Posts tagged Mindful Eating
I’m Doing This Intuitive Eating Thing — So Why Do I Keep Overeating?

“I’ve been doing this intuitive eating thing, but…I keep overeating. You said I would feel sane around food if I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted, so what gives?”


As an intuitive eating counsellor and nutritionist — someone who helps women all over the world to stop bingeing, make peace with food, and feel at ease in whatever body they happen to find themselves in — one of the chief concerns I encounter involves “overeating.”

Because “overeating” isn’t as clear a term as you’d think, let’s start there.

Eating more than you did when you were dieting is not “overeating.”

Eating more than what your fitness tracker recommends is not “overeating.”

Eating what you feel is a large volume of food is not “overeating.”

Eating beyond the “portion” on the label is not “overeating.”

Eating more than what’s on your meal plan is not necessarily “overeating.”

Quite “simply” (ha — is anything ever simple when it comes to food and body?!) — “overeating” means eating beyond fullness. It can occur at any time (during a scheduled meal, over the holidays, or while snacking), and for any reason (by accident, because you’re recovering from an eating disorder and you need to overeat, because you’re trying to mitigate anxiety or uncomfortable feelings, and so on.)

Intuitive eaters seldom overeat. Not because we’re a superior brand of species, but because we know we can eat what we want, when we want, and in the amount that we want. Truly. Madly. Deeply.

But if you’re perpetually overeating, does it mean you’re “failing” at intuitive eating?

It’s one thing to logically give yourself unconditional permission to eat.

It’s another to live it

Here’s a few reasons why you’re still overeating:

  1. You’re judging what you eat, the amount you eat, or when you eat.

Darling, judging is another word for restriction — and is the furthest thing from unconditional permission. In my experience, this judgment usually stems from a fear of what your “intuitive eating experiments” will do to your body. When you’re panicked about how much weight you’ll gain or how your shape will change from not dieting, you’ll resort to your primary and most comforting coping mechanism: food.

This is why I feel intuitive eating (or recovery from diet culture or an eating disorder) works most effectively when combined with body image work, self-compassion, self-care, and psychotherapy. 

I’m blue in the face from saying it, but truly: restriction always leads to “eating issues.”

I cover this extensively in my coaching practice, but this gives you a head start.

2. You’re worried about your weight. 

This concern feels very real and I have a ton of empathy for it. But honestly? This worry is never about the weight exclusively. Thinness doesn’t live in a vacuum. 

Why do you care about becoming or staying thin?

…Maybe you believe it will help your chances of meeting the love of your life.

…Or help you to feel more confident sporting that string bikini on the beach.

…Help you to make friends and feel a sense of belonging.

…Allow you to finally accept your body so you stop killing yourself at the gym. 

…Get your [parental figure] off your back and finally experience their acceptance. 

Yes, being thin comes with specific privileges (“thin privilege” is real), but we also carry a number of convictions about thinness (and fatness) and its symbolism that inform our eating choices and how we view our relationship with food.

3. It’s your only coping mechanism.

“Emotional eating” isn’t pathological; I’m a big believer in legalizing emotional eating. 
But as you dive deeper into intuitive eating, you’ll find 1) food no longer offers the comfort it once did 2) you may wish to process your feelings a little differently.

Some things I recommend implementing that were personally helpful: 

  1. Being extremely diligent about your self-care. This may mean having standard sleep and wake times, taking an evening bath, trying a skincare routine, participating in joyful movement (if this is available to you at this time), spending time with friends or family, taking regular breaks, eating regularly and adequately, keeping hydrated, diffusing essential oils, limiting caffeine and/or alcohol, and so on. It needs to be personally meaningful and something you can do without much effort. Also: it doesn’t have to cost anything.

  2. Finding a therapist — ideally a weight-neutral, eating disorder-informed one.

  3. Actively try other coping mechanisms, like journalling, calling a friend, going for a walk, meditating, listening to music, etc. It takes time to foster new habits, so be patient with this.

  4. Meet yourself with self-compassion. I highly recommend Dr. Kirstin Neff’s Self-Compassion.

Is this something you struggle (or struggled) with while starting intuitive eating? Let me know in the comments!

5 Ways to Rebel Against Diet Culture

Hey everyone! Today I'd like to present a special guest to SB Nutrition. Jenny Eden is the founder and owner of Jenny Eden Coaching, a coaching practice devoted to helping men, women, and teens create a healthier and sustainable relationship with food and body image. She is an Eating Psychology Coach, a mindful eating instructor, and health and wellness blogger. She specializes in unique binge eating cessation techniques and mindful eating practices. 

Jenny, take it away!

Body positive | body image | intuitive eating | emotional eating | mindfulness | feminist | anti-diet project | resolutions | eating psychology | binge eating. Tired of cleanses, detoxes, and diets? Check out these 5 tips to rebel against diet culture.


It’s January 2nd.  You’re picking up the last of the confetti off of the floor and recycling the empty champagne bottles, all the while contemplating how you will plan to detox from Aunt Edna’s Christmas cookies.  You will ruminate about how, despite telling yourself this year would be different, you found yourself diving deep into chocolate advent houses, entire gingerbread houses, and 15 yule log cakes.  

“It’s ok!”  you tell yourself. “I’ve got Google and an entire Sunday to figure out which diet I’ll pick this time to drop those 5 extra pounds,” pounds that crept on despite your special X-mas themed soulcycle class, and 2 parties that you avoided just in hopes of maintaining your weight this year.

Maybe a part of you hesitates….and wishes you could just focus your time and energy on all your other 2017 goals like finishing that novel, or finally planning that trip to Greece.  “Nah," you reason, “those things won’t even be fulfilling if I’m not thin enough to thoroughly enjoy it.”

And the cycle begins again….

Does this sound familiar?  It should because countless millions of women (and men) experience a version of this every January.  

Cycles are inherent to life:  The earth rotates around the sun, there is a full moon every month, leaves fall every autumn, and we will eat great cake every birthday (if we’re lucky).  But there are some cycles that leave much to be desired.  A vicious cycle perhaps?  A dieting cycle?  A cycle of binge, remorse, restrict, repeat?  Those kinds of cycles are detrimental to our health and our psyches and leave us primed to experience deja vu every January 2nd.

Wouldn’t it be freeing if we could do it differently this year?  To find an alternate (yet possibly rocky, circuitous and emotional) path that offers something more than weight loss - but a sense of deep freedom, acceptance and peace?   It is possible and the 6 techniques I will share below will help you rethink your aggressive weight loss goal in lieu of something a bit kinder, more respectful towards your body, and perhaps above all else compassionate and health promoting.  After all, isn’t that what it is all about?  Health, happiness, and feeling our absolute best in the bodies we actually have right now?

Let me know what you think of these strategies below!

1. Go on a magazine, reality show, and TV access hiatus. 

Much of our feelings of unworthiness and pressure to acquire the perfect body at all costs painfully come from our media consumption that promulgates the message that we need to somehow be fixed and are not worthy enough the way we are.  Try taking a 2 week break from all of these types of media outlets and tune in more with your own wisdom.

2. Find an exercise routine that truly speaks to you. 

Find exercise that you look forward to and makes you feel strong and capable in your skin.  Don’t opt-in for the latest gym trend just because your sister’s friend’s cousin lost 15 pounds that way.  Do it because it speaks to YOU and works with your lifestyle and own body mechanics.

3. Learn a little bit about mindful and intuitive eating.  

Join the slow movement and find out how it can serve you emotionally, physically, and psychologically by having you tune inward and trust your own body versus trusting dietary experts to tell you what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat.  You can start by joining my free 7-day mindful eating basics email course.

4. Embrace your femininity. 

Explore your sensuality and sexuality.  This is often hard for the chronic dieter to do this because they don’t accept or even allow themselves feel sensuality unless they are a certain size.  Try to be comfortable being uncomfortable with this one.  Get the end result at the beginning.  Do a gratefulness body scan, dance, put on a dress that makes your feel amazing right this minute - not in 3 months when you might lose the 10 pounds.  A seed can be planted from this place and blossom, eschewing the perceived notion that you need to lose weight in the first place.  How do I know this works?  Because this was one of the very ways I healed my own body image - by embodying my skin and embracing sensuality no matter what size I was.  

5. Find projects, people, and hobbies that fuel your soul and provide meaning and purpose. 

When I was a chronic dieter, I was actually a really really boring person because weight loss was all I did or could think about.  When would I exercise? What would I eat?  How much?  When could I get to the scale again to weigh in?  When I finally let go of that obsessive, all-consuming dieting mentality, I finally had the time and confidence to start my own business, which is flourishing and giving me so much passion and meaning in my life.  

The truth is, dieting took over my life to the detriment of everyone else in it, including my kids and my husband.  I now see how it was not worth it to jettison everything in my life for this one dream of being a particular weight to prove my worthiness to the world.  And to be honest, I actually found my relationship with food tremendously healed from finding my passion as well, because it gave me a clear focus other than food.  

What 2017 goals and hobbies and passions can you explore this year?

If any of the above resonates with you, find like-minded people to explore the anti-diet culture with and immerse yourself around those people to help bring you more along that path.  It doesn’t have to be another deja vu dieting year.  Here are some resources to gently guide you there: 



Jenny Eden Coaching

Food psych podcast


The Body Positive

The Center for Mindful Eating


Thank you so much to Sarah Berneche for the opportunity to guest post on your wonderful blog!  Here’s to a healthy and happy New Year to you all!