Questions People Ask:
What is Liberated Eating?
Liberated eating can go by many names - mindful, intuitive, sane, thoughtful, etc. It’s an evidence-based way of eating that’s connected to your body and its messages. It’s eating as we were all born eating - eating when hungry, connecting with our food while eating it, stopping when satisfied, getting on with our day, well-fueled and content. Eating this way is natural, flexible and reasonable.
So…I can eat anything I want, anytime I want it?
There are no good or bad food lists. As liberated eaters we feel free to eat what we would like to eat when our bodies (not our minds) tells us we’re hungry. We eat what we would like to eat, with both pleasure and health in mind. Part of being liberated is having a deep desire to flourish; our choices are shaped by this. We choose food that will energize and satisfy us.
How can I possibly lose weight if I can eat fattening foods and am not limited to low calorie foods?
When we are listening to our bodies, eating when we need fuel, and stopping when gently satisfied, we will not be overeating. There is much research backing this up, which we cover in Workshop.
Certainly some foods have more fuel (kilocalories) per ounce than others but they don’t cause weight gain unless they are overeaten. Foods packaged as “low-calorie” or “diet” are often unsatisfying, leaving us prowling for the foods we really wanted in the first place.
After year of dieting, we must ask ourselves…has eating low calorie foods helped us so far?
How will this work if I’m not weighing myself?
Has weighing yourself often been a successful practice for you? Not for most of us. In fact, it often has the opposite effect because of the emotional reaction it evokes - whether you like the number you see or not.
Stepping on a machine periodically does not cause weight loss. Reconnecting with your wise body and paying attention to your clothes, your overall sense of wellbeing, and your energy level will tell you more than the bathroom scales. Your body always has your highest good in mind and wants to help you be well.
By the way, I don’t tell people they cannot weigh themselves. I just ask each of us to stop and examine this unquestioned practice, the feelings and responses it causes, and how helpful or harmful it has been for us over the years.
How does nutrition fit into this?
As your relationship with food normalizes, your choices will too. As a liberated eater you’ll find that you begin to gravitate toward more nutritious fuel, with small amounts of some other fun-foods thrown in.
When your motivation is to feel great, your choices naturally start to support that goal. Life-giving nutrition will happen because you want it to – not because “you should eat right.”
How long will this whole process take?
This will vary for each person. Most people make significant changes quickly. You really can enjoy quick rewards. That said, the new habits that bring those rewards will need to be maintained over time. Lasting lifestyle change is the work of years, not weeks or months.
Liberated eating is not a “program;” it’s a process – a pilgrimage. The length of your journey depends on many factors, such as: how intentionally you engage in the change process; how regularly you do your personal work; how willing you are to address your relationship with food and body, etc.
The good news is that the work you’re doing here is real and lasting. No more diet-binge-roller-coaster. Consistent peace and vibrant wellness becomes your new normal.
How can liberated eating work if there is no eating plan? Won’t I overeat and gain weight if I’m free to eat anything I want?
Dieting causes a feeling of desperation and loss of control around food. Once your relationship with food has normalized, you will be able to eat moderately. I know this can sound impossible, but it’s true. A huge amount of research backs it up. Again, we cover much of this science in Workshop.
As you begin to trust that you can eat when you’re hungry (no more starving), you will begin to have more peace around food. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy each bite and walk away when you’ve had enough. You’ll come to a place where you don’t feel like you have to “eat it all now.”
When you’re listening to your body, you’ll be eating food that’s satisfying. Diet food usually isn’t. When you’re eating when you need fuel and stopping when you’re gently satisfied, you will not be overeating and you can begin to release weight.
*I often say weight release rather than weight loss. When we lose something, it is usually found again! But when we release something, we expect it to be permanent.