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IE - Choosing healthy foods

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Old 02-14-2014, 11:27 AM   #1
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Default IE - Choosing healthy foods

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?
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:33 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:08 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:15 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:25 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:33 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:24 PM   #7
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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.

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Old 02-15-2014, 08:15 AM   #8
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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!!!!
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:00 PM   #9
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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.

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Old 02-15-2014, 01:14 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:05 PM   #11
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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.

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Old 02-20-2014, 08:43 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:29 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:42 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:52 PM   #15
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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 ?
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