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Q & A Friday – Intuitive Eating is Making Me Fat

I’m So Scared that Intuitive Eating Is Making Me Fat

Over the past few months I’ve been getting a similar question over and over again in both my private practice and from my readers. “I’m so afraid that Intuitive Eating is making me fat…”  They tell me that they really think that they should be on a weight loss diet again because they believe that they have been gaining an unacceptable amount of weight with intuitive eating protocol.  Here is the most recent email I received:

Dear Leora, 

 I read a comment on another Facebook support page, where intuitive eating is promoted, and some steps have been very helpful, but this particular comment really upset me…Someone wrote that with intuitive eating she gained weight and she has to bring some of her old clothes  back from storage and someone else replied that she was going through the same thing due to intuitive eating.   Since I am trying so hard to implement intuitive eating and I feel better physically, I got a panic attack thinking that I am going to put on more weight and had the urge to weigh myself, but I didn’t, but my head is still messed up 🙁 I am trying to make sense of it all that it is probably different for different people. If someone had just stopped a very restrictive diet and started intuitive eating, chances are that she will regain some weight! If on the other hand, someone has been eating mindlessly (until the plate is finished, irrespective if full or not), emotional eating, habitual eating and sometimes binge eating (like me!) Then chances in that case are weight loss. I am not turning intuitive eating into yet another diet, I am very aware of that, I am not aspiring to be mega thin, I want my body to find it’s natural weight on it’s own by guiding me, when what and how much to eat. I feel heavy, sometimes very out of breath when climbing stairs and the last thing I want is to get heavier. 

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Although the email above assumes many different outcomes and looks at different angles of the situation, there is something underneath it, which is what lays underneath this question consistently. 

The fear underneath is due to the following beliefs:

1. I don’t trust my body to do what it needs to do. I must control it brutally in order to keep it in line. 

2. I don’t want to gain weight. 

3. Weight gain is bad. 

4. I am afraid of being out of control. 

5. A diet is the only way to control me. 

6. I can control what other people think of me by being skinny. 

7. Controlling what other people think of me is extremely important to my well-being.  (Read How to Stop Worrying about What Other People Think About My Body.)

Let’s start by discussing what intuitive eating is and what intuitive eating is not. Intuitive eating is what happens when you are allowed to eat what your body needs and wants to keep it vital, healthy and peaceful without you having to think about it.  Intuitive eating is not a diet. However, because of both the diet industry and the food industry, most of us have lost our internal cues for eating what our bodies need. We are told that we need to be skinny and thus we shouldn’t eat carbs or fat or only eat fat or we should eat like a caveman or we should never eat fruit or we should only eat fruit or we should never eat meat or we should only eat meat or we should put butter and coconut oil in our morning coffee because we aren’t eating enough fat. At the same time, we are being advertised to by unethical food companies with never-ending pasta bowls and packaged food with so many chemicals preservatives in them that our bodies have completely lost their abilities to correctly process food and figure out what nutrients they need.   

The food and the diet industry are both out for their bottom line. They don’t care about you. They want you to spend your money. And the only way they can get you to spend money is to completely distort your relationship with food and your body.  SCREW THEM!!!!

This is actually the way I quit smoking. I got real, real mad at RJ Reynolds, the tobacco company that made my beloved Camel Lights that I smoked regularly from the time I was fourteen until I was thirty! Anyway, I realized one day that this horrific company was getting rich off of people like me who were tragically addicted to cigarettes. And they did what they needed to in order to keep us in their clutches. I just didn’t want to contribute to that and I didn’t want those evil conglomerates having power over me.  My anger is what caused me to quit a habit that I’d done for more than half my life. 

Now most people in my general eating disorder milieu would argue that there is no such thing as food addiction. Fair enough (we all argue a lot over semantics in this field). However, what is true is that there is a distinct addiction to the process of both dieting, binge eating, feeling guilt over eating, and the way our mind tells us that once we start a diet and get skinny, our lives will be perfect.  So once we start to incorporate intuitive eating, we don’t just do away with diets– we do away with a whole way of thinking, behaving, and we get rid of specific ways of behaving cognitively (letting our mind obsess about food, diets, controlling what people think when they see us, believing that being skinny is the answer to all our lives troubles, etc.) Intuitive eating isn’t just giving up dieting and eating whatever you want whenever you want it, it’s rejecting the dominant paradigm about food, our bodies and control. 

The problem is, intuitive eating has been co-opted as another weight loss method. And if you are still focused on losing weight, your stress about diets, weight loss and changing your body are going to continue to nag at you. As long as you continue to obsess about your body and weight loss, intuitive eating ceases to be what it is meant to be, intuitive.

Don’t blame yourself. As I said before, your environment has set you up for this. You are controlled by the environment to be obsessed with both food and with weight loss. You are being controlled by a nasty industry that makes money off your desire to lose weight and your survivalist desire to eat food. 

If you want to know the truth, in both my private practice and in my five week binge eating progra I don’t have people start with intuitive eating. For the reasons I mention above, I think it’s too difficult. I start by having them track their emotional and physical sensations around food. Some people notice that beans give them energy, strawberries makes them anxious, steak makes them happy, bread makes them tired… etc etc… this is just an example. But the truth is, only you and your body know what happens for you emotionally and physically when you eat a certain food. It’s true that there are certain foods that might cause anxiety because they were previously thought of as “bad foods” like grains or bread or dairy or whatever they’re saying is bad right now… so it’s important to distinguish if these emotions are due to the food that you’re eating or due to the conditioning you’ve gotten from the diet industry. 

I also ask people to take the emphasis off of losing weight. The more weight focused you are, the more likely that your weight won’t normalize. Instead, focus on doing things that your body enjoys and helps you to feel strong. For example, of course moving your body is a good self-care ritual, but so are things like getting a papsmear, paying your bills, flossing your teeth, washing your sheets, donating old clothes, working through your laundry pile, getting rid of stacked up papers around your house, and generally just lightening your load, the things that make you feel heavy and overwrought. 

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to people around you. Be kind to the food that you’re eating. Send love and gratitude to food that you consumer.  When you thank your cream for being rich and creamy and delicious, your greens for being crunchy and life affirming and keeping you regular, your chocolate for being soothing and sensual, your coffee for being dark, hearty and the best part of your morning, you are more likely to eat it with love and thoughtfulness rather than to eat it quickly and without regard for the food and for your body. Be kind to your body. Thank it for digesting your food, for carrying you, for keeping you alive, for giving you freedom or for whatever your body does for you. 

The emphasis on weight and weight gain and doing things like calling intuitive eating the “intuitive eating diet” (I swear that’s a thing) completely undoes any positive effects that intuitive eating has. Intuitive eating is also intuitive body-ing. It’s letting your body do what it does when you are moving it and eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re feeling satiated. When you try to control your body, you come back to the position where you were when all of your food issues began. 

I hope that this was helpful for you. 

Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating? Send an email to leora at bingeeatingtherapy  dot com. All questions will be kept confidential. Include your first name or the name you want to be referred to as and your location. Are you interested in individual therapy or online coaching sessions  to deal with your binge eating? Please contact me to discuss getting started.

Hypnosis for Binge Eating, Bulimia and other Eating Disorders

hypnosis for binge eating

Hypnosis For Binge Eating– $12.99 for download

Millions of people suffer with Binge Eating. If you fit into that category, this session can help you to get control over the impulse to binge. It will help you to recognize that you are stronger than the urge to binge. Although that urge can feel overwhelming, you are ultimately in charge and this session will help you remember that. This will help you to be more in control so that you can choose the behavior that you want to have. It will allow you to feel more peaceful around food and your thoughts about food.  DOWNLOAD HYPNOSIS FOR BINGE EATING HERE

Hypnosis for Bulimia -$12.99 for Download

Bulimia is a very serious condition where a person eats a large amount of food and then gets rid of it through purging by self-induced vomiting. This session will help you to get control of your bulimia. You will know that you are stronger than the urge to binge and purge. You will find calmness and peace through breath and mindfulness when you believe that there is nothing else to do other than purge. Imagine feeling calm around food. Imagine letting go of the shame that you have around your eating disorder. Imagine finding peace from within to help you deal with whatever it is that triggers your symptoms. This session can help you to achieve that. DOWNLOAD HYPNOSIS FOR BULIMIA HERE

Hypnosis for Compulsive Eating –$12.99 for Download

Compulsive eating is eating without restraint or thoughtfulness of what goes into your mouth. Do you know the feeling? It’s when you find yourself just grabbing food because it’s in front of you, not because you’re hungry, not because you’ve thought out what you’re going to eat. This session helps you to bring thought and mindfulness to your eating. It helps you to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied rather than just eating food because it’s there. DOWNLOAD HYPNOSIS FOR COMPULSIVE EATING HERE

Hypnosis for Emotional Eating$12.99 for Download

Are you someone who turns to food when you are feeling stressed, sad, angry, depressed, anxious or happy? Is food your response to emotions? This session can help you deal with your emotions in a healthier way. Eating in response to emotions is a way to stuff your feelings down without validating them or metabolizing them. This session can help you to respectfully process your feelings without fear or needing to turn to food in response to them. DOWNLOAD HYPNOSIS FOR EMOTIONAL EATING HERE

Hypnosis for Sugar Addiction-$12.99 for Download

Some people find controlling their sugar intake completely impossible. They find that one bite of something sweet will have them spiraling out of control into a sugar binge that they cannot get out of. This session can help. This will help you to let go of your addiction to sugar. Some people have found that after listening to this session, they are able to completely give up sugar for good. Others find that they are able to set limits around sugar that they could not previously stick to. This session will give you that peace and control around sweets that you need and allow you to feel safe and comfortable. DOWNLOAD HYPNOSIS FOR SUGAR ADDICTION HERE

Hypnosis for Intuitive Eating-$10.00 for Download

People can also be addicted to dieting. Sometimes they find that they have success with a particular kind of diet plan, but they gain the weight back, and then they try and try and try to replicate that initial success again and again. It becomes exhausting. This session can help you to let go of that diet. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the diet because you believe that you will lose all self-control. However, the truth is that the obsession with the diet and the weight loss is what has taken over. This session will help you to release the obsession and integrate healthy, intuitive eating. With intuitive eating, your weight will naturally come to the place that your body is meant to be at, and you will begin to feel safer around food. You won’t end up overeating or eating unhealthy foods because you will be giving your body what it needs. Your body doesn’t want to be filled with junk or overstuffed. It wants healthy amounts of nutritious food. This session will help you to achieve that. DOWNLOAD INTUITIVE EATING MEDITATION HERE

Mindful Eating Meditation-$12.99 for Download

This session will help you to incorporate mindful eating into your healthy eating regimen. Mindful eating is a way to understand what your body needs, how much it needs and when it needs it. Practicing mindful eating will help you to learn the very simple practice of eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied. It will also give you the power to be aware of what you’re eating while you’re eating it. You will become more intimate with the tastes, the textures, and the nourishment of your food. You will find a sense of gratitude for what you are eating as well as an appreciation for food and your body. DOWNLOAD MINDFUL EATING MEDITATION HERE

 

Love Your Body- Guided Meditation for Positive Body Image – $12.99 for Download

Many people deal with body image issues and feel bad about their size, their shape and what they look like in general. This session can help you to respect your body. When you love and respect your body. You feed it healthy food and appropriate portions. You feel more confident in your skin and generally happier. Your body deserves love and respect, not criticism and punishment, no matter what the size or shape it is. This session can help you to let go of the inner critic that tells you there is something wrong with you and helps you to treat yourself with the loving kindness and respect that you deserve. Imagine what it would feel like to feel peace and calmness in your body. DOWNLOAD POSITIVE BODY IMAGE MEDITATION HERE

 

Stop Eating Junkfood -$12.99 for Download

This session will help you to let go of unhealthy eating habits and integrate new healthy eating habits. It’s not about self-control or will-power, it’s about wanting to eat healthy. You will find yourself desiring healthy foods and eschewing junk foods. You will find that you are not tempted by foods that don’t serve you. It’s not that you will be struggling to eat the right foods or make good decisions, it’s that you will find you have the desire to take care of yourself. You will be able to stop and think about what you want and what your body needs rather than compulsively grabbing at something that is not good for you out of habit. DOWNLOAD STOP EATING JUNKFOOD START EATING HEALTHY HYPNOSIS HERE

Hypnosis for Motivation to Exercise– $12.99 for Download

Not everyone is a star athlete. Many people just can’t seem to find the time or the motivation to exercise. This session will help to take the anxiety out of getting started. Often, people find that they don’t exercise because they become very overwhelmed at the prospect of just getting up and getting out. Exercise should be easy and enjoyable, not an overwhelming task. This session will help you to get over the initial hurdle of exercise so that it becomes a habit, rather than something to dread. After a few weeks of developing a new habit, it will become second nature so that the anxiety and stress are no longer there. The motivation to exercise will naturally be there, so that you will look forward to and enjoy exercising. DOWNLOAD MOTIVATION TO EXERCISE HYPNOSIS HERE

Question: How do I use these MP3s?

Answer: Use headphones or an ipod to listen to these recordings. Listen to them when you have uninterrupted time to lay down, relax and close your eyes. It’s best to listen to a recording each day for a few weeks to help reinforce the change. Night time is often best because they relax you enough to help you fall asleep and help your unconscious mind absorb the changes.

Question: How do these sessions work?

Answer: Self-hypnosis and guided visualizations work by changing the way you think. The beliefs held by your unconscious mind are the driving force behind your actions, so the point of these sessions is to help you to change those beliefs. This is done by first helping you become deeply relaxed. At this point, your conscious mind takes a back seat while your unconscious mind is open and receptive to suggestions. The changes take place as you begin to visualize them. Your unconscious mind then changes your thoughts and beliefs by releasing those that no longer serve you and creating new, healthier beliefs. Once your unconscious mind begins to have healthier beliefs, your behaviors completely transform. You begin to notice yourself making changes that you had wanted to make but weren’t able to because you were stuck in old patterns.

Question: How do I know that I can be hypnotized?

Answer: Some people can’t, but most people can. What’s important is not that you are being hypnotized per se, but that you are able to listen to the recordings and visualize the change for yourself. The calming nature of the sessions will help you to relax and that in itself will create a huge benefit for you.

 

Question: How long will it take to work?

Answer:  Many people receive a benefit and notice a change after the very first time they listen.

Question: Will I remember anything from the session?

Answer: Yes, you will most likely remember everything. You are not unconscious, you are just deeply relaxed and peaceful, as though you’re meditating.

Question: Will this cure my Eating Disorder?

Answer: Hypnosis is not a guaranteed cure all but is a wonderful complement to your recovery program which can include nutritional therapy, psychotherapy, and a support group or 12-step group.

 

FOR ADDITIONAL HYPNOSIS DOWNLOADS, VISIT HYPNOTHERAPY FOR WELLNESS

Hypnosis MP3