Are my ears burning? Are you ready to partner with an Intuitive Eating coach to support your journey away from fad diets to cultivate real health? Or maybe you’re even just considering it?I am so dang excited for you (and – TBH – proud of you, too. Can I say that?).
Choosing to affirm that you are worthy now, that you deserve to find peace with food and also deserve some help to get there faster and with less frustration is brave, savvy, and downright cool.
In this blog post, I’ll quickly walk you through what Intuitive Eating is, but I’ll spend most of the time guiding you through how to pick the best Intuitive Eating coach to support your unique journey. You deserve to partner with an experienced, expert coach.
(And if you’re new here, welcome! I’m Colleen, Registered Dietitian and Intuitive Eating coach to my group of fabulous clients in my Intuitive Eating program, The SociEATy. And while I’d be honored to be your coach, what is most important to me is that you find the best match for you, your needs, and your personality, even if it is someone else. You deserve an Intuitive Eating coach who is a legit expert and not a wolf in sheep’s clothing…I’ll let you know how to spot the difference, so stick with me).
First off: what is Intuitive Eating?
Quick guide to Intuitive Eating
Before we delve into what it means to be an Intuitive Eating Coach, we need to start at the beginning with what Intuitive Eating is.
Intuitive Eating – abbreviated IE – is a philosophy of pursuing health in harmony with your body’s genetic blueprint, in collaboration with your cultural norms all while honoring your personal values and preferences. It is the opposite of a fad weight loss diet.
Although it is a common misconception that IE is the “eat anything” diet because no foods are forbidden, it is actually an evidence-based practice to nourish your mental and physical wellness. No more food rules, please, and thanks!
To continue your exploration of what IE is, check out this post: Intuitive Eating for Beginners: Start Here.
Does IE work?
Well, it depends on what you mean by “work”…do you mean can you still lose weight? I’m afraid I have some good news and some bad news.
It is r-e-a-l-l-y common for folks to want to eat intuitively…and still seek weight loss.
Sorry Charlie: it doesn’t work that way.
While weight loss can happen so can weight gain and weight maintenance. With Intuitive Eating we aren’t striving to be a specific weight. We’re striving to feel the best in our body both mentally and physically. When ya do that? That’s when you find the weight that your body feels best at and can maintain effortlessly within a range.
And while I 100% get the appeal of seeking weight loss, using the scale as a barometer of health isn’t really measuring that at all. The scale is just tallying up the pull of gravity on your gorgeous self.
Intuitive Eating is a science-backed way to pursue true and lasting health. We are so used to using the scale to measure our health, but it turns out that the scale does a crap job of that. You can actually be healthy at any size (more on that here: Can You Really Be Healthy At Every Size?) and your weight has very little to do with it.
Health is better measured by your habits. Things like how consistently you move your body, your stress levels, if you eat nutritious foods regularly, if you get a good night’s sleep most of the time and if you floss your teeth.
Intuitive eaters tend to be healthier in many concrete and measurable ways. For example, Intuitive Eaters
- Tend to eat more fruits and vegetables
- Have a better body image
- May have higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids
- Have better control of their type 2 diabetes
And that’s just scratching the surface! For more published research studies, check out this round-up.
IE works to pursue real and measurable health. So while I understand being interested in Intuitive Eating and weight loss, they’re not actually team players.
Instead of a bathroom scale lurking in your nightmares, a better team player to work with is an Intuitive Eating Coach. So, let’s chat about that, shall we?
What is an Intuitive Eating coach?
Making the decision to have a coach to support your goals is a great move. You just gotta pick a legit expert who is the right fit for you. It can be a bit like dating, TBH. But with the guidance here, you’ll be able to spot potential red flags quickly and swipe left (bye, Felicia!).
Ideally, you’re working with a coach who is a Registered Dietitian (check!).To become an RD, I had to complete my bachelor’s degree, conquer a 9-month internship and pass a comprehensive national exam (check! Check! And check!).
Here’s where things can get tricky: anyone can call themselves an Intuitive Eating Coach, but only folks who have completed this certification should. (P.S. I have!)
Knowledge is power and the official training that your medical professional has, matters.
Food is a funny thing; it is really common for people to think that they’re nutrition experts because they have explored nutrition and wellness for themselves and found a routine that makes them feel good (at least for a short time). This does not an expert – especially for others – make.
To put this another way, it is kind of like saying that just because you floss your teeth on the regular, you’re qualified to give dental advice to your friends. I don’t think so.
What does an Intuitive Eating Coach do?
How do you know if you need a coach?
While some folks might find that working through the ten principles of Intuitive Eating on their own works, for many of us (myself included), professional help makes the whole process go more smoothly and with fewer setbacks.
In addition, an IE coach can offer an outside perspective. Sometimes our own ideas about food are so entrenched that it is difficult to look at them objectively. Do we make certain decisions around food because it is healthy…or is a food rule taking the wheel?
Are you really “eating healthy”?
Find out just how helpful (or harmful!) your food choices are!
Take this 30 second quiz to find out!
If you’re binge eating, restricting foods, and/or have food rules, an IE coach can be your advocate. Letting these rules and restrictions go can feel very overwhelming and messy; doing this work on your own can add loneliness and isolation on top.
The best IE Coach for you is one with whom you can be open and honest…even about things that might make you feel uncomfortable or ashamed.
How to pick the best IE coach for you
Right off the bat, I’m going to recommend that your IE coach meet a few criteria:
- Be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
- Have completed the Official IE certification program (check here)
- Makes you feel open and comfortable.
If you have a shield up, you won’t make progress as quickly.
Beyond that, it is kind of like navigating new friendships; it may take a bit of trial and error to find the right vibe. Where are you finding the right level of support to keep making progress?
My goal is to be your dietitian nutrition bestie so you feel so comfortable and not judged.
IE coach red flags
Because literally anyone can make a webpage or Instagram handle, sometimes it can be hard to tell who is an expert…and who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you are considering hiring an Intuitive Eating coach, watch out for these red flags:
- They’re not a registered dietitian
- They have NOT completed the official IE certification program (check here)
- They’re promoting weight loss
- They’re advocating for tracking calories, points, macros, exchanges, or servings
- They label food as “healthy” and “unhealthy” instead of just allowing food to be neutral
If you see any or all of the above signs, this is not a true Intuitive Eating coach. Get outta there!
Introducing The SociEATy
Looking for an Intuitive Eating Coach near you?
…Is your pocket close enough?
The SociEATy is the Intuitive eating group coaching program that I wish I’d had when I was in the trenches with disordered eating and desperately trying to break free. I had no clue how to eat like a normal person and was so sick of my food rules and binges taking over my life.
In the SociEATy, you have access to group coaching every single week. I’ll give you a stepwise, structured process to use to bypass the endless eating and bottomless binges phase so many people experience when they “just let themselves eat”. That’s garbage advice..there is WAY more to it. I won’t just let you take a binge-y free fall into the pantry, gorgeous.
I teach you how to do “biological reconditioning” (or refueling your body after dieting) to get your hunger and fullness cues back BEFORE breaking food rules. Otherwise, if you start by breaking food rules without adequately refueling your body the way it needs to be, of course, you won’t know how to stop eating the cookies, the cakes, and the pizza.
(And if you’re wondering if I’ve ever been in your shoes, check out this podcast episode where I hit rock bottom after eating an entire chocolate cake.)
You’ll be learning alongside other SociEATy members, hearing their stories, and drawing on their support so that you find food freedom faster. Diet culture is appealing because of the community, structure, and goals. So it MAKES SENSE that it’s hard to leave behind. I created the SociEATy—the community that actually EATs!—with all the GOOD things dieting has to offer baked in. So you don’t have to free-fall into this new way of life!
Instead of #fitspo, we give you a community of supportive gal pals.
Instead of EXTERNAL goals, we get you in touch with your INTERNAL cues.
And instead of rules, we give you a crystal clear framework to follow.
Dang. I’m so proud of the hard work that the SociEATy members do to find their food freedom.
Are you ready to join? Click here to check things out.
I’m so excited for you. Making a commitment to your true health and wellness is brave, bold, and beautiful. An Intuitive Eating coach can help you to shed the shackles of diet culture more quickly and with less frustration.
Here’s what I recommend next: explore your food rules.
In the quiz above, did you discover that you do, in fact, have food rules? Most of us have had them!
Your next step is to download my 5-step guide (it’s totally free!) to letting food rules go while staying in control. Not only will you have clear and concrete guidance to make progress on your Intuitive Eating journey, but you’ll also get a taste of who I am as an Intuitive Eating coach and how I help my clients to find food freedom.
After reading this post and checking out the complementary resources, are you thinking, “This lady is right for me! I like her!”? Then you can swipe right…I mean, click here, to learn more about The SociEATy.