What is Intuitive Eating?

What is INTUITIVE EATING?

Any weight loss plan can achieve short term benefits, but over time the weight creeps back, and it’s not unusual to end up weighing more than you did before you started dieting. 

Research shows us that intuitive eating can help you get off the diet roller coaster for good. 

One of the principles of intuitive eating is to make peace with food and to abandon the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food. 

If you’re interested in working with me check out my ‘Beautiful You’ program link in bio. We all deserve health and to be able to enjoy life a little more without stressing about diets and food. 

I even have a new shirt that says ‘You are Beautiful’ because you ARE!

https://eatinginmind.com.au/beautiful-you-5-week-program/

What is coaching anyway?

Let’s play a game. Can you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions?

There’s a gap between where I am now and where I want to be

I can make and keep appointments to work on my goal(s)

I’m committed to do the work required and take action to get to where I want to be

I’m willing to change any self-defeating behaviours and beliefs that limit my success

I am willing to try new things, even if I’m not yet 100% convinced they will work

More than three yes’s? Then coaching is what you need.

So what is coaching anyway?

Essentially, coaching is a future-focused conversation with a trained professional. A conversation that’s 100% about you and helping you think differently about things you’ve previously felt stuck or unclear about. It’s action-oriented. Coaching gets you results.

Why do I need a coach?

Put simply, because it will get you where you want to be faster than if you go it alone.

A good coach will help you to bring out the best of yourself so that you feel confident in your abilities, have clarity on what you want and stay motivated to overcome the tricky patches.

Whatever your challenge, a professional coach can help you unpick the challenge or issue at hand, and define a way to overcome it.

The idea is that the more you learn and understand about yourself, the more equipped you’ll be to navigate your health journey and make choices that will make you happy and fulfilled. Along the way, your coach can help you recognise your strengths, address the habits that are supporting you, or maybe getting in your way, and help you find ways to overcome obstacles. 

How does coaching work?

Whatever the challenge, your coach will ask you lots of questions aimed at raising your own awareness and helping you see things from a new perspective.

Then they’ll work with you to break the issue down, clarify your goals and help you define your own way forward. Importantly, you’ll leave every session with clear actions to take. No fluff here, this is about results and getting you where you want to be, no matter your start point. 

Coaching is most effective over a series of sessions. We say that 90% of the work is done in between sessions because that’s when it’s up to you to use the new insights you’ve gained or take the action you decided on.

Each session is a touchpoint to talk about any challenges or successes since the last time, and decide what you want to do next. 

How do I get the best out of coaching?

Most people find coaching an empowering and liberating experience but, like anything, you get out what you put in, so you need to come prepared with an open mind and it’s helpful to think about what you want to get out of the session before you start. Time, commitment and honesty (with yourself as much as with your coach) are all you really need.

Intermittent Fasting – is it right for me?

Intermittent fasting is the voluntary abstinence from food for a prolonged period of time.

Traditionally many cultures and religions have used fasting in their practises.

Some Christians follow lent.  The Muslim religion has Ramadan where fasting is observed for 29-30 days during the daylight hours.

Buddhist monks and nuns following Vinaya rules commonly do not eat each day after the noon meal, aiding in meditation and good health.

Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term for various eating diet plans that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting over a defined period. Intermittent fasting is under preliminary research to assess if it can produce weight loss comparable to long-term calorie restriction.

Many believe that fasting is the most ancient secret to good health.

There have been many studies on various intermittent fasting diets that show that intermittent fasting can improve health and successfully aid in weight loss.

For the purpose of this paper I would like to further explore:

  • Periodic fasting (where, once every few months you cut your food intake down for 5 days in a row)
  • The 5:2 approach (where you restrict your calories for 2 days a week)
  • Time Restricted Eating (where you restrict your eating to a narrow time window)

Periodic Fasting

Professor Valter Longo, one of the leading experts on human ageing believes in the power of fasting to delay aging. Periodic Fasting claims to activate a process called autophagy which means ‘self eat’. Autophagy acts to eat up dead, diseased, worn out cells. It is triggered by fasting and stops when the fast is broken (https://valterlongo.com/ VAlter Longo Foundation).

Periodic fasting also claims to regenerate cells faster. So, when you fast your system tries to save energy and recycles a lot of the immune cells that are not needed. When the fast is broken it triggers the creation of new more active white blood cells. (Valter Longo).

Short periods of fasting have been shown to regenerate the immune system (Longo, Valter et al 2014)

A 2012 Human trial conducted by Valter Longo of a 4 day fast resulted in IGF1 levels decrease (Insulin like Growth Factor -1) which is a measure of cancer risk.  Valter concluded that regular bouts of short term fasting can reduce your risk of a variety of cancers. And, that fasting could assist with making chemotherapy more effective by slowing down the growth of cells to help protect the healthy cells during treatment.  (https://valterlongo.com)

He also recognised the difficulty of fasting for patients while undertaking chemo therapy and there are current trials on an 800 calorie diet to try to mimic this approach.

5:2 Approach

The general idea behind the 5:2 diet is calorie restriction on the two (non-consecutive) given days. That is, for two of the 7 days in each week, you eat very low calorie (but high in nutrition) foods, while the other 5 days you can eat what you would usually eat. This diet isn’t a full fast, but is a carefully planned eating plan for a couple of days each week.

The two days of fasting requires you to keep your intake below a set number of calories: 500 for women, 600 for men. The normal average calorie intake is 2000.

5:2 Raised blood sugar and heart health

The diet has shown to reduce the HbA1C levels. This haemoglobin is chemically linked to glucose. The formation of the sugar and haemoglobin linkage indicates the presence of excessive sugar in the bloodstream, often indicative of diabetes. A1C is of particular interest as it is easy to detect.

A human study concluded that intermittent fasting can reverse Type 2 Diabetes (Therapeutic use of Intermittent fasting for people with Type 2 diabetes as an Alternative to Insulin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6194375/)

The study was of 3 patients all on medication to manage their diabetes. The most noteworthy outcome from this case series is the complete discontinuation of insulin in all three patients.

It was noted that caloric restriction and weight loss are important factors for remission of T2 diabetes.

The study concludes that therapeutic fasting can provide superior blood glucose reduction compared with standard pharmacological agents.

A 2018 study shows that modest weight loss of 5-10% have been associated with significant improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors (eg decreased HbA1C levels. Reduced blood pressure, increase in HDL cholesterol, decreased plasma triglycerides) in patients with T2 diabetes. The risk factor was reduced even more with a greater body weight percentage weight loss of 10-15% (Antoni R, Johnston KL et al. Intermittent v. Continuous energy restriction: differential effects on postprandial glucose and lipid metabolism following matched weight loss in overweight/obese participants. Br J Nutr., 2018. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29508693)

The 5:2 has also been found to have promising results for Brain disease and Breast cancer

TRE Time Restricted Eating

Time restricted eating is not a new diet but rather an ancient ritual that has been observed by both religious and cultural groups.

The two most popular fasting schedules which have become popular amongst body builders and celebrities is the 12:12 fasting:eating or the 16:8 fasting:eating. There have been some studies indicating that the 16:8 is the most beneficial.

According to Dr Satchin Panda, Professor at the Salk Institute in San Diego, one of the worlds leading research centres for biomedicine in San Diego, most of your body’s fat burning occurs 6-8hours after your last meal.

A human trial of TRE found that after 10 weeks, a group that had gone without food for an additional 3 hours per day had lost more body fat, and had bigger falls in blood sugar levels and cholesterol.

Contradictions

A recent clinical trial with 43 participants conducted comparing Continuing Energy Restriction (CER) and Intermittent Energy Restriction (IER) concluded that reductions in body weight were similar.

Fasting plasma glucose concentrations decreased after CER but not after IER (mean difference CER–IER – 4.8% (0.7, 8.9), P < 0.05) and fasting plasma non-esterified fatty acid concentrations were lower after IER compared to CER (mean difference CER–IER 0.15 mmol/L (0.06, 0.24), P < 0.005). There were no differences in lipids, adipokine/inflammatory markers, ABP or HRV between diets (Pinto et al)

They concluded that short-term CER or IER diets are comparable in their effects on most markers of cardiometabolic risk, although adaptive changes in glucose and fatty acid metabolism occur.

A major assumption that intermittent fasting makes is that the food that is being consumed on the non-fasting days along with the restricted or fasting days will still equal a calorie deficit. Eating healthy on non fasting days does not mean that a calorie deficit will be maintained as eating ‘healthy” can mean a lot of different things to many people.

Another consideration is that on the fasting days or low calorie days are foods from different groups being consumed. If a patient is eating the same foods over and over again there could be risk of nutrient deficiencies.

There is more quality research coming through on intermittent fasting and more human trials that I could cover in this paper.

Many books on how to fast and recipe books for fasting diets have been published creating a small market of products.

If a patients chooses to go on this diet they will need to ensure that they are taking in quality healthy ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and lean protein.

There could be a risk associated with grains and fruit being omitted from the diet as these are generally higher in calories.

In conclusion, a wholefoods diet would be favourable over intermittent fasting in the first instance. If a patient is unable to lose weight on a wholefoods diet then calorie restriction or one of the fasting techniques outlined here could assist in restricting calories. Intermittent fasting could add value as a tool to assist calorie restriction and weight loss if other more gentle approaches have not been successful. Intermittent fasting isn’t a ‘magic’ remedy for reversing diabetes or heart health but a valuable tool to help patients lose weight if they haven’t been able to previously.

References

  • https://valterlongo.com/ Valter Longo Foundation/PKA to promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse Immunosuppression. Cell Stem Cell, 2014; 14(6)
  • Valter D. Longo et al. Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1
  • Therapeutic use of Intermittent fasting for people with Type 2 diabetes as an alternative to Insulin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6194375/
  • Antoni R, Johnston KL et al. Intermittent v. Continuous energy restriction: differential effects on postprandial glucose and lipid metabolism following matched weight loss in overweight/obese participants. Br J Nutr., 2018. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29508693
  • Pinto et al (2019) Intermittent Energy Restriction is comparable to Continuous Energy Restriction for Cardiometabolic Health in Adults with central obesity; A randomised controlled trial.

The BEST Banana Bread

Because who doesn’t love a piece of plant based moist choc chip banana bread smothered in peanut butter?

This banana bread tweaked from my original banana bread recipe as I need to cater for a vegan.

And, not too high in sugar so in my opinion you can have your cake and eat it too!

And, while I don’t necessarily agree with some food alternatives, this one seems to tick the boxes.

I like to serve this with a dollop of dark roasted crunchy peanut butter.

Recipe is super easy

2 large ripe bananas

¼ cup maple syrup

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup coconut milk

½ tsp vanilla

Mash bananas and mix all wet ingredients in (except the ACV)

Then

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp ACV (apple cider vinegar)

Combine baking powder, baking soda and ACV and ex[pect a little bit of magic (fizzing), then mix into the wet ingredients.

½ cup vegan choc chips

1 cup SR flower

1 cup buckwheat flour

Stir through the choc chips and flours.

Bake in a lined loaf tin for about an hour at 160c

How can Food and Nutrition Coaching help you?

Improving your health and changing your health behaviours requires a lot of work and focus.

Research suggests that up to 90 percent of chronic disease is caused by diet and lifestyle factors.

Food and Nutrition coaching along with other allied health professionals that are well trained in these areas can play a significant role—alongside licensed clinicians—in reducing the burden of chronic disease.

Reversing chronic health issues, weight loss, energy, training and performance, whatever your motivation for wanting change the smallest changes over a period of time can be the most lasting ones.

Sometimes learning new habits may be self directed. Sometimes new habits can be formed by joining a community or group of people starting a new program and supporting one another.

Sometimes, finding a coach that you can work with could be the answer. A coach that focuses on you and your achievable goals and helps you unblock any issues you may be having and add value to your health journey.

How can you become more efficient with these changes?

By building new habits.

Create daily goals, make small changes.

The small goals that lead to a successful reversal of unwise habits can have a big and lasting effect on your health.

Changing our behaviour may be the single-most important way you can prevent and reverse chronic disease.

A coach can support you, hold you accountable and at times challenge you – something that can be difficult to do on your own.

Food and Nutrition coaching is designed to support people in changing their behaviour.

Building habits not only helps us cut down on the time it takes to perform behaviours, but it makes those behaviours stick.

Coaching doesn’t follow the typical “expert” model that’s so common in healthcare.

Instead, as a coach I will partner with you to understand your current condition, flesh out your goals, create doable objectives, and hold you accountable.

Small goals will help you achieve seemingly small behavioural changes that add up to big benefits for your health.