to hear myself talk!) And I see that you and I really are on the same page/journey. Forgive me in advance if what I'm saying is something you already know. Not many people are doing IE, so it's hard to know where you're at, especially if I'm bad at reading. ;)

I'm not sure if you are expecting yourself to not want carbs and are (secretly) putting pressure on yourself to not eat them, even though you're craving them, or if maybe you really are just getting sick of them.

Is it possible that you're truly just sick of eating carbs...?

For example, do you wake up in the morning and salivate over a bagel/cereal/pancakes? Is that truly desirable to you?

Or do you see those things and "recall" the desire and the pleasure and feel a slight disappointment? In other words, you expect yourself to want them, so there's a sort of rebellious inner pressure to eat what you actually don't really want. It's the inner child - your doubting Thomas - who needs proof that you'll be taken care of. It's funny how we downplay our emotional requirement for nourishment and how interconnected that is with food - from the very first day you are born and you are put on your mother's chest.

I have trouble with this myself. My friend gave me a recipe for some cookies, and I was obsessed with them for a while. I gave myself the permission to eat them as I pleased. At a certain point, I started to realize they were TOO sweet. Shocking, in a way. But, I still held onto the idea of them - that they were making me feel good (emotionally), and I wanted so badly to feel good. So I kept eating them anyway, even though they were too sweet and too rich, and my body really didn't want them. It's like my mind had to catch up to my body. It eventually did, and I did eventually stop eating them....to the point that the idea of cookies is now disgusting to me on all levels. The desire for them literally stopped on a dime.

So, I'm basically saying 2 things here. First, if you are really hungering for carbs, that's okay. You need them until you don't need them anymore. Contrary to current trends, carbs are NOT addictive - you won't eat them exclusively forever. They are not evil. They won't kill you. Carbs are the first line of defense in hospitals - NOT protein or veggies. You need them for a variety of reasons - energy, chemical compounds, their unique nutrients. Eventually, you won't need them as much, and you'll suddenly want a juicy steak (or whatever). I don't know how long that will take. To be honest, it could be a month, 2 months. But, probably not much longer than that. It isn't what the future holds that matters - it's what right now holds. What do you need right now? Try to hone in on that rather than projecting what the future might hold.

And second, if your body doesn't really want carbs anymore, but your inner "child" (aka rebel/spoiled brat/self) needs proof that you'll take care of her, then, it's okay to keep eating what your body is rejecting. The pressure to prove to her that food is not a big deal will diminish unless you make it a big deal. I'm guessing this is contrary to what you have been doing based on some of the things you've said regarding emotional eating. I've done the rounds myself, trust me! What I've discovered is that eating is emotional (as you said, you cannot divorce yourself from food), and there's a definite connection between what you put in your body and how those chemicals affect your mind. We are all on a different step in the journey, and you may not be willing to go to this level yet, but it also may be the thing that you're secretly afraid of.

Just my thoughts.

nelie
02-20-2014, 11:42 AM
I just came back from a week at a weight loss retreat where intuitive eating/mindful eating and exercising was their model.

For healthy eating, they used the plate model (1/4th starchy carbs, 1/4th protein, 1/2 non-starchy carbs - fat mixed in, lots of nut fats emphasized)
If we were still hungry after our meals, fruit and salad was offered. We also had the freedom to ask the kitchen for more if we needed more of something other than fruit/salad.

I have to say it was a pretty eye opening experience. One morning I had french toast, I had two pieces with maple syrup and although one piece was fine, the second piece left my stomach feeling heavy so I ended up going for a walk outside after breakfast and felt much better.

One thing they also emphasized is that normal eating sometimes means overeating because something tastes good. The idea is that the body will regulate following overeating and normalize hunger patterns. The issue is if you are constantly overeating.

Anyway, by following the plate model and eating salad/fruit after my meal if i'm still hungry has helped me a lot. My meals are more balanced. I'm also exercising daily because movement is good. I started mindful eating prior to my visit to the retreat and the result is I am the lowest weight I have been in 2 years.

The last comment I should make is that where I went also believes the health at every size model meaning that not everyone is meant to be thin. So they believe mindful/intuitive eating will get you to a natural weight for you but that weight may be overweight. If you are eating mindfully, then you will eat when hungry and stop when full (most of the time) or your body will balance out your eating and settle at a natural weight. For me, I am fine with this because I'm tired of the struggle. I'm eating well, exercising well and if the end result is I'm overweight, so be it. So far I'm losing weight/inches and I will see where my body settles.

Mazzy
02-20-2014, 01:52 PM
For healthy eating, they used the plate model (1/4th starchy carbs, 1/4th protein, 1/2 non-starchy carbs - fat mixed in, lots of nut fats emphasized).

Hi Nelie...Everything you said makes perfect sense to me, and I agree with it all, but this one sentence has me scratching my head a little. Did they ration out/portion your food for a reason? It seems counter-intuitive...

I'm guessing this was a way of showing "balance" but not actually turning it into rules and regulations about how you should eat, simply because so many people are so diet-restricted that they don't even know what it means to have a balanced meal ?

djunamod
02-20-2014, 02:48 PM
Although I'm not exactly doing IE, I am incorporating some of the components, such as getting out of the "diet" mentality and focusing on how I feel. One thing that I have discovered is that demonizing any one food (carb, fat, etc) is just not how the body reacts. I demonized carbs for years and then became a vegan for ethical reasons and moved to a high carb no fat way of eating (a la Neal Barnard and John McDougall). While the no-added-fat method was definitely not for me, I did learn that I could eat whole grains and even sometimes some "bad" carbs (like adding sugar to tea) and I would not balloon into an uncontrollable weight.

Restricting first carbs and then fats has been what was detrimental to my weight and health. I am now more focused on eating from a variety of foods, not being concerned too much with how many carbs I eat or what my fat percentage is. I am focusing on mainly whole foods, but I'm not wigging out if I feel like a "bad" food here and there. I'm just watching my portion sizes (i.e., buying a candy bar rather than a family sized bag of candy ;-)). I find that when I do this, I feel much more satisfied.

Djuna

djunamod
02-20-2014, 02:53 PM
It sounds like you know yourself pretty well, I'd never argue with someone who's lost and maintained for so long and who's self awareness is so acute. And I admire that. For myself I don't think it's too late to try to reset my satiety controls. For years I've been relying on diets to work "do this for x amount of time and we promise you'll see results" eating at timed intervals, eating my assigned foods and following the diet's rules of how much to eat and when to eat and when not to eat. And most diets start out with the "clear out the pantry" rule. In essence I've been ignoring what my body wants and basically telling it to shut up, I know better and we're gonna fix this.



I think this is a very smart approach. I've read some IE books and the idea that I got was that it's about allowing your own instincts to take over and relearning cues of hunger and fullness, but doing it in a common sense way. Obviously, this is not about saying, "oh, now I'll just eat what I want" and attacking all the foods that you love in as large a quantity as you want (although I think that one IE book I read pointed out that if you do this, you'll find you get sick of the foods you love in a week or two - not me, though!) It's about eating what you define as healthy ON THE WHOLE and allowing foods that you previous forbade into your plan in a healthy way.

For example, chocolate is my weakness and I've found that if I eat some every day and it is a high-quality dark chocolate, I both enjoy it and do not overeat. I also find that knowing I can have that every day keeps me away from buying the bad stuff that I love and will overeat.

Djuna

Wannabeskinny
02-20-2014, 04:16 PM
Great points, wonderful input from everyone. I've been feeling like a big old poser and outcast the past several days with no one visiting the IE threads. It's good to know we're not alone.

Nelie, that's a great experience, where did you go if you don't mind me prying? Is it a place you would recommend? Also, how long have you been doing IE? I've always ignored IE because firstly it is very under-represented on 3FC and also because I just rolled my eyes at it and thought that if I let myself eat I'd go crazy.

djunamod, welcome and thanks for sharing your input. How long have you been doing IE?

Mazzy, I'm trying to get to the bottom of this carbs thing. It is the food that I have been demonizing for over a decade as djunamod put it so well. Although I've been eating carbs for years, I'm always going back and forth between restricting them and rebelling against restricting them. Eating any kind of carb has brought on nothing but guilt and fat feelings. My guess is that I'm giving my body permission to enjoy carbs without self hatred, without demonizing the food, without feeling any kind of guilt. I'm not going all crazy but you can image there are a lot of carby foods out there that I'm exploring with peace of mind without looking over my shoulder for the carb police and without feeling like a failure. I might just be getting it out of my system because yes I do crave them. I crave a variety of other things too.

Even when I was low carb I would never disallow chocolate. It's just too cruel, why would anyone do that? I just get myself a nice big Lindt chocolate bar (with a touch of sea salt) and enjoy one or two pieces a day. What's the big deal?

nelie
02-20-2014, 04:36 PM
Hi Nelie...Everything you said makes perfect sense to me, and I agree with it all, but this one sentence has me scratching my head a little. Did they ration out/portion your food for a reason? It seems counter-intuitive...

I'm guessing this was a way of showing "balance" but not actually turning it into rules and regulations about how you should eat, simply because so many people are so diet-restricted that they don't even know what it means to have a balanced meal ?

You hit the nail on the head, basically so many people are diet restricted, they don't know what a balanced meal looks like so they use it for a basis. You could always ask for more food or add some fruit if hungry. There were others there that also felt better with more protein so their meal plans were modified. It wasn't a rule that you had to follow the plate model or else, but just a jumping point for people to figure out what works for them.

Wannabeskinny, the site for the program is www.fitwoman.com (Green Mountain at Fox Run in Vermont). I think it was overall a good experience and I was able to focus on just me for a week. If someone was going to go, I'd recommend they go for at least 2 weeks which wasn't a possibility at this time but they had a 25% off new years special and I wanted to go as soon as I was able to. I may go back for another week next year because I did like it. I've been doing IE since the beginning of this year. I think I had spun my wheels so much in the past couple years that I needed to do something different.

Mazzy
02-21-2014, 07:19 AM
wannabe...It sounds almost exactly like a relationship that you broke off because of some misunderstandings. Someone told you that carbs would break your heart, so you dumped them, only to find out that you were lied to....lol

nelie...that sounds like a great retreat. Would totally go to that if I had the funds! I was reading their blog, and I really liked what they had to say:

http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/02/17/eating-more-this-winter/

BettyBooty
02-21-2014, 09:08 AM
Maybe this is just too stupid or simplistic, and it is coming form someone who would most certainly binge on peanut butter if it was in my house, but if you are trying to avoid a starchy-carb binge, can you just make sure you are well-stocked with fruit, veggies and nuts for when you feel you intuitively need more food?

Wannabeskinny
02-21-2014, 09:51 AM
That sounds great nelie, I wish I could go to something like that - I've always wanted to! And I'd love to do it in Arizona, I don't know of a specific place for it but I'm sure it exists. At least it does in my fantasy.

Yes Mazzy, I'm reunited with my the boyfriend I wasn't allowed to date. Like I said I'm not going off the deep end but my mind has one foot in dieting and I am impatient. This will be a long journey I know that but I'm willing to take it because whether I lose weight or not I don't care, so long as I don't lose my mind trying to restrict myself anymore.

Wannabeskinny
02-21-2014, 09:56 AM
Maybe this is just too stupid or simplistic, and it is coming form someone who would most certainly binge on peanut butter if it was in my house, but if you are trying to avoid a starchy-carb binge, can you just make sure you are well-stocked with fruit, veggies and nuts for when you feel you intuitively need more food?

Not stupid or simpllistic at all! Welcome to the discussion and I'm glad you're sparked with curiosity about IE. I am indeed well stocked with fruit and veggies and nuts :) and have my fill of them. However, part of the process of intuitive eating is to go with what you're really craving. So for example if I'm craving toast, I cannot satiate myself with carrots. Because even if I aleviate my hunger my desire to eat toast never really goes away. I can only put it off for so long, and have done so many times.... only to one day binge on an entire loaf of bread with butter LOL. And this only makes me feel hopeless, helpless, a complete failure, lots of guilt and a miserable self doubt. All over a piece of stupid toast?

My #1 reservation with IE has always been "if I allow myself to eat a forbidden food then I will gain massively" but I have found that that's not the case at all. I have not once done that and I am surrounded by bad foods. When I was low carb was the absolute worst time for me for many years because I have a very healthy family that likes to eat bread. A husband who is fit and strong and thin, and a toddler who's running around and needs his foods. So it's not possible to rid my house of certain foods and I've stopped trying to battle the carbs.

mars735
02-21-2014, 11:29 AM
Great points, wonderful input from everyone. I've been feeling like a big old poser and outcast the past several days with no one visiting the IE threads. It's good to know we're not alone.


I'm lurking! I think your posts make a lot of sense, though for me at age 60, I feel liberated and empowered by noticing how 'junk food' makes me feel, and having some explanations that make sense--to me, e.g. Robert Lustig & Kathryn Hansen. That said, I think it's extremely wise to learn to listen to your body first & foremost.

Your posts are very thoughtful & I hope you continue them. It probably takes some time for people to notice read a new thread & longer to comment.

nelie
02-21-2014, 11:52 AM
I think one technique that works with previously forbidden foods is getting single portions so this may mean eating out or similar. The other day I picked up a sourdough bowl loaf from Wegman's. It is the tiniest loaf of bread I've ever seen but I wasn't sure I could trust myself with a large loaf. The funny thing is the loaf has lasted 3 days and between my husband and myself, we have eaten half. I could've easily eaten the whole thing in a single meal but I didn't want to and it is even designed to be eaten by a single person as a soup bowl.

I know trusting yourself and your body is hard but I am trying to trust the process. I feel better, foods don't have t he pull over me that they used to and overall I feel I'm eating better.

Wannabeskinny
02-23-2014, 04:02 PM
I craved a salad finally! Oh I have enjoyed salads recently but today I really really HAD to have one! I'm so excited about it, it feels like a result and is helping calm my fears about craving only certain foods.

We want out to a friend's dinner party yesterday and my friend tends to be a food pusher. She piles our plates high with too much food. I did my best although I was feeling overwhelmed by the food and unhappily ate past fullness. I think it spurred my need for a cool refreshing light lunch today :)