Satisfaction Factor

#45 - Navigating Our Relationship to Food After Diets

August 03, 2022 Naomi Katz & Sadie Simpson
Satisfaction Factor
#45 - Navigating Our Relationship to Food After Diets
Show Notes Transcript

A while back, we talked about finding life after diets, and how we can navigate some of the non-food parts of ditching dieting. This week, we're answering some common questions about how to navigate our relationship to food once we've decided to stop dieting. We're talking about: how to figure out what we should be eating after spending so much time focusing on what not to eat; what happens when we eat too quickly or past the point of fullness; how to address fears of weight gain when we stop restricting; what to do if it feels like we're thinking about food all the time; and how we can see nutrition guidelines through an Intuitive Eating lens.

And, don't forget that Naomi still has 3 spots open for  1:1 Intuitive Eating & Anti-Diet coaching! You can get all the details & submit your application at happyshapes.co/coaching!

You can stay up to date on all things Satisfaction Factor by following us on Instagram @satisfactionfactorpod!

Here's where to find us:
Sadie Simpson: www.sadiesimpson.com or IG @sadiemsimpson
Naomi Katz: www.happyshapes.co or IG @happyshapesnaomi

Full episode transcript available at satisfactionfactorpod.com.

Referenced in this episode:
Maintenance Phase - The Trouble With Calories

Naomi Katz:

Welcome to Satisfaction Factor, the podcast where we explore how ditching diet culture makes our whole lives more satisfying. Welcome back to Satisfaction Factor. I'm Naomi Katz, an Intuitive Eating, body image, and self trust coach.

Sadie Simpson:

I'm Sadie Simpson, a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and Intuitive Eating counselor.

Naomi Katz:

So on today's episode, we are actually going to be answering some random questions from the internet.

Sadie Simpson:

Yay, random questions from the internet.

Naomi Katz:

We're just like Ask Jeeves over here. Also I totally just dated myself, because most people who are younger than us don't know what Ask Jeeves is.

Sadie Simpson:

Ask Jeeves was like the thrill of my life in middle school. I would just go with my friends, we would do like random Ask Jeeves questions, and just- it was

Naomi Katz:

Oh my god, I love that. So, I say they're random great. questions, they're not really random questions. What we are doing is we kind of looked in a couple of different spaces online, and took some common questions that were basically like, okay, I'm not dieting, now, what do I do? Like kind of navigating the transition out of dieting, and what that can look like, and stuff like that. A bunch of these questions came from- I'm not even going to name where it came from, because I do not recommend going to look there. It's a super toxic place. And so, as we discuss those questions, we're also going to talk about some of the questions that were given to people in a non Intuitive Eating space, and why they're problematic. And then we also took some questions that were from an Intuitive Eating space, and we're gonna just expand on some concepts there. Having said all that, if you have a question that is not covered here, that you would like for us to answer on this podcast, go send us that question on Instagram @satisfactionfactorpod. We've been really enjoying these kind of like Q&A style podcasts lately, and we would love to answer your question.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. And we would love to answer it from a perspective that actually has training, insight, information about things like Intuitive Eating, and not just random people on the internet that are essentially making stuff up or regurgitating incorrect information that they have heard from sources that are not reliable.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I think a lot of people have this question. Like, okay, I know I don't want to diet anymore. I know it's not working for me. I know it doesn't make me feel good. It's- you know, I know that dieting is not for me anymore, but how do I navigate the transition out? What's next? What can I expect? What hurdles are there going to be, and things like that? And so these are some specific questions relating to that, that we're going to go through today.

Sadie Simpson:

Yay. Well, let's do it.

Naomi Katz:

Okay. So the first question: All the diet advice says what not to eat. What should I be eating?

Sadie Simpson:

Oooh.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I really, really liked this question. So first of all, I just want to say, in the place where we took this question from, there were four answers given. And it was kind of amazing, because they all said something different, and they were all definitely still more focused on what not to eat. So like, the answers were just like the perfect example of why this is such a hard question for people when they decide to stop dieting.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. I know facial expressions and emojis don't come through on a podcast, but I feel like I'm the emoji- like the facepalm emoji is happening right now.

Naomi Katz:

Yes, that is exactly how I feel about it too. But it is a great question. And honestly, the fact that all the answers were, like, all over the place, was a great example of the fact that, like, there is no one size fits all answer to this question. Like, no outside source is ever going to be able to answer that for you. And that is part of what makes it hard when we do stop dieting, is because all we have are rules about what we're not supposed to eat, and we've never really learned what do we eat then- like how do we eat without rules about what not to eat, essentially? The reality is- what should you be eating? Anything you damn well please, essentially. But it's also not that easy. This is one of the reasons why sometimes working with somebody through Intuitive Eating can be really helpful, or even just using the workbook can be really helpful. Because the way we figure out what we should be eating is by working through what we actually like, and what we don't like, and what aligns with our values, and what we have access to, and what physically and mentally makes us feel good, and things like that. But basically, you should be eating anything that you like, and that doesn't make you physically ill.

Sadie Simpson:

That's it. That's the answer right there. What should you be eating? Anything you like. Anything that doesn't make you physically ill. Like, just go back into this web forum and type that in there.

Naomi Katz:

Oh, I will not. That will not go well. I don't- I don't like to troll bait, so I will not be doing that.

Sadie Simpson:

No, no.

Naomi Katz:

You know, I know that that can be kind of a frustrating answer.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Because it- there are no specifics. But that's because nobody- again, nobody can answer that for you. You kind of have to do the experimentation and the work yourself to figure out what those things are.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. And it's so hard when we've spent so long having these outside sources, and meal plans, and- just all these things tell us what we are or are not supposed to eat. Whenever we are given the freedom and the autonomy to make those choices for ourselves, sometimes we don't exactly know what to do with that freedom and that autonomy.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think some of the

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. All right. Well, do you want to get into questions we'll answer a little later in the episode will like drill down on that a little bit, too. the next question?

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, let's do the next question.

Sadie Simpson:

All right. So what happens when you eat too quickly or beyond the point of being full?

Naomi Katz:

The world ends.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. Well, the answers on this website pretty much stated that weight gain and vomiting are- are what's going to happen when you eat too much, or you eat too fast.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, which- that's kind of extreme.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

It's totally like that diet culture response to this, that keeps us in this place of being afraid to ever feel full.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Like, it makes it sound like the consequences of eating too much are so dire that it would be better to never be full than to risk being overly full. The reality, of course, is very different from this.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

You know, the reality is- we've talked about this before- it's not- like, everyone is going to eat too quickly or beyond the point of being full sometimes. And yes, sometimes there may be some physical discomfort that comes with that. Although, we've talked in great depth before about, like, what's physical discomfort, what's mental discomfort, and really trying to suss that out. The things that feel physically uncomfortable to one person might not feel physically uncomfortable to other people. So like, everybody's got different thresholds for that. Vomiting is an extremely, extremely unlikely result of eating past fullness.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Like, you would have to be like really severely eating past fullness to get to the point of vomiting- which isn't to say nobody has ever done that, but like your average person who's- who might eat past fullness, even on a regular basis, is not eating to the point of vomiting.

Sadie Simpson:

No.

Naomi Katz:

That's just ridiculous. The other thing that's important to talk about in this context is the response of weight gain being the result of eating too quickly or beyond the point of being full. Nobody is going to gain weight just from eating too quickly, or from eating beyond the point of being full, without it being a pattern of behavior that is overriding our physical cues. Nobody gains weight because every once in a while they eat too quickly or beyond the point of being full. Nobody gains weight because they do that for a week straight, even. Like, nobody- like that's just not the source of weight gain. And, like we always have to talk about, is weight gain even a bad thing? Like, if eating too quickly and beyond the point of being full isn't bothering you physically- like it's not making you sick, you're not vomiting every time you do it, that kind of thing, it's not like overly uncomfortable for you- like, if it's not a problem for you, the weight gain itself shouldn't make it a problem for you.

Sadie Simpson:

Ooh, yeah, that is a really great point. And really, even hearing you say this, like, if eating quickly is not a problem for you- I'm just sitting here thinking about myself. Like, I'm a really fast eater. And that is just how I am. And that is who I am. And as much as I have, in the past, tried to slow myself down by doing all these tricks and things, I'm just- I'm a fast eater, it is who I am. And I think that that's something that's important to recognize, too. Like, we all have our ways of doing things, and our natural ways of being, and our comfort level with fullness. Like, it's very individualized. So yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, that's a really good point. Like, I've definitely worked with people who have acknowledged that they eat really quickly, and that that makes it really hard for them to connect with the food that they're eating. And so they do tend to, like, eat to the point of discomfort, or they're not getting the pleasure and satisfaction out of it that they want to, or things like that, in which case, okay, we can talk about slowing it down for those purposes. But I've also worked with people who are fast eaters, who are like, it's fine, I still enjoy my food, like, I still, you know, can- can like tune into my cues and stuff. And so it's like, it's not a problem for them. They're just- this is just how they eat. So yeah, that's- like, eating too quickly, it's just- it's- it's only a problem if it's a problem for you. And weight gain is- like- like, assuming it's a problem for everybody because of weight gain is just anti fat bias.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm.

Naomi Katz: Okay, next question:

What are simple strategies to prevent weight relapsing? This is a really, really common concern, especially when people first start to consider getting out of dieting. Because most of us, when we first start to consider that, haven't done all the work on unpacking our anti fat bias and things like that. And so there's like a fear. There's like a- there's like a serious fear within us of, oh my gosh, if I stop dieting, I'm gonna gain so much weight. And so we go into it thinking like, okay, how do I stop dieting, but also not gain back weight?

Sadie Simpson:

That sounds exactly like my entry into Intuitive Eating. So that sounds very familiar to me, for sure.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. I think that's true for a lot of people. Of course, what's amazing, again, all the answers to this online, basically were like, oh, well just keep doing these dieting behaviors.

Sadie Simpson:

Of course.

Naomi Katz:

So like, they all talked about things like keeping a food journal, or like keeping certain foods out of the house, and stuff like that. Which is- I mean, that's the thing- is like, that's the truth of it, right? Like, if you are at a suppressed weight, the only way to maintain that suppressed weight is to always be dieting.

Sadie Simpson:

But I mean, food journaling and keeping foods out of the house, that's not dieting, that's just a healthy lifestyle, isn't it? I'm saying that sarcastically.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. Yes, it- no. Yeah, I mean, that's- that's the thing- is like, I think a lot of- I think that's the perspective- within diet culture, that's the perspective, is like, oh, well, if you're just doing these things, and you're not trying to lose weight, you're just trying to maintain the weight you're at, you're trying not to gain weight- I think there's this belief within diet culture that that's not dieting. In order for it to actually be dieting, you have to be like actively pursuing weight loss. But the reality is that anything that has the intent of controlling your body size is dieting, whether that's losing, maintaining, trying not to gain, all of those things. Like all of- any behaviors you're doing in order to do those things are dieting behaviors.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. Well, and I think it's interesting that a lot of the suggestions were things like food journaling and keeping foods out of the house, and all of those suggestions are based in food restriction, in limiting what we eat, ultimately for the purpose of weight loss or weight maintenance. Whether or not we say it out loud, that is what the purpose of it is for. It's really interesting to see that that was a common answer to this question, like, what are simple strategies to prevent weight relapsing. Because this is what's going to elicit that restrict binge relapse cycle. Yeah, it's like- it's almost contradictory. But we're so accustomed to just having this external control and this external restriction, we don't really recognize that, one, we don't have to like spend our lives focusing on either maintaining or losing weight. But two, we don't know what to do with ourselves. We don't know what to do with food. And it's just so hard to escape out of that restrictive mentality when we've done it for so long.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, absolutely. And we can't escape out of the restrictive mentality if we aren't willing to accept changes in our body.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes, yes.

Naomi Katz:

And that is one of the biggest reasons why unpacking our anti fat bias is like such a huge first step, and ongoing step, and forever step within Intuitive Eating.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. Question four: What can I do to stop overeating after I stopped being on a diet? And the answers to this question were basically all saying things like maintain your weight, or go on some sort of maintenance, go on a calorie maintenance diet, go on such and such program. And that's real ironic that those were the responses, once again- like, I stopped being on a diet, so what can I do? Oh, go on this maintenance diet. Well, it's still a diet.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, like, in other words, oh, you want to stop overeating, don't ever stop dieting.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. Forever.

Naomi Katz:

Which again, just like you said, like, the reality of that is, dieting always leads to, quote unquote, overeating, at some point. Always, always, always. So like, we're really just- instead- we're not actually preventing people from like engaging in this behavior by telling them to always be on the diet, we're just locking them into that cycle.

Sadie Simpson:

Well, and I think this is kind of something that shows up sometimes- or I know it has with folks that I've worked with through the Intuitive Eating framework- that, one, there is this fear that once we stop dieting we're going to lose all control, and we're going to just eat and eat and eat and never stop eating. And I definitely think that's a fear that folks have going into this. But even like, once people have begun an Intuitive Eating practice, there's this phase that we still kind of have to go through to experiment with what our bodies react to, to experiment with eating different volumes of food. And that's just a normal part of the process. And I think that's really scary for a lot of people who have spent a lot of time in restriction.

Naomi Katz:

I also just want to call attention in particular to one of the answers to this question, because it started out with, well, we know that this happens after diets, this is why 99% of diets fail. And it's funny, I started reading it was like, oh, oh my gosh, we got like a good answer here.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

And then this person said, that's why the solution is the keto diet.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh god, no. No.

Naomi Katz:

So like, essentially, the advice was still to stay on a diet forever. This person was basically just saying that keto is like, the one diet you can do forever, so you won't have to worry about that. So yeah, let's just be really, really clear that- every diet.

Sadie Simpson:

But yet again, isn't keto a lifestyle? Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Like, there is no diet that is the exception to I mean, it depends. How restrictive do you want your the binge restrict cycle. There is no diet that is the exception to when you stop you're probably going to overeat for a while- again, quote unquote, overeat. I'm using the- the language from the question, but you and I both don't really believe that there's such a thing as overeating. There's just eating past your point of comfort. lifestyle to be?

Sadie Simpson:

Forever.

Naomi Katz:

Right.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, my gosh.

Naomi Katz:

The internet's a rough place, folks.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, yes, it is.

Naomi Katz:

Okay, so now we're gonna switch over to some questions that came specifically from an Intuitive Eating aligned space about the early stages of Intuitive Eating and the difficulty transitioning into Intuitive Eating from dieting. And, you know, we picked these because I think they reflect some really common experiences in early Intuitive Eating.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, I'm excited to kind of look through and answer some of these because these are questions that we have been asked personally, and they are a pretty common experience. Because if they weren't, people wouldn't be taking to the internet, and asking these questions, and seeking out the answers. So lots of folks are curious, asking about, wondering about the same thing. So yeah, let's answer some- some more questions.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. Okay. So here's a question. I feel like I'm constantly thinking about food. What food is in the house or available, if or when I should eat it, what I should have for my next meal, what, when and how much other people are eating. What does this mean? I feel like it can't be that I'm hungry because it's been happening while I'm on vacation and eating pretty much constantly. I've been practicing Intuitive Eating on and off for the last year, but I've been struggling more lately because I feel like I might have gained weight. How do I stop thinking about food all the time?

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, gosh, that's a common one. So what would you say? If somebody was coming to you asking you this question, how would you respond to them?

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, so there's layers to this question.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

You know, I think the first thing is- you know, we've talked about this before- but it is super normal to think about food a lot when we first start doing Intuitive Eating. That whole concept of, you know, quote unquote, food freedom is really not a particularly accurate description of the early stages of Intuitive Eating. In a lot of ways, you actually think about food more when you first start doing Intuitive Eating. And so, you know, the first thing is, thinking about food in and of itself isn't necessarily a problem, or a bad thing, or an indication that you're doing something wrong, or anything like that. Secondly, one of the biggest things that stood out to me was, I've been struggling more lately because I feel like I might have gained weight. So what I'm hearing is that there's a discomfort with the idea of weight gain. And, you know, we know that food fears and concerns are body fears and concerns. So it sounds like there's some work to do here on dismantling the body stuff. Because if we don't do that, we're never going to be able to fully unpack the mental food restriction, which is what I'm hearing is actually happening here. And then the last thing I would say is, this person says that they've been practicing Intuitive Eating off and on for the last year, and I would say two things about that. First, a year is not very long to be practicing Intuitive Eating. I think we think, like, oh, my gosh, I've been doing this for a year already, and it's like- it seems like we've been doing it for a long time. But practicing Intuitive Eating for a year is still super early stages of Intuitive Eating, especially if we've been practicing it on and off. I don't really know the specifics of what that means for this person, but likely, it means that like you've been doing the work, and then you've kind of maybe gone back to some dieting behaviors, and like attempts to lose weight, or, you know, things like that, and then come back to this work because like you realized that wasn't aligned with what you wanted to do. And listen, that kind of like dipping in and out is really, really common when people first decide they want to do Intuitive Eating, so this is not a judgement. It just is like part of the reality of the situation that might be making this even harder.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh, yes. Well, and this is the exact thing that I experienced, for sure, when I was first learning about and practicing Intuitive Eating. And I think- and this is just coming from personal experience, and maybe other folks out there listening have related to this- but Intuitive Eating is such a radically different approach than any other food based framework or eating based framework. It's so hard to conceptualize the fact that there can be an eating framework that's not revolved around counting, or restriction, or weight loss. And it's just really hard to disengage from this idea that we can practice eating, we can disengage from dieting, and we can do this in a way that's just not focused on losing weight, but instead reestablishing a better relationship with food and with eating. But I think it's just- that's what stands out to me here, is like- it just feels like it's almost turning Intuitive Eating into another diet or viewing it as a diet, which again, is a really common experience because we just don't know any different. Because like diets are typically short term. So we think of things like Whole 30, or, you know, 90 day such and such program, or whatever. And we think that a year is just so long to be doing this

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, it's a really big shift. Definitely. program. But it's not like doing a program. It is just lifelong unpacking- like literal years and decades of unpacking all the shit that we have packed in, in the previous years of spending our entire lives in diet culture.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. All right. So here's another one. I've been practicing Intuitive Eating for about a year now. I find that I have a habit of always feeling like I need to eat a dessert after dinner, regardless of if I'm full or if I'm craving it. Some days, I want something specific, and I'll go out of my way to eat it. But other days, I'm not even craving a specific dessert. And I find that if I tell myself I want to honor my fullness and I don't need the dessert, I find myself feeling crazy or deprived. This is surprising to me, because I genuinely eat what I want and crave 99% of the time. Before Intuitive Eating, I used to calorie count. And even then, I always left calories for an after dinner dessert. So it's not like I've ever restricted dessert specifically. Has anyone else experienced this?

Naomi Katz:

I love this question.

Sadie Simpson:

I do too. Because I'm- first and foremost, I'm a very big dessert person. So I really love this question. And always have been a dessert person.

Naomi Katz:

Same. I love having just a little something for the evenings after dinner.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

And you and I've discussed before- we do dessert differently. Like you're a dessert right after dinner person, and I am a dessert like an hour or so after dinner person. But either way, like, I love that. It just feels like such a nice like way to cap the meal, and cap the day, and stuff like that.

Sadie Simpson:

It does. I mean- and, you know, we can kind of get into answering this question in just a second, but- well, maybe this will partially answer it- but I don't think there's anything wrong with having a little bit of dessert if you're already fairly full. Because I know personally, I just need the taste of something sweet. At the end of a meal, I want something sweet. And even if I'm really full, even just a bite or two of something like kind of satisfies that sweetness that I want to taste. Or if I'm not ful,l and I want to eat more- like more than a bite or two, an entire dessert is perfectly acceptable, perfectly fine. But yeah, like, I just- I don't think there's anything wrong with eating some dessert, even if you're already full.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I totally agree. And like, again, like if

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. I was coaching this, my biggest question would be why do you feel like having dessert after dinner is something you need to stop doing? Like why? You know, it kind of goes back to like, eating quickly is only a problem if you see it as a problem. Like why is this a problem? Getting to that narrative might be really helpful here because, one, this person might find that they actually don't want to stop having dessert. It's just like a diet culture should about like, well, I should be full, or I'm full so I shouldn't eat this, or, you know, that kind of thing. Or two, they might, you know, actually be able to unpack any of the like leftover restrictive thoughts that are driving this behavior. Because what I'm hearing is when I tell myself I want to honor my fullness, and I don't need the dessert- there's some language there around needing- don't need the dessert- I find myself feeling deprived. So like there's- there's obviously like a fear of restriction going on here that's driving that sense of feeling deprived if you don't have the dessert. The other thing that really stands out to me is that it seems like dessert has always been an important thing for this person. Like, they say that they always left room for dessert in their counting even when they were on a diet. So like maybe there's something specific that they get from dessert. Maybe it's comfort, maybe it's nostalgia, maybe it's- I mean, I don't know, it could be anything, right? Like you and I just talked about that we really enjoy dessert, we get something from dessert other than just food, you know.

Naomi Katz:

And so, like, again, that kind of takes us back to, like, if this is something that you've always had a little bit of a connection to, and something that you've always prioritized, why do you feel like you need to give that up now? And then, you know, lastly, like once you've kind of unpacked at all of that, if you still want to give up the habit of eating dessert- which, you know, you have the autonomous right to do- like, maybe you actually do feel physically uncomfortable from it, or whatever- then you can use that information to look at like, okay, what needs are being met by me having dessert- again, like comfort, nostalgia, whatever- and like, can I meet those needs some other way? But like, there's a lot of unpacking there. And I think the biggest question is, why is this a problem?

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, I think that is the key right there.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. I think a lot of times people come into Intuitive Eating and there's this sense of like, I'm gonna get all of my cravings under control, and I should never be eating when I'm not hungry, or like, if I'm already full, or things like that- that that's not Intuitive Eating, and the only reason people gain weight on Intuitive Eating is because they're eating when they're already full, or they're, you know, still having cravings, or something like that. And like, that's just not true. The- kind of the whole point of Intuitive Eating is that if you get pleasure from having dessert every night, you should friggin' have dessert every night- like that that is actually serving a purpose for you, and that like just the pleasure of it is reason enough. The one last thing that I would say is that, like, this person talks about always wanting to honor their fullness, and, you know, that they want dessert even if they're full. I just- because, again- I've been practicing Intuitive Eating for about a year now- that's still so early- I would also look at are you really full? How full are you? Is it possible that you're not quite as full as you feel like you should be at that point? And that, like, that's part of what's happening here.

Sadie Simpson:

And when I think about dessert, 99% of the time, I'm not eating dessert to satisfy fullness. I am already full, for the most part, when I'm eating dessert. I mean, not gonna lie, there are some times when I just, you know, eat ice cream for a meal, and that is perfectly fine, too.

Naomi Katz:

Um. Same.

Sadie Simpson:

But yeah, like, for the most part, it's- I feel like it's a pretty safe assumption that we're not eating dessert to- like to top off our fullness. We're eating dessert to satisfy other needs- to satisfy, again, you mentioned in a couple of times the nostalgia, or the comfort, or just just the sweetness that we'd like to taste. So there's- there's a lot to unpack there. But I don't know that fullness is necessarily the issue. I think it is just unpacking narratives that we tend to have around things like sweets and desserts and things.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I think that's totally true. Okay, last question. I'm relatively new to Intuitive Eating. I never got into diets, but I'm wondering how much my thinking is informed by diet culture. My question is whether Intuitive Eating is compatible with conventional nutrition guidelines about how it's healthy to eat a certain number of servings of vegetables, and fruit, and carbs, and fats, and proteins for a fulfilling meal, or the recommended limits on salt, and fat, and sugar each day. I understand that not every meal needs to meet the guidelines, but I usually try to make sure my meals have a fruit, a vegetable, a whole grain, a fat, and a protein because it's, quote unquote, healthy. I also tend to choose foods with less salt or sugar and eat those less often, also because it's, quote unquote, healthy. Is this compatible with Intuitive Eating? Is saying I should include a vegetable with this meal because I haven't had many vegetables today a problematic restriction or a positive thing to ensure I'm getting proper nutrition? I love this question. I think it's an excellent question. And I also want to preface it with neither of us are dietitians, but we can address it from a mindset perspective.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

And there's a lot of mindset in there to talk about.

Sadie Simpson:

A whole lot.

Naomi Katz:

So first and foremost, I think it's really important to recognize that a lot of these guidelines come from public health policy about the, quote unquote, obesity epidemic, so are inherently rooted in diet culture, and anti fat bias, and things like that. Not to mention that they're often pretty heavily impacted by various lobbying organizations, like the meat lobby, and the dairy lobby, and the egg lobby, and, I don't know, all of those different lobbies, which means that the recommendations sometimes shift depending on what lobby is strongest at that- and loudest at the time. And they are also very much based on calorie recommendations that are not at all rooted in science. I believe we've referenced this before, but I would highly recommend listening to the Maintenance Phase episode called, I think, The Trouble With Calories, that talks about how we got things like daily calorie recommendations and stuff like that. And like, spoiler alert, it was not from science. So that's just all stuff to keep in mind when we're

Sadie Simpson:

No. talking about these like nutritional guidelines that come from- so like, you know, MyPlate, and like the food pyramid, and like all of that kind of stuff- which I get the impression is what this person was referring to. Of course, having said all of that, a varied and balanced diet definitely has health benefits. That's, you know, inarguable. The key to approaching this might be something like just like letting go of those guidelines as absolute black and white rules, letting go of the specific numbers of like how many servings per day you are required to have and stuff like that, and maybe tuning in a little bit more to your own personal needs, and preferences, and experiences. I think we've talked about this before, but, you know, in Intuitive Eating, there's this concept called authentic health that is basically the idea that we can take outside guidelines and stuff like that, and kind of hold them up against what we actually experience in our bodies and in our lives, to determine what the best course of action is for us as individuals. Meaning we look at what the guideline is, but then we also look at our energy levels, and our digestion, and our mood, and our sleep, and things like that. And then we also look at our satisfaction, our pleasure, our preferences, and our access to stuff. Inarguable that vegetables have health benefits, right? And that's great. But what if I can't afford fresh vegetables? What if I hate broccoli? What if tomatoes upset my stomach? Like, I don't know, any number of these things. Like, then the guideline as it's written might not work for me, and I get to make that decision about what my experience, and my body, and my life is, and how that applies to the guidelines, as opposed to the other way around. Having said all of that, like finding that concept of authentic health requires a lot of foundational work on things like unpacking what we mean by healthy, and about like learning to tune into our bodies, and learning to, like, honor and even recognize satisfaction, and stuff like that, so that we can actually even evaluate how we feel in our bodies. Like until we've done all of that stuff, it's hard to connect to that individual side, that internal side, of authentic health. And that's one of the reasons why gentle nutrition is usually something we cover way later in Intuitive Eating. So again, it's like worth pointing out that this person says that they are very new to Intuitive eating, which means, like, probably the nutrition side isn't something that's, like, really a productive place to be focusing their energy right now. It sounds like there's some mindset stuff that might come first, and some attunement with their physical bodies that might come first, and stuff like that. Yeah, it's almost like this person may be wanting to get to the endpoint without doing some of the initial work first, which I feel like is probably really common too, because people want to get to that gentle nutrition part of Intuitive Eating, because it feels like there may be some more structure there, which a lot of people are seeking is structure and, once again, control. And you know, I think this question is really great and really interesting. And it almost reminds me of the episode that we did about authority and discipline. Because often when we are looking at these food guides- like MyPlate, or the food guide pyramid, or anything like that- we're looking to a higher authority. We're looking to a physician, or a government website, or something to give us guidance to tell us what we should be doing. And I mean, you know, to no one's fault, we're all like indoctrinated with this stuff, starting in elementary school, and in health classes, and literally everywhere we go. But I think it's really important to keep in mind that we are the authorities of ourselves. And something that just really like stands out here, too, is just thinking of, like, doctors, and physicians, and medical practitioners who really like hammer in some of this nutrition stuff, that don't necessarily have a degree or any training in nutrition, or haven't really done a lot of continuing education in nutrition. And a lot of the problems of what's happening here is that, you know, they're just kind of regurgitating what they've been taught in the very minimal nutrition courses they've been given, instead of referring folks out to registered dietitians, or people who have like the credentials and education to really talk about this stuff with folks on an individual basis. And really specifically thinking about like health issues like high blood pressure, or diabetes, or anything like that, that's commonly treated through nutritional therapy. But I don't know, there's just a lot of layers here that I feel like just makes it so challenging for folks to kind of disengage from feeling like they have to limit sugar, or limit salt, or only eat this many portions of this type of food- that it's just- it'-s it's a challenge to get to that gentle nutrition part of Intuitive Eating. But it's something that can't be done without some of the prior work, and questioning, and recognizing where some of these guidelines have really even come from.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, all of that is like spot on. And yeah, like the- the- there's definitely an element of like, let's examine authority that like needs to go into this. Like, who says this is healthy? Who says this is what I, quote unquote, should be doing? Yeah.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. Well, and it sucks just to have these blanket statements that don't take individual needs and individual preferences into account. Like, every person in the world doesn't need to eat, whatever, five servings of vegetables and eight ounces of milk every day. I don't even know what the guidelines are. But you know what I mean? Like every person in the world can't fit into this box of what the guidelines say they need.

Naomi Katz:

Not only do they not have to, probably, but- you're right- like, they probably can't. Like, not everybody can do that. It's kind of an ordeal to try and get in all your servings of fruits and vegetables in a day.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh. Yes.

Naomi Katz:

And like, that's just not an ordeal that everybody is equipped for. I'm not.

Sadie Simpson:

Or wants to like even attempt.

Naomi Katz:

Right, exactly. You know, I think one of the things that stands out to me in this question is, what they're saying to themselves is should I include a vegetable with this meal because I haven't had any vegetables today, or I haven't had many vegetables today. And it's like, always, as soon as you hear that word should, it means it's a- it's a good indication of like taking a pause taking a step back, and being like, who says.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

You know, if it's, could I include a vegetable because I haven't had a lot of vegetables today? Okay. Do I want to include a vegetable? Does a vegetable sound good? Like there's so many other questions beyond should I include a vegetable.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. So yeah, again, these questions all came from the internet. And-

Naomi Katz:

TM. The internet, TM.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. Trademark. The Internet- capital T, capital I. But if y'all are out there listening, and you have any other questions, or things that you have experienced, things you have wondered about as it is related to disengaging from dieting and from diet culture, and Intuitive Eating, please send us a message on Instagram. We are @satisfactionfactorpod. We would love to answer your questions here on the podcast.

Naomi Katz:

And also, you know, like we said, all of these questions are are sort of things that relate to how weird it can be when we decide we want to stop dieting but, like, we're not really sure what's next. Or we dipped a toe into Intuitive Eating but, like, we're not really sure how it's supposed to be going, and doing it, quote unquote, right. If you are finding yourself in that position of, like, I know I don't want to diet anymore, I know I'm interested in Intuitive Eating, but I just don't really know how to go about doing what's next or making that transition, that is what coaching is all about. So again, I do have spots available for one to one Intuitive Eating and anti diet coaching. You can get all the information about the packages that I have available on my website at happyshapes.co/coaching. And there is no obligation for submitting an application. All that means is we hop on a quick call to see if it's a good fit, answer all your questions. It is not a sales call, I don't do that, I'm all about honoring your process. So if that's something that you are interested in, that's where you get that information and submit your application.

Sadie Simpson:

Yay. Thanks for sharing that. So Naomi, what is satisfying for you right now?

Naomi Katz:

So it's like still to come. But I'm really excited because we are going to get a cat at the beginning of next week. And, you know, we have- we have our little dog, who is kind of like a cat already- we have Sunny. And we have always wanted to also get a cat. But we've always been like, oh, it's not the right time. And, you know, I wasn't sure how Sunny was going to do, and stuff like that. But we're kind of at this place right now where, like, we can do it. It is a good time. And Sunny has been around some cats, and so we know she's fine with them. And our next door neighbor foster's kittens, like a lot, and we got to meet one of them a few weeks ago, and just like fell in love with her. And we actually get to go pick her up next week. And so I'm very, very excited and satisfied about adding a little kitten to our home.

Sadie Simpson:

Yay. Oh my gosh, I am so excited for you. And I've seen a picture of the kitten, and she's so cute. And I can't wait to see her like on your computer screen when we're doing our Zoom calls.

Naomi Katz:

Which obviously will happen because cats love to just be on camera while you're doing Zoom calls.

Sadie Simpson:

Yep. Maybe since Sunny is kind of like a cat, your cat maybe will end up being like a dog, because I have found that our cat kind of acts like a dog.

Naomi Katz:

Well, that's so funny. I used- I used to have a cat, and she was very dog like. She was like the least cat like cat I've ever known. And so it's funny, you know, Ben and I are getting getting ready to, you know, have this cat, and we're looking at getting all the stuff that we need, and things like that, and he's talking about making sure that she has places to climb, and stuff like that- which is great. And I'm going, my cat never climbed. But you know, Ben has been around a lot more cats than I have, and apparently some cats that actually behaved like cats. And so I'm gonna trust him on this.

Sadie Simpson:

Our cat does some very doglike things, but one of the things that he does do is climb. Like his favorite spot is on top of the refrigerator to look down over the world. So yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Excellent. I love that.

Sadie Simpson:

That's awesome. I can't wait to see your cat.

Naomi Katz:

Sadie, what's satisfying for you right now?

Sadie Simpson:

So for the last few nights, after my kid has gone to bed, Trey and I have been playing Skip Bo.

Naomi Katz:

Oh my God, Skip Bo was like my favorite game of all time.

Sadie Simpson:

No way.

Naomi Katz:

We have to play skip Bo together.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes, let's do it. We'll have to plan a time. So we- like I- I'm- I love playing card games, and board games, and things like that. And even all throughout the last couple of years when we've been home, like we'll sit around and play Uno, or Phase 10, or just some card games after Tommie goes to bed. We had never played Skip Bo, but a few weeks ago we were playing it with my brother and sister in law, and loved it. So immediately we went out and bought ourselves a Skip Bo deck. And every night this week, we've been playing. So what is not satisfying for me is that usually I'm like really good at games, and I'm used to winning games, and I have not been winning as much on Skip Bo. So that's probably very satisfying for Trey. But the process of playing has been very fun.

Naomi Katz:

This is amazing. Both the fact that you're playing Skip Bo, and like what a random thing to like- to say, and just- it turns out that it's like one of my favorite games of all time.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh, that is so random.

Naomi Katz:

Lori, who has been doing the interpretation of our podcasts in ASL, and is like one of my oldest friends- she and I used to play that game constantly. And so yes, I'm very excited about playing together. But I also love that you're a little bummed out about not winning as much as you usually do. I like that your competitive side has come out here. Yeah.

Sadie Simpson:

I knkow. I'm not really a competitive person. But I am like- I'm just usually pretty good at like card games, and board games, and stuff. And I think it is very- it is very satisfying for Trey to win more than me.

Naomi Katz:

That's awesome. I love that.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, man. So if you liked this podcast, and you would like to support us, please leave us a rating and review in Apple or Spotify. These ratings and reviews help boost us up in the podcast rankings, and it allows you to give us feedback so we can learn more about what you like, and even what you don't like. But we really like to hear about what you like. So again, that's on Apple podcasts or on Spotify, where you can leave those ratings and reviews.

Naomi Katz:

That's it for us this week. We'll see you next week.