Lorin Cheung is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor helping women, through gentle nutrition coaching, learn to love the skin they’re in. In this feature, Lorin shares insights on achieving a healthier, happier lifestyle.
My family is full of foodies. For example, normal families plan their vacations around landmarks they want to see or museums they would like to visit. My family finds all the local restaurants they want to go to and food they want to try! So, with that upbringing, there was always a passion there.
It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I decided I want to pursue a career in nutrition. Originally, I wanted to be an obstetrician, but I very quickly realized I didn’t like hospital settings. I had to figure out a different career path and found myself in an intro nutrition course. Everything just clicked after that.
Intuitive Eating is a self-care eating framework created by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. According to Evelyn Tribole, the practice of Intuitive Eating is multifaceted and combines instinct, emotion, and rational thought.
The goal of Intuitive Eating is ultimately to shift the focus of healthcare being weight-centered to health-centered. There are many individuals who live in larger bodies that are healthy, and there are individuals who live in smaller bodies with chronic illnesses. Instead of focusing on weight as the sole marker for health, we should be focusing on other markers of health, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and chronic inflammation.
There are ten principles of Intuitive Eating, which are:
Reject the Diet Mentality
Honor Your Hunger
Make Peace with Food
Challenge the Food Police
Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Feel Your Fullness
Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
Respect Your Body
Movement-Feel the Difference
Honor Your Health-Gentle Nutrition
All these principles work together to dismantle previous toxic diet thoughts and focus on body attunement.
The biggest nutritional mistake I see others making is falling into the trap of not eating enough, and then bingeing later.
In the world of dieting, this looks like staying on course the entire day until nighttime, where suddenly something overcomes you and you eat the entire tub of ice cream in your freezer.
Or, being “really good” during the week, and overstuffing yourself on the weekends during a “cheat meal”.
These behaviors often result in feelings of shame. You blame yourself for a lack of willpower, when the reality is that you should be blaming the diet. It isn’t your fault that you couldn’t survive off 1200 calories. You aren’t a 12-year-old!
Stress less: someone once told me that I must think of things in terms of how long it will matter. Will something matter in five minutes? Will it matter in five months? Will it matter in five years?
Stay present and connect more with others: Right now is a weird time where I am constantly connecting with so many people on social media, but not connecting enough with the people in my own home. I’ve been making more of an effort to get off my phone and participate in at least one family activity a night. This may be playing a board game or even sitting down to eat a meal together uninterrupted.
Never stop learning and stay informed: I think as you get older, you tend to harden your thoughts on things and become “stuck in your ways”. But things are not so black and white, so I try to encourage others to have those tough conversations. Even if you feel strongly about something, you should be open to hearing another perspective, especially if it challenges your own.
I am a big fan of podcasts. I enjoy listening to them when I go for walks with my son. It helps the time go by very quickly and I’m able to get some fresh air from being in an office all day.
Some podcasts I am currently into are My Essential Birth with Stephanie King (I am a big birth nerd) and On Purpose with Jay Shetty.