Being Smart About Intuitive Eating

by Meg on February 12, 2013

“I don’t know what my macro ratios are – I just eat!”

The above phrase is one I have admired for quite some time now. I never really understood how one could not know or even have the slightest idea of what their total daily intake was by the end of the day, but I guess that’s just because I have been so aware of my intake for such a long time that not knowing seemed so foreign and strange to me. However, despite viewing it as foreign and strange, I still admired those who didn’t know and just ate intuitively.

You know what else I admire, though? People who know and understand their body. I mean, of course it’s a learning process. Our bodies are so complex and extremely different from one another, which makes it even more difficult to understand our bodies, but I truly admire those who understand their bodies to the best of their ability and continue to learn and become more in tune with who they are and what their bodies need

If you’ve read my last two posts, you probably have a pretty good idea of what my main goal is right now – to eat intuitively. But, like I’ve mentioned before, there has been some fear within me which has held me back from eating intuitively. However, after four days of not weighing or measuring my food and focusing more on my hunger cues rather than the time on the clock, the fear within me has dampened and I feel more confident in myself than ever before.

In the vlog posted below I share some realizations I’ve had over the past few days as well as the approach I have developed for myself to transition into and intuitive eater.  

I hope the video wasn’t too long for you guys! I guess I had a lot to say! I can be such a blabber mouth ;)

P.s. I’m participating in Jamie’s Intuitive Eating Challenge in March! If you want to join me please email her at jamiemendell@gmail.com and let her know that you found out about her challenge through me, Meg, and you will be charged the discount price of $39.00 :)

Love you all!!

Meg xo

P.p.s. get those high fives submitted to me! Friday is approaching! Not sure what I’m talking about? Read more here.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara @ Nourish and Flourish February 13, 2013 at 12:56 AM

Oh babe, I loved this! You already know that I’m enormously proud of you, but I’m going to say it again…I’M SO PROUD OF YOU, SIS!! <3 You've taken a huge leap of faith, and I'm really excited to follow you–and SUPPORT you–on this journey!

I think what you said about being smart by combining knowledge with intuition during the transition is key. Sometimes we have to plan ahead and eat when we're not hungry because we won't have access to food later. Our muscles have no way of knowing when we're about to work out; if they did, they'd be screaming for loads of food pre-workout every day! ;) Likewise, our cravings aren't always an indication of what we really need (I sure wish they were, though!).

Love you to the moon and beyond!! xoxoxo <3

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Thanks for all of your support sista :) LOVE YOUUUU

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GiGi Eats Celebrities February 13, 2013 at 1:16 AM

I tend to intuitively eat. My body just happens to get hungry every day at the same times, and it craves the healthy foods I love, so I never have to worry! I don’t ever crave junk foods, which is amazingly awesome – instead I crave salmon, spinach, squash, etc! And I eat to my hearts content! :)

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Good job girl :D

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Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate February 13, 2013 at 1:52 AM

I am so glad you found your balance between intuitive eating and respecting what you’ve learned about your body in the past year or so. I am working toward the same thing and I’m so glad that you have done these last couple posts. Keep on going with your amazing gains and I know that this semi new approach will be great for you lady. :-)

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:11 PM

I’m glad you’ve enjoyed these posts love :) Love you so much xo

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Brandi February 13, 2013 at 6:01 AM

Love this post! Oh what complex bodies we have! This is something that I decided about a month back. I cut processed sugar from my diet completely and it has helped me so much! I also wanted to eat only when I am hungry…..and break my meals out into 6 small meals…..It’s mostly ended up being five.
I feel TONS better!
You should be really proud that you have come this far! Huge steps girl!

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:12 PM

It’s funny how we are all so different! Even though I’m trying to eat more intuitively my body still wants the 5 – 6 meals and I am ok with that :D

Thanks for the supportive comment <3

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Lauren February 13, 2013 at 7:02 AM

So happy for you girl!!! Our bodies are brilliant- problems only arise when our minds try and boss our bodies around!! So glad that your hunger has been thriving and making the process that much easier. You are right though- we tend to veer always towards undereating, and so we do need to be smart about it! So glad you know that, and you’re working together with your body and your knowledge of your body. That’s the best combination there is <3

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:13 PM

It’s awesome that my hunger is thriving! I’m definitely eating more and not thinking twice about it :D I think it’s not thinking of my “plan” and just eating what I know I “need” that helps a lot!

Love you

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Sarah @PickyRunner February 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Intuitive eating is extremely difficult. I can’t do it at all. Sometimes I just don’t know what I’m craving. I feel like it really is hard to figure out if you’re craving something because you want it or because you feel like you should eat it. Sometimes I may want veggies but I should eat some form of carbs. You will get there! But I’m glad you’ve learned so much about yourself in the process.

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Thanks Sarah!

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Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness February 13, 2013 at 8:19 AM

I’m so proud of you Meg! Keep up the amazing work you are doing awesome :)

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Thanks Danielle! Gosh you are so supportive :)

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Linz @ Itz Linz February 13, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Great vlog girly!! I’m not gonna lie – I laughed a little when you said you craved cottage cheese!! ;) ;) I’d probably crave almond butter or some type of nut butter!!

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Omg why did I know you’d laugh at SOME part of this vlog? ;) haha

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cottercrunch February 14, 2013 at 10:06 PM

i care cottage cheese too! ;-)

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Lindsay February 13, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Love the video! Everything you said makes perfect sense! I don’t track macros or calories or any of that, but I do somewhat follow a plan in my head because if I didn’t, I know that I probably wouldn’t be eating enough! Thanks for sharing your experience so far, looking forward to hearing how it goes as you continue.

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

YOU COMPLETELY GET IT! If I didn’t follow what I KNOW about myself, I wouldn’t be fuelling myself properly!

Thanks for all of your support, honey. It truly means so much to me <3

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Wendy February 13, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Meg- What a fabulous job with the VLOG!!! Way to go – I’m so super proud of you …. well said!!! You should do more of the VLOG’s you are so well poised and comfortable on video! I really hope your message hits home for a number of your readers! Its so important to listen to your body and go with the hunger cues…. I too was driven by the need to eat at certain times of the day with doing the whole competition diet thing. Its so refreshing to just eat when we are “hungry” but to your point also be smart about and use what we have learned. That said I’m trying to get out of some of my food ruts/routines and going with new choices! Glad we’re going through this journey together! I’m just a text away!! Your amazing.:)

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:16 PM

YAY! I am sooooo thrilled you love the vlog :) And thanks for saying I should do more ;) hehehehe! That made me smile :) I hope it helped a lot of people too :) Thanks for all of your support, Wendy <3 I love you so much!

We definitely are in this journey together! As you know, I am always here for you!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 13, 2013 at 10:12 AM

I wish I could watch videos!!!! Ugh. So happy you’re trying something new though. The biggest thing you can do with your diet is to not be afraid to experiment until you find something that works for you becasue everyone is different!

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:16 PM

I wish you could watch the videos too! I love you girl!

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Melissa @ Treats With a Twist February 13, 2013 at 11:46 AM

You’re so adorable and I loved hearing you sort through your thoughts! And it’s so true, that you can’t just eat what you crave when you’re eating intuitively because you can’t just throw out everything you’ve learned over the last few years. It’s easy to feel lost because you’re not counting, but if you stop and think about it, you KNOW what you need and what you’re eating if you’re still doing what you know was working for you. Its all about thinking about it, making the smart choice, and not only eating what we crave. Loved it.

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

EXACTLY! You know what you need too love!!!!!!!! Maybe challenge yourself to stop tracking? :) I haven’t in FIVE days and I haven’t ever been happier!

Love you

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Annette Perkins (@FitnessPerks) February 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM

you are so cute!! <3

intuitively eating is tough–especially since there are so many external factors that have created so many different messages in our heads over time. When we were kids we were intuitive eaters–so it's learning to get back to that again! You can do this :) I am so grateful I eat intuitively now–I eat what I want, when I want <–no matter how much it is or what time it is. And it's been an amazing journey–I've never been healthier or more fit, actually! xoxo

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

I can tell you are in such a good place :D Very healthy <3 I love you

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance February 13, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Way to go, Meg! Loved the vlog . . . and I especially liked the clarification of combining “being smart” with “intuitive eating”. They definitely go hand-in-hand! The more you work with these ideas, the easier it becomes, and eventually becomes second nature. Think about how strength training has evolved from the first time you walked into a weight room to now. Keep experimenting, exploring and reflecting! :)

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Meg February 13, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Ahhhhh you’re wonderful! Love you to pieces! Thank you for alllll of your support <3

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peaceloveandoats February 13, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Love the vlog, keep them coming! And I’m so glad this is working out for you!

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Meg February 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Thanks Katie! I’m trying to think of the topic for my next vlog…

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Kierston February 14, 2013 at 6:55 AM

Great vlog! Love hearing your voice Doll xox

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Meg February 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Aw that’s so sweet. I love you babe

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Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! February 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Wow – you are SO strong and smart. I can only say that it took me *months* to figure out what you have just realized in a matter of days. Also, I’ve meant to comment the past two posts, but I haven’t had a free moment yet – so here is my big comment.

Intuitive eating is one of the hardest things in the world for me. I finally freed myself of all restriction, but my natural tendency is to over eat, and to eat out of boredom and stress. The hardest thing about intuitive eating to me, is that it felt like I could just eat whatever I want, whenever I want. But no, just because I have trouble with intuitive eating does not set me apart from the rest of the world. I still have to watch what I eat – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as long as you have the right attitude about it.
That said, I gave intuitive eating a try for a about a year or so, and continued to gain weight. The problem? I was ignoring little bites, licks and tastes, and eating when I *wanted* food, not when I was hungry. So then I started tracking food. Then I started to feel tied down. My food anxiety level skyrocketed, to the point where even my family noticed. So after winter break this year, I’ve committed myself to learn how to eat intuitively. I have resigned to the fact that I will probably gain some weight at first, but maybe that’s how my body is meant to be (I’ve never ever been small). I’ve started keeping a food journal to be more mindful of what I’m feeding my body. So far, it is *definitely* liberating.
And you’re so right – food just tastes so much better when you’re truly hungry!
I can’t wait to hear more about your experiments, and feel free to email me if you ever want to chat or anything. <3

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Meg February 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

HAHA. Gosh you’re a sweetie. Thanks for the comment! I reeeeally appreciate it <3 Seriously, Rachel thanks for the support. I think I will have to email you :) The more support the better, right!? Gosh, you are an ANGEL

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Becki February 14, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Great vlog! I’m the same way with how my eating plan has taught me what a normal portion size is and what my body needs to perform in a certain way. I understand that counting calories and monitoring food intake isn’t for everyone, but I needed it at first for sure.

Now I know so much more about what my body needs and how to go about getting it. I definitely have cravings sometimes that wouldn’t be the greatest way to fuel my body, so I have to be smart about it (just like you said).

Thanks so much for sharing!

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Meg February 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Thank you for sharing Becki!

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Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie February 14, 2013 at 8:42 PM

I love how you’ve been having success with intuitive eating! I finally stopped tracking my macros and calories a couple weeks ago and it was SO hard at first but it feels so freeing to not have to rely on the numbers and just go with how my body’s feeling. Sometimes we’re hungrier, some days we’re not and I think it all really balances out. I still don’t really understand the concept of cravings and usually just veer towards the healthy foods I love but it’s interesting to find out all these things about our bodies that we used to ignore!

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Meg February 17, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Isn’t it amazing letting go of the numbers and macros?! So proud of you too

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Ksenija @ Health Ninja February 15, 2013 at 2:16 AM

That sounds amazing! I am so happy that intuitive eating goes that well for you. And it is also nice to see that more girls around the blog sphere are trying to reconnect with their natural hunger signals. Always happy to have fellow combatants ;)

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