What Does Intuitive Eating Really Mean? Get a Diet & Binge Recovery Coach’s Point of View. 

Expert Author: Natalie Zises, Certified Diet + Binge Recovery Coach

As a diet and binge recovery coach, the main thing I work with my clients on is becoming an intuitive eater. “Intuitive eating” is a buzzy phrase we hear all the time now, but what does intuitive eating really mean?

I actually like to define intuitive eating by what it’s not:

  • It’s NOT eating by someone else’s rules
  • It’s NOT demonizing entire food groups or macronutrients (ie: processed foods, fats, or carbs)
  • It’s NOT stressing over your food decision from the night before and vowing to be “better” this week.

Intuitive eating requires presence in the current moment, and being tuned into your emotional and physical needs right NOW. 

In order to do that – to eat intuitively – there’s often a lot of unlearning that has to happen. 

Because we live in society with so many food rules and judgements, one of the biggest (and first) things I help clients do is heal from their diet trauma – their past assumptions, rules, and judgements around food.

This starts out with a process of “legalizing” all foods. (Yes, even processed food!)

During the “legalization phase” many of my clients – and even myself when I was healing from diet-binge cycling – struggle with physical symptoms from eating foods they previously restricted. For example, during my legalization phase, I probably had 2, or sometimes 3, huge chocolate chip cookies a day. I have an autoimmune disorder (Leaky Gut) so for me, this was a challenge.

Emotionally, I knew I needed this freedom around sweets after so many years of dieting and restriction, but physically my body was struggling. My amazing coach at the time helped me come up with supportive things I could do to lower my inflammation without restricting or messing with my legalization phase. 

Enter: 4th & Heart Ghee.

Another large part of my legalization phase was having toast with lots of butter and jam on it in the morning. To help combat inflammation, my coach suggested finding yummy gluten free bread and using lactose-free ghee in order to lower the inflammation from that meal without sacrificing my emotional needs around food.

I struggled to find gluten free bread that was as good as the She Wolf Bakery Polenta loaf (IYKYK), so I often did away with the GF option. But the smell and taste of the 4th & Heart Garlic Ghee was the most exciting part of my morning. I’d sprinkle a little sea salt on top and I was in heaven!

I also loved using Chocti during my legalization phase as a frosting, or as a topping for my pancakes or waffles. It felt good knowing I could support my body and my emotional needs at the same time, without feeling any kind of restriction. 

4th & Heart Ghee is one of those staples that has stayed with me well past my legalization phase, and into my intuitive eating life. Ghee is still my favorite thing to roast a chicken with, add to smoothies or coffee for thickness, and drizzle over popcorn. Baking with the Vanilla Bean Ghee is my secret to the most moist, vanilla-y brownies ever. You can steal that secret 😘

If you’re struggling to eat intuitively, remember that it will always be easier, safer, and more effective to focus on what you’re adding IN, versus taking something out.

About The Expert:

Natalie Zises - Diet + Binge Recovery Coach

Natalie Zises is a diet and binge recovery coach based in New York City. She has helped hundreds of women around the world end their battle with food, make peace with their bodies, and become intuitive eaters for life.

You can read her blog at nataliezises.com or check out her podcast “Love, Your Body” on Apple or Spotify.

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