In a recent interview Melissa McCarthy was asked how she lost the weight and her answer was simply “I stopped worrying so much about it” and it just started to come off. This was such a pleasant surprise to hear. This is a message I am regularly sharing with my clients. Our bodies are meant to eat when we are hungry and want to stop eating when we are comfortably full, a process we call in the Cedric Method “natural eating”.
I have heard the phrase intuitive eating also bantered about lately and I am thrilled that this idea is catching on. The bottom line is that we live in a time where we can eat not just for survival but as much as we want and food can be very comforting. It isn’t unusual for human being to turn toward food for some soothing and relief because as a client once put it to me, “food is my friend, never talks back to me and is always there for me”.
When we eat to soothe we call that emotional eating. In and of itself this is not the worst thing but when you eat to soothe yourself and then feel bad/guilty for doing so and then reach for more food to soothe that guilt you can see how you may get stuck in a counterproductive cycle. Add purging to that cycle to try to relieve the guilt of eating and then you add the guilt of purging. Whew! Exhausting!
We are told by media, friends and even family sometimes, what good and bad foods are and we take the message that if we eat bad foods we are bad. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There are no good and bad foods. Eating what our body craves (like pregnant women do) is the way for most people to get the nutritional requirements they need. Practicing checking in about how hungry and full you are as well as what you feel like eating and how much will start to make you more aware and able to use these natural skills. Its a whole new language the body is speaking to us and its there if we are willing to listen.
Research on intuitive eating is on the rise and there is evidence based in at least one review of 26 peer-reviewed articles showed that lower BMI’s are associated with intuitive eating. This study also pointed to other positive health factors like improved psychological health, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as improved dietary intake. They are all related to an intuitive eating lifestyle.
I frequently find my clients very reluctant to adopt this idea at first because it sounds too good to be true but once they do they start to find that if they follow their true urges then their over-all cravings for “crap” actually go down and they have a sense of true satisfaction in their lives. After all, they are eating what they want, when they want.
I believe that the cortisol and adrenaline in the system that naturally accompanies the worrying about food and tying our identity and worthiness to what we eat and/or our body shape also helps us hang on to the weight we are carrying as well so that will also contribute to weight loss and maintenance.
Thank you Melissa McCarthy for sharing that piece of your private life (vulnerability-love it!) with us and putting a famous face to the real happiness and health that comes with intuitive/natural eating.