In this Thursday Therapy episode, Glenn Mackintosh explains WHY it’s worth learning mindful / intuitive eating, applies mindful eating to food intolerances, and shows you how to apply intuitive eating with ANY FOOD CHOICE in real time!
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- Viewer question on combining intuitive/mindful eating with a food intolerance. [01:35]
- Why learn mindful eating principles? [02:49]
- Applying intuitive eating with food intolerances. [05:21]
- Activity: Glenn coaches you through a mindful eating choice. [08:25]
- Hunger/fullness scale indicators. [09:27]
- Asking yourself “why am I eating?” [10:00]
- Identifying non-food solutions. [10:21]
- Bringing it all together. [12:05]
Hey everyone, welcome to Thursday Therapy, it’s Glenn Mackintosh, the weight psych, and the question we’re answering today is on, how you apply intuitive eating to food intolerances, but we’re going to go a step further for people who don’t have food intolerances and show you how you can apply intuitive eating to any food choice in real time. Welcome to Thursday Therapy everyone. Today we have a follow-up question that comes from Amy and Amy is another 2nd time Thursday Therapy question asker, so thanks Amy and we’re doing another follow-up Thursday Therapy, so it’s our second one of them so I hope you’re having a doubly nice day. Let’s get to answering Amy’s question.
Amy asks, “Hi Glenn, I have a question for you, how would you recommend your clients combine intuitive / mindful eating with a food intolerance? I would love your thoughts.” That is a really good question, Amy, so thank you for it. I often do get people say to me, Glenn I’ve got this food intolerance or this allergy I’ve just found out about, how does that work in with mindful eating principles? or Glenn, I always struggle when I get into this particular situation how does mindful eating apply to that situation? So, what we’re going to do is, I want to give you a little bit of background on why we apply mindful eating in Thursday Therapy. It’s kind of my job to do all of the research and give you practical tips, but in this case, because we talk so much about mindful eating, I just want to go through the five principles and why we actually have those five principles, then we’re going to get to your question Amy and we’re going to figure out how you apply mindful eating to your particular food intolerance and then we’re going to go a step further and I’m going to show you in real time how you can apply mindful eating to any food choice and you’ll have this as a resource that if you’re struggling to make a mindful eating choice you can always come back to. So, let me talk you through some of the reasons why it can be really beneficial to let go of dieting and start to learn mindful eating principles. Firstly, we want to be free to eat all foods, so you don’t begin to feel restricted, deprived and controlled by your own eating rules.
The main effect that we find here we call, the forbidden fruit effect, basically there’s a rebellious seventeen-year-old in all of us and as soon as we say we can’t have something we want it more and the same applies to food. We want to pay attention to food, so you can see if you actually really like it, some of these foods, when you let them dance around your taste buds, you realize that they can’t dance, so what you can do is as you’re paying attention, if you really like the food, you can savour it and get a lot of that experience and as you taste more, you’ll eat less or if you’ve been mindful and recognized that you don’t actually like it, you can let it go quite happily without any sense of deprivation.
We really want to honour your senses of hunger and fullness as your body’s natural signs to start and stop any eating plan where we’re trying to fight. Your body is destined for failure, so we want to set you up for success and learn to work with your body. It’s really important to transcend the non-hungry eating cues, now, we don’t need to be militant with this, it is normal and it’s natural to do some non-hungry eating but we also need to acknowledge that non-hungry eating is the cause of a lot of our health problems and a lot of weight gain, so if we cannot aim to eliminate but really reduce that non-hungry eating in a way that’s right for us, we’re going to get heaps better results into the future. We want to eat in a way that your body likes and we want to be mindful of how different food choices affect you because over thousands and thousands of pairings you’re going to pair more nutritious foods with feeling good which we all want to do and less nutritious foods, especially when we eat them regularly and in big amounts, with not feeling so good. This is different to having any moral judgment around that this is just pairing it with the effect that has on us and when we pair nutritious food with feeling good and less nutritious food especially regularly and in big amounts with not feeling so good, you develop a really internal desire I want to eat healthy, so let’s get to answering your question, Amy, about how you apply intuitive eating with a food intolerance.
This can be really good if you do have a food intolerance but you can equally use this for a food allergy or you can use this for a food that just doesn’t agree with you too well, so let’s look through the principles and I want you to do this if you have a food choice you’re worried about, how mindful is this food choice, we want to just look through the principles and see how mindful it is. A quick note it’s not like you’re going to be either completely mindful eating every meal like a Zen master drinks tea or completely mind less eating like a Labrador. You’re always going to be somewhere in the middle and the more principles that you’re in line with, the more mindful you’re eating. So, let’s look at this question of Amy’s. First principle, we’re free to eat all foods, so that is okay as long as you’re eating food, you’re free to eat it. Second principle, pay attention, so that one could be okay there too, depending on the way you eat it, Amy.
The third principle is to listen to the hunger and fullness, that’s a tick to depending on the way you eat it. The fourth principle transcending non-hungry eating. I would question whether that’s a tick or cross, I’m going to put a question mark here. I think it’s probably unlikely that you’d be craving a food because your body’s hungry, this intolerant food that your body doesn’t like, it’s probably much more likely that there’s some non-hungry que. So, I’m going to put a big question mark there but a probably a ‘no’ for that principle and then the final principle, eating in a way that your body likes. That is a big ‘No’ of course if you’re eating a food that makes you feel sick or gives you digestive issues or you come out in a rash, then your body is telling you that it really doesn’t like that and so, while we might be able to be consistent with three or even four of mindful eating principles, this is where it’s important to consider all of the principles and even the weighting of those principles. The only one that we definitely know it’s out of line with, is that eating in a way that your body likes but because that’s so important if you have a food intolerance, even more important if you have an allergy, the worst could happen then that principle becomes so important.
So, this is what I’d like you to do yourself, when you’re questioning how mindful your choice is, just go through these criteria and in doing so a few times you’ll really develop a more in-depth and workable understanding of intuitive eating. Okay guys, because I love you, we’re going to do a Thursday Therapy first and if you want to at any time you can come back to this part of the video and I’m going to practically coach you through making a mindful eating choice. Let’s go. Okay, first principle, you are free to eat this food, so there is no judgment on the food and there’s no rule saying you can’t, so you’re empowered to make whatever choice is right for you.
The second principle we’ve want to pay attention, so turn off your phone, turn off your TV, turn off your computer, everything apart from me, don’t turn me off and we want to pay attention to the food. If you’re eating it and you’re enjoying it, enjoy it guilt-free. The more you enjoy, the quicker you can stop. If you really don’t like it or you realize partway through that it’s not as enjoyable as it used to be, you can stop completely deprivation free.
Principle three, we want to honour your body senses of hunger and fullness, so we’ll put up that scale and I want you to check in with yourself remember it’s quite easy once you take that time to identify where you are then you just have to have that little bit of effort to honour that body signal over time. This will become second nature, so any effort you spend is well worth it.
Principle four, transcending the non-hungry queues, so if you’ve identified that your body’s hungry, fantastic, you know it needs nutrition and you want to feed a good nutrition, if not, I want you to ask yourself why am I eating, is it because of a particular thought? did I see a TV ad? is it because I feel emotional? is it because I always eat at this time? is it because the food is there? what’s the reason behind it? You can look back to last Thursday Therapy, where we go through some of the common non-hungry cues and some solutions for them, if the answer is not in there, I want you to just sit down, take a few breaths and get creative.
If you’re stressed, maybe you need to calm down in a certain way if it’s just the food is there maybe you need to deal with that impulse. I’m sure that you will find a solution, you just need to take that bit of time. Often, we only have a few different high-risk situations, so if you really do think through that situation and find the answer then it can be beneficial, not only now but for the zillion times you’ll experience this in the future, if you’ve done all that and if you still don’t have the answer, ask a question for next Thursday Therapy.
Principle five, eating in a way that your body likes. So, I simply want you to ask yourself in 5, 10, 15 minutes after I eat, how is my body going to feel about this food choice. An hour, two hours, three hours after I eat, how is this food going to affect my body. If you are a master at ignoring that until it actually happens and what you do is take five seconds, you will know the answer. You already know the answer and make sure you make a choice that your future self will thank you for.
One thing that we do when we practice mindful eating is sometimes because it works better in the long term because it is easier to do than dieting, we assume that there’s no effort involved, so I realized this does take some effort but I want you to have faith in the process, over time it will become normal and natural but it’s not without effort. So, thanks for another session of Thursday Therapy but now you understand a little bit more about why we apply mindful eating, you can apply mindful eating to a food intolerance or any food that doesn’t really agree with you and you’ve got something that you can come back to time after time to help you to really coach yourself and teach yourself these mindful eating skills.
Before we finish up, I just want to give a shout out to my mate, Matt Stewart, who painted this beautiful artwork. Matty is a good friend of mine and a wonderful artist, he’s actually one of my favourite people to do some non-hungry eating and some non-thirsty drinking with, when the occasion calls for it and before we finish up too, I want you to know that we’ve heard what you said. I’ve asked you previously to like our WMP page and also to like my Glenn Mackintosh professional page. A lot of you have done that, which is really cool but some people have come back to us and said Glenn, I don’t really want you on my Facebook, it’s like who’s this weird guy on your Facebook, so some people don’t want to be associated with me in that way, which is just totally understandable and then other people have also said that they don’t necessarily want to be associated with those names of weight management psychology.
We’ve decided to keep the name weight management psychology because it’s one of my missions to de-stigmatize the word weight and to de-stigmatize the word psychology but I realize we’re not quite there yet. So, that’s totally cool if you don’t want to be a part of that yet. What we’ve done, is we’ve created a Glenn Mackintosh public figure page which anyone can like and we figured that might be really great for a lot of people we will post slightly different things on all of them, so if you have liked one or the other or both, please still like this page or if you haven’t liked either of those this would be a really good thing to like. I’ll also tell you that we’re creating this page because we’ve got massive news coming up, I can’t tell you what that news is, so I’m going to tease you but hopefully I can let you know in the next Thursday Therapy, but until then, see you in two weeks. Have a really mindful time and I look forward to next Thursday Therapy.