Why "Listen To Your Body"
Is BS Advice
"Just listen to your body, eat intuitively, do what works for you . . . "
Well intentioned advice for sure, but honestly pretty useless in practice. When we hear advice like this we usually think something like "oh ya, I would like to do that, that sounds good". But then when we actually attempt itwe get super frustrated, we don't know HOW to listen to our body, and it becomes just one more thing we feel like a failure at. I mean it SEEMS like it should be so simple, and then when it's not, we get discouraged, we feel broken, and it's one more diet strategy that just didn't work for us. Back to the drawing board.
Don't get me wrong, I actually think the concepts of listening to your body and doing what works for you are critically important skills for your success in achieving the lasting health and weight loss you're after. In fact, the ability to truly tune in to your body, in my opinion, is the is one of the biggest deciding factors between success and failure in achieving lasting health and weight loss. The reason the advice is BS is because it's literally impossible to just DO unless you've been taught and have practiced the skills necessary to do it.
After years of yo-yo dieting where we are always "prescribing" a plan and TELLING our body what food it will get and when, we have lost the ability to tune and listen to what IT actually needs. Think about your last diet - you had rules about the amount and types of food you were allowed to eat and you probably also had a lot of rules about when you were allowed to eat. That is the opposite of listening to your body. So in order to regain the ability to tune in to the signals of our body we need to learn the tools and practice them.
We spend a lot of time honing this skill in the Healthy Mind Healthy Body Program. If you found the tips in today's episode helpful, I encourage you to hit the link and check it out!
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Listen to your body, do what works for you eat intuitively, it's well intentioned advice for sure. But it's also BS. Now, I know what you're thinking. But Tara, you've said those things before. Yes, I know I have. And I will continue to say those things. But the reason that it's BS advice is because without a way to actually do those things, it's completely useless. It's like saying, just relax more. DUH! We all know we need to relax more. But how do we do that? In this episode, I'm going to take this BS advice and actually make it useful by giving you strategies to get more in tune with your body and what it needs. Let's go!
Welcome back to the no nonsense wellness podcast, the place for women who are trying to do all the things and stay healthy, sane and actually enjoy life in the process. Hey, I'm Tara, a trained therapist, a life coach, a nutrition coach and a fitness instructor. And I'm on a mission to help you take back control of your mind, health and life. Each week, I'll be cutting through the nonsense and getting real with you. I'll bring you the insight and information you need to take control of your weight and health, find food freedom. And finally break free from the thoughts that are sabotaging you and holding you back. You, my friend, are powerful, and the world needs you to start showing up in a bigger way. It's time to get unstuck and start moving forward. So let's pop in those earbuds, tie up those shoes. Let's walk and talk.
Before we get started, I want to remind you that the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program is open right now for registration. It's full of women just like you who are sick of the diet roller coaster, in fact, just sick of diets altogether. They're sick of crazy programs, and they just want to get healthy for good for the last time. So if you want to end overeating and self sabotage and gain confidence in your ability to deal with food and deal with your body and deal with your life, then you should definitely go to Tarafaulmann.com/join to check out the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program and get yourself registered. When you join, you immediately get the full course and you can get started right away. Plus, you have three months of access to me and to our coaching calls. So that I can hold your hand all the way through, you can make some new friends, you can get tons of support and accountability as you go through and deal with the tough stuff and get unstuck. So head to Tarafaulmann.com/join and I'll see you over there.
So being in my profession, I follow a lot of health and diet and fitness people on social media and various places, and like everything, some are definitely better than others. One of the things that annoys me the most is when people give you what I call the advice like stuff where you're like, Duh, I know I should be doing that. But how do I actually do that? Listening to your body advice is one of those things that I hear a lot. Now, don't get me wrong, being able to tune in and be present with your body is a super important skill to learn. And we spend a lot of time in the Healthy Mind Healthy Body Program practicing that skill. Most of us though, after years of dieting have totally lost touch with our bodies and its signals. So then when you get advice, like listen to your body, eat intuitively figure out what you're supposed to do and do it like that's useless advice because we are so out of tune with our bodies. We don't know how to get in tune with them. That makes sense. What it ends up doing is just leaving us feeling super frustrated. You probably feel like there's something wrong with you because you can't figure it out. And we just stay confused and stuck. So I thought today it would be useful to share with you some of the how, how do I tune into my body? How do I listen to my body? How do I eat intuitively? How do I listen to my body signals? Grab a paper and some pen, you're definitely going to want to write this stuff down.
So learning how to tune into your body is a skill. Being aware of things like hunger and fullness cues, emotions and how that connects to your eating, stress all the things this skill can be learned. Understanding your body and being able to tune into it and your mind for that matter is a skill that can be learned. Learning this skill is one of the biggest differences between people who struggle with diet and exercise their whole life and people who develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies and fitness. For me, understanding this skill is the game changing thing. This is not something that comes easily this requires practice. And it requires time just like any skill that we would learn. That's why we spend so much time on this in the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program, because it truly is, to me the deciding factor between: Are you going to go on another failed diet, or is it going to really work this time, we have to know how to tune into our body and how to understand it. However, learning these skills can be extremely difficult for most people. Again, because we are so out of tune from our body, we've been prescribing diets and eat this, don't eat that only eat this only eat here, don't eat now only eat that, right we have all these rules that we've given ourselves these arbitrary rules, that we forgot how to listen to our body.
Actually learning this is really, really hard. That's why I coach, it's so much easier to do this with a coach, a coach to guide you to give you a framework to give you the tools to give you feedback to help you identify your blind spots as you go. So if you feel like you're one of these people, which is honestly most of us who was like I don't know how to tune into my body, I'm so lost, then you are definitely going to want to seek out coaching and healthy mind Healthy Body Program is the way to do that. Strategy number one is to just ask yourself some checking questions. So we're just taking a pause, checking in with ourselves, and seeing what the answers are.
The first way you're going to check in is before you eat, you're just simply going to ask yourself, Am I hungry? This is really powerful. If you just take this moment before you start shoving food in your face, to just ask, Am I hungry? Now one of two things are gonna happen you are they're gonna decide, yes, I am hungry, therefore I shall eat or you're gonna decide, oh, wait, maybe I'm not hungry. So why do I have this bag of chips in my hand? That's going to open up a whole new set of questions, you can start asking yourself to explore, why am I reaching for these chips if I'm not actually hungry, it just creates a buffer, a little buffer space between the thought and the action so that you can make a conscious choice to eat. So the first thing asking yourself before you eat, am I hungry? The second thing is, while you're eating, ask yourself, have I had enough? This is a really important tool again, for the exact same reason you're creating a little buffer space, so that you can consciously make a choice, right? Lots of times we just sit, we put a bunch of food on our plate. And we just start eating and eating and eating until the plate is empty. We haven't really checked in it. Have I had enough? Is this enough food? Is this too much food? Is this not enough food, we haven't really checked in and ask ourselves those things. So while you're eating, you're simply going to pause, maybe mid meal, and just ask yourself, have I had enough and then your body takes a little time to get those signals to your brain. So you have to make sure you're giving it enough time in order to do that. But this is two super easy questions, super easy things to do. But if you start incorporating that, that will keep you tuned in to your body and what it's actually telling you make sense.
Okay, the second strategy is to tune in a little closer to these two things. So the first thing we're going to do is eat slowly. And when you're eating your meals, you're just going to focus on slowing down. Now it takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes for those signals in your body to get to your brain to say, Oh, hey, we've had enough food. So if you're eating all of your food in less than 10 minutes, you might be really over eating, but you won't know until it's too late. So when you're going to slow down, and consciously purposely eat your food. Now while you're doing this, or after a wait, ask yourself some questions like, were you able to slow down? What were you thinking about? While you were trying to slow down? What were the thoughts that were going through your head? Were they helpful or unhelpful? Was it hard to eat slow?
How did you feel about your food choices? Because now you're taking a lot longer to sit there and eat? And you're gonna have a lot of thoughts about the food you're eating? What were your thoughts about that food? What were the strategies that you used in order to slow down maybe you put your fork down between every bite or you took sips of water or you had more conversation with your family or you sat at a table instead of on the couch? Like, what were the strategies that you employed to eat slower and did they work?
Okay, the second one, along this same line as tuning into your body while you're eating. You're going to eat to 80% Full now this goes along with the asking the question Have I had enough the only way you're going to know is if you're eating to 80% Full is if you practice eating to 80% Full you have to get an idea I have what's 100%? Full? What's too full? What's just under full? Right? What's still hungry? These are signals that you are probably not at all in tune to right now. So it takes practice. So asking yourself that question and strategy number one, have I had enough that is going to help you keep on track with stopping at 80%. So when you try to do this, you're going to ask yourself some questions was eating to 80% hard? Why was that hard? What does 80% Full feel like in your body? This is the key question. This is the one you're going to practice asking yourself while you're doing this. And after you do it, what does 80% Full feel like? So again, you need to understand what is full feel like? What does overfall feel like? What is at present for you? Like? What are your thoughts and feelings while you are deciding to stop eating? So if you decide Hmm, I think I'm 80% full. And then you're looking at your plate you're like, but that was so good. Oh, my gosh, it was so yummy. One more bite just one more.
I didn't finish this. I hate to waste it. Like what are your thoughts? When you decide to stop eating? That's gonna be really important for you to tune into. Are you having some self sabotage thoughts? Are you having some limiting beliefs, maybe some things coming up from childhood, like the clean plate club and starving children in China, like whatever it is, the messages that you were given as a kid, I want you to pay attention when you decide I've had enough. And I'm not too over full, what are the things that come up for you pay attention.
Strategy number three, we're getting a little more in depth, and each strategy gets a little more in depth. So Strategy three is assessment journaling. So the old adage of you can't change what you aren't aware of applies here. This is raising your assessment level of what's going on for you. And we're going to do some assessment journaling. So I have tons of tools and assessments that I offer as a coach, but if you're doing this yourself, we're just going to start with something real simple. All you need as an empty piece of paper, okay. And then you just need a commitment to collect this data about yourself. So what you're going to do is take that piece of paper, you're going to divide it into three columns. The first column is what I ate. The second column is what was I feeling and thinking. And the third column is how did my body feel. So I recommend doing this as part of your 24 hour food plan. If you haven't listened to that, I think it's episode 47. I'll link it in the show notes. But just look for 24 hour food plan. And I recommend doing this with that food plan and you are going to it's going to be life changing for you if you commit to doing that regularly.
Okay, so what I ate, let's talk about that section. That's pretty simple, right? You're just gonna write down whatever it was that you ate, you don't need a mount you don't need, you know, I did, you don't have to weigh it. You don't have to measure it, right. Just like I had a turkey sandwich with some carrots, whatever it was. So on that piece of paper, the first section is pretty simple what you ate. So let's say you ate a bag of chips. Okay, you're gonna write that down.
And then the second section is what were you thinking and feeling? So before, during and after? So what were you thinking before? Like, oh my gosh, I really want these chips. What about during? Were you like, Oh, these chips are so delicious. And then after? Oh, no. Why did I eat all those chips? Right? Were you hungry before you ate those chips? Or was it something else? Were you bored? Were you stressed? Are you avoiding? Were you buffering? What was going on? Did you make a conscious choice to eat those chips? Or did you just stuff things in your face? And you weren't really thinking about it? Did you stop before you were full? Or did you just keep eating the chips? Like it didn't matter? Did you feel in control while you were eating the chips? Did you feel out of control while you were eating the chips? Like we're digging in. I know you're like, oh my gosh, Tara was just a bag of chips. Well, whatever it was, it could have been an entire sleeve of Oreos, I have no idea. But I want you to be aware of what's happening in your brain, when you are eating, why you're doing it and how you feel about it and what you think about it afterwards. Okay.
So the third section then is how does it feel in your body? So once you're done eating that thing, I want you to think about Am I satisfied? Did I feel like I got what I needed in my body, your body will send those signals to your brain. Did you get hungry again really soon after? Or did that meal last you a long time. So if you're eating a sleeve of Oreos, you probably got a sugar spike and then you go real hangry right. So I want you to pay attention to those things. Maybe you had some physical sensations like maybe your stomach hurt or you got a headache or your energy crashed, like pay attention to your body. So if you didn't figure it out yet, here's what's happening on this journal page. You are Connecting food to emotions and thoughts and to your body. And you're getting really minute and how you're tuning into those things. This is going to give you so much information about what it is you're doing and why you're doing it.
And this is how you listen to your body. These are the strategies that you can employ to actually make this happen. So now when you're scrolling through social media, and you see some advice, like tune into your body, eat intuitively well, you'll know that that's super BS advice, unless you actually have tools to do that. And so you can come back to this episode, and actually use these tools. I hope that was super helpful for you today. If you have a friend that you think might benefit from listening this podcast, there is some great ways that you can share, head to iTunes or Spotify and review this podcast that helps more people see it so more people can get some help and some tools that they need. You can share it on your Instagram, take a screenshot put it in your stories and tag me that will help more people see it and just share it any way you want. Text it email it whatever, share all the links. I sure do appreciate you guys doing that. Alright, until we talk again friends
be well. Hey, friends, thanks so much for being here. If you found value in today's episode, will you do me a favor and head over to iTunes? Find the no nonsense wellness podcast and subscribe and leave me a review. It would mean the world to me and help other people find the show. And I'd love to connect with you more. So find me on Instagram I'm @tarafaulmann. Take a screenshot of this episode and share it in your stories and tag me. I'll see you over there.