Are you addicted to food? Here is why defensive eating may be more helpful for your weight loss than intuitive eating.
Have you heard the phrase “intuitive eating”? That may be ok for the skinny salad-eaters out there, but how do you really conquer a lifetime of overeating and food addiction?
In the spirit of Superbowl season and the American obsession with football, it is fitting to share the closest I come to an ode to football. Yes, here is what football taught me about weight loss.
Let me introduce the concept of defensive eating to you. After all, if some football analysts and pundits have been widely known to unequivocably state that “defense wins championships“, then why can’t defensive eating help you win at weight loss?
Defensive eating is how I lost weight for life. Before you grab the nearest donut, let’s discuss why defensive eating may be a better solution for your weight loss than intuitive eating.
In order to compare defensive eating to intuitive eating, we have to understand first what intuitive eating means. Experience Life shares that the term intuitive eating indicates a nutritional strategy that rejects dieting in favor of psychological awareness. My health heroine, Michelle May, designed a whole curriculum of programs around the Am I Hungry wheel for mindful eating.
While I can appreciate the mindful eating approach today, I doubt I would have jumped on this as a morbidly obese girl.
Don’t get me wrong- I am all about rejecting diets. After all, none of my programs require counting anything- other than lost pounds 🙂 Yet, my love for overeating was not so easily overturned.How do you eat #mindfully when you are addicted to food? Consider this approach instead... Click To Tweet
Defensive eating, on the other hand, is gobbling up your favorite food before anyone else can get their grubby paws on it. I did this a lot as a plus size girl. As the youngest of 4 children, it was kill or be killed. Eat or…don’t eat.
Urban Dictionary even has a “legit” definition for it here.
The way I see it: Defensive eating is being proactive about sating hunger.
Ah, but isn’t it dangerous to eat before you’re hungry? Doesn’t that lead to overeating? No!
Here’s an example. You are ready to go out to a party with your friends at your favorite restaurant. This restaurant has the most mouth-watering food you have ever enjoyed. They also serve the most delicious cocktails known to man. You are ready to do justice to that restaurant.
Hold up. Before you leave your house to meet your friends, snack on something healthy. It could be raw veggies with some hummus, some pretzels with peanut butter, or even a small smoothie made with yogurt or milk. Keep it to about 200-300 calories and don’t forget the protein.
In fact, Dr. Ronald Hoffman of Intelligent Medicine even stresses that defensive eating can help you handle your food addiction. Many women that I connect with self-identify as “addicted” to foods like sugar, carbs, and even soda. I don’t know that I was addicted to sugar, but I sure ate a lot of it!
Here are 3 ways that defensive eating can help you lose weight:
- You will not be tempted to eat from the breadbasket or order an appetizer
- You will choose healthier entrees or split with a friend
- You will limit your drinks or order lower calorie drinks
The best thing about defensive eating is how easy it is! All you have to do is commit to eating at specific times during the day, and keep your snacks handy. Because the snacks are small, they should fit in your purse. Perfect for your on-the-go lifestyle.
How often should you eat? That depends on how long you are awake and how often you feel hunger. My sweet-spot is every 3-4 hours. Here is what a typical day might look like:
- Wake up at 5:30 am
- Eat breakfast of egg muffins around 6:30
- Eat second breakfast of oatmeal with nuts and berries around 10:00
- Eat lunch of grilled chicken, cabbage, and rice around 1:30
- Eat dinner of tilapia, sweet potatoes and asparagus around 5:30
- Eat small snack of plain Greek yogurt with nuts around 9:00
- Go to bed around 10:00
Another benefit to eating more frequently throughout the day is that it may help you with muscle mass. US News shares that eating up to 6 times a day may help you maintain more metabolism-revving muscle mass than you would if you ate less often, according to a 2015 study published in Nutrition Research.
If you still feel weird at the idea of eating before you’re hungry, here’s some food for thought: Have you ever eaten until you are so stuffed you can’t breathe? How did that work for you?
Go defense! One of the hardest parts about eating more frequently throughout the day is preparing the right foods to support your needs. Which is why you might want to grab one of my meal plans. You can choose from standard, gluten-free, or vegetarian. All for only $7 each. Grab one or grab all 3, and get cooking!