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429 -Intuitive Eating Basics and Benefits
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director, AllCEUs Counselor Education

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Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox and NCMHCE Exam Review
– Identify the 10 + 1 principles of intuitive eating
– Describe the interaction between mood, health and eating
– Begin identifying tools to help people get off the dieting rollercoaster
Basic Principles
– From IntuitiveEating.Org
– Reject the diet mentality
– Honor your hunger
– Make peace with food (Forbid forbidding)
– Challenge the food police in your head
– Respect your fullness
– Discover the satisfaction factor (Mindfulness)
– Use food for physical nourishment not in response to feelings
– Respect your body
– Exercise
– Honor your body with good nutrition
Reject the Diet Mentality
– Develop a lasting way of eating
– Yo-yo dieting wreaks havoc on your body and leads to weight gain and low self esteem
– Recurring attempts to diet signals the body that the food supply is often insufficient and leads to greater fat storage than if food was always abundant
– Dieting is correlated with the development of metabolic syndrome characterized by central obesity, insulin resistance and hypertension that increase risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
– Puts additional stress on the cardiovascular system
Reject the Diet Mentality
– Identify what you do differently when you are on a diet that can be helpful
– Set small goals
– Pay attention to what you are eating
– Only eat when you are sitting down and not distracted
– Eat from dishes not the box
– Carry a water bottle
Reject the Diet Mentality
– Remain aware of hidden forms of dieting
– Low carb
– Low fat
– Grain free
– Intermittent fasting
– Taking supplements to lose weight
– Excessive exercise
Honor Your Hunger
– Become aware of your body cues
– Hunger
– Thirst
– Type of food
– Eat when you are physically hungry, not because
– The clock says so or says not so
– You are tired
– You are bored, upset, happy
– You are with people or alone
– It is a habit
– You want more

Make Peace with Food
– Forbid forbidding (unless medically contraindicated)
– Disinhibition and self-efficacy
– Address your food phobias

Challenge the Food Police
– What do the voices in your head say about:
– Which foods to eat or not eat-
– How much to eat-
– How much to weigh-
– When to eat-
– The clean plate club-
– Who is judging you-
– What you should or shouldn’t have eaten-
– Where did those voices come from-
– Media, family, comments from others, personal knowledge
– Make fact-based choices
– Don’t insist on 100% compliance

Make Peace with Fullness
– It takes 20 min. for your body to cue your brain that you are full
– Your empty belly is about the size of your fist
– Learn the difference between full and stuffed
– Savor what you are eating when you eat it
– Left hand
– Mini bites
– Fork down
– Remember that leftovers will be there to enjoy tomorrow
– Stay hydrated
– Learn about foods and eating patterns that promote fullness

Eat for Satisfaction
– Make sure you are not dehydrated
– Cravings tell you something
– Salty, sweet, sour…
– Red meat or spinach (Iron)
– Cheese (Tryptophan)
– Chocolate (Theobromine, magnesium)
– Soda (Calcium)
– Fatty foods
– Eat colorfully and flavorfully
– Eat mindfully and reflect on how the food nourishes your body, gives you energy, improves your mood
Use Food for Hunger not Emotions
– Make a list of your feelings and ways to cope with or celebrate them without food
– Pause before getting food to notice if you are hungry or something else (journals, checklists, dishes)
– Reconceptualize “food addiction” and reclaim power
– Addictions are a coping response to dysphoria
– Addictive behaviors alter neurotransmitter levels
– Core reasons for compulsive food consumption
– Reward-driven eating as opposed to physiological hunger)
– Psychological preoccupation with food
– Perceived lack of self-control around food (autopilot/hooked to thoughts)
– Frequent food cravings

Respect Your Body
– Embrace body positivity
– Stop comparing
– Explore you as a person
– Discover what size means to you and why
– Wear comfortable clothes
– Throw out the scale
– If you have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight get screened for*
– Diabetes
– PCOS/Hormone imbalances
– Depression
– Sleep disturbances
Prevent Vulnerabilities
– Exercise intuitively
– Increases energy and oxygenation
– Improves sleep
– Reduces cortisol (Low intensity 40-50% VO2max)
– Increases serotonin which impacts hunger and depression
– May reduce “stress” via distress tolerance
– Sleep*
– Sleep deprivation significantly increases ghrelin levels and is associated with higher consumption of calories
– Stress, shift work, pain, medication, alcohol, apnea, poor sleep hygiene, infants

Honor Your Body with Good Nutrition
– When you are depressed, exhausted, angry, stressed you will often crave comfort foods which are low in nutritional value
– Poor sleep is associated with depression and anxiety as well as disrupted ghrelin levels
– When you have poor nutrition it contributes to depression, exhaustion and irritability
– Dopamine (Tyrosine, B6, iron)
– Serotonin (Calcium, B6, Mg, iron, folic acid, zinc, C)
– Norepinephrine (Tyrosine, B6, C, iron)
– Glutamate (Glutamine, 107 regulators,31 enzymes)

Good Nutrition–Gently
– Make a list of foods you LOVE
– Try a new recipe each week
– Notice how you feel after you eat certain things
– Eat colorfully
– Take what you want and put half back
– Use a smaller plate
– Keep binge foods out of the house but not out of your life
– Avoid buffets if you have to “get your money’s worth”
– Keep a nutrition log to learn what YOUR body needs
– Plan your menu of options and prepare ahead
– Close the kitchen
– Keep a water bottle with you

– Significant evidence indicates episodic “dieting” and yo-yo weight loss is physically and psychologically harmful
– Intuitive eating teaches people to
– Pay attention to the signals their body sends them
– Learn to differentiate between hunger, exhaustion, emotional states and compulsive thinking
– Address the underlying issues of cravings and excessive hunger

Learn More
– Books by New Harbinger
– Save 25% off your entire order at with promocode 1168 SNIPES