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E146: Finding Food Freedom with Alana Van Der Sluys

By September 20, 2023No Comments

In a world where women are constantly bombarded with messages about dieting and striving for a smaller size, it’s easy to fall into the trap of equating self-worth with weight loss. If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, had a complicated relationship with food, or battled negative body image, this episode is a must-listen.

Joining us today is Alana Van Der Sluys, a certified intuitive eating counselor, author, speaker, and eating disorder survivor. Through her platform, Freedom with Food and Fitness, she empowers individuals to heal their relationship with food, weight, and their bodies through intuitive eating and mindset work. Her upcoming book, “Freedom with Food and Fitness,” is set to be released in the spring of 2023.

Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:

  • The misconception that weightlifting will make you smaller
  • What is intuitive eating and how to start
  • How to determine your natural weight
  • The holistic approach to health beyond food
  • The four types of hunger

Alana has a brand new book that is now available for pre-order! Grab your copy now:

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Episode Highlights:

[09:37] What is Intuitive Eating and How to Start

Intuitive eating is an anti-diet philosophy that focuses on honoring your body’s hunger cues and removing restrictive rules around food. Alana emphasizes the importance of removing all diet mindset influences. This includes getting rid of calorie-counting apps, stopping social media followings of diet gurus, and avoiding conversations about “good” and “bad” foods. She also recommends starting by paying attention to true hunger and fullness signals rather than waiting for late-stage hunger. Over just one week, a person can experiment with listening to their body, eating when truly hungry, and stopping when full to gain self-awareness. Intuitive eating is a process that takes mindfulness. It’s about challenging diet culture conditioning and reframing one’s relationship with food as nourishment rather than an enemy.

[19:49] The Holistic Approach to Health Beyond Food

In our quest for longevity, it’s important to remember that there’s more to health than just biohacking and obsessing over our diets. While it’s great to prioritize our well-being, it’s not a moral obligation. The journey towards health encompasses various aspects, including mental health, quality sleep, proper hydration, managing stress levels, maintaining an active lifestyle, and understanding our genetics. Surprisingly, genetics play a significant role, with about 80% of our body shape and size being determined by them. So, let’s embrace a holistic approach to health, recognizing that it goes beyond food and includes all these vital factors for a truly balanced and fulfilling life.

[24:56] The Four Types of Hunger

  1. Biological hunger – True physical hunger where the body needs energy. Signs include tingling extremities, brain fog, lightheadedness, and nausea.
  2. Taste hunger – Wanting to eat because food tastes good. This is a valid reason to eat.
  3. Practical hunger – Eating preemptively to avoid getting too hungry later, like before a long meeting.
  4. Emotional hunger – Eating for non-physical reasons to soothe emotions. Wanting “a chocolate hug.”

Alana emphasizes that all four types are normal. While it’s okay to honor them, the key is distinguishing true biological hunger to avoid overeating by waiting until late-stage hunger signs appear.

Resources Mentioned:

Freedom with Food and Fitness

Book: Freedom with Fitness

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