Keto and Low Carb Success

My Personal Journey with Intuitive Eating

September 07, 2023 Miriam Hatoum Season 3 Episode 66
Keto and Low Carb Success
My Personal Journey with Intuitive Eating
Show Notes Transcript

Episode #66: My Personal Journey with Intuitive Eating

In this week's episode I begin my own personal journey with Intuitive Eating. I reminisce about how I tried Intuitive Eating in the past but was missing most of the important concepts. I took "don't call foods good or bad" or "eat what you want" or "ditch the diet mentality" totally out of concept and only heard "eat all the things". Now all these years later I understand about concepts like honoring hunger and fullness and gentle nutrition, which will make this journey a successful one, albeit bumpy, I'm sure.

Join me for this journey, as I explore what it takes - and what it means - to eat intuitively. 

Please make sure to download the booklet on the hunger scale (resource link below). Once you are on my mailing list you will get a valuable lesson with sides and video that I created for a presentation by other health professionals. 

It is my gift to you in hopes that you will join me on this journey.

Get all my free guides
Take a look at this great course
Join me on Facebook
Follow me on Instagram
Check out Pinterest
And don't forget my book!

Episode #: 66.    My Personal Journey into Intuitive Eating 

You’re Listening to the Keto and Low Carb Success podcast, Episode #66, My Personal Journey into Intuitive Eating.


Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or weigh, measure and track your food? What if you could learn to have success by following an easy roadmap that takes you on adventures from learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, to learning about what foods work best in your body and why? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Conquer Cravings with Keto, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl! 

Be sure to go to to get all the free guides to help you along the way. I am in your shoes, my friends, and I wrote these guides for both of us. The link is in the show notes and transcripts.

Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast and the course is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or service, and I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!

Personal Story

Over the years I have tried many times to follow the Intuitive Eating method. I was never successful. First, I followed the Intuitive Eating program laid out in Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole’s book, “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works,” published in 1995. When I wasn’t having any luck on my own, I worked with two different therapists who were trained in program. I just couldn’t get it. I mean, here is the apex of dieting – the anti-diet – and I still couldn’t do it. 

Many years later I found Dr. Michelle May, author of “Am I Hungry?” This is also an intuitive eating program, but in addition to the 10 principles of intuitive eating that Resch and Tribole laid out, and which I will give you later in this episode, she explained things even further by presenting her Eat-Repent-Repeat cycle. I thought I hit gold when I learned about her program, and not only did I sign up for her self-paced program, but I worked weekly one-on-one with someone trained in her methods.  All I got out of that was a weight gain and feeling even worse about myself. Although any intuitive eating program is not about losing weight, but is about finally letting go of the diet mentality, that experience still shook me up enough to let it go for years until just recently.

Many people, I am sure, find peace with food that these intuitive programs offer. I was not one of them. I wasn’t armed with knowledge of how to work with cravings and urges. I did not understand the science of habits. I had knowledge about hunger and satiety cues but never really put that knowledge into action. I didn’t understand that “you can eat all the things” didn’t really mean I could eat all the things all the time. I didn’t take the time to learn to sit with urges and cravings when they really had nothing to do with hunger. I didn’t know how to listen to my body to see if a certain food didn’t make me feel my best. 

Dr. Suzanne Devkota, an assistant professor in the Cedars-Sinai Division of Gastroenterology has said it best: "For most of us, food is not just nutrition, it's everything—it's social, it's how we bond, how we share ideas, and how we spend time with our families." 

I found that one of the hardest parts can be the difficulty in facing foods we love is this deeper aspect of food.  Intuitive Eating could have been an answer. But with all these social opportunities that presented yummy food, I couldn’t separate the concept of Intuitive Eating from my own concept of eating it all. I knew I was ready to fly the plane but hadn’t studied for a pilot’s license. There is nothing wrong with Intuitive Eating, I just wasn’t ready for it. It seemed like I had the key to unlock the diet prison door, and indeed I did, but I didn’t know how to use it.

 Rhonda Krick, a registered dietitian at Cedars-Sinai, reminds us that "We're all born with the ability to know when to eat and when to stop eating, and also know what is pleasurable and satisfying.” She goes on to say, "However, most of us start to become more disconnected and less trusting of our own internal wisdom with the influence of family, friends, media and diet culture." In this interview, which I have linked in the show notes, she reminds us of the abysmal long-term success rates with regular dieting and she points out that weight gain can actually be one of the side effects of dieting. I can attest to this, and I am sure many others of you can as well.

 One of my favorite expressions is, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.” About 12 years ago I did throw out the baby with the bathwater. What I mean by that, is that I declared that Intuitive Eating – as great as it sounded – wasn’t for me. That was the baby. The bathwater was all the muck I had to wade through in order to learn how to make intuitive eating successful. Now, 12 years later, I have very sparkly and clean bathwater, and am ready to embrace the baby. 

 In this season’s episodes I am going to be exploring my own experience with Intuitive Eating in real time. You will see my struggles, my victories, my questions and maybe even some answers. The hardest part for me will be accepting that Keto and Low Carb eating is part of diet culture and diet mentality – while the very first principle of Intuitive Eating is: REJECT THE DIET MENTALITY. However, that being said, I am also learning more about another principle of Intuitive Eating which is “Gentle Nutrition.” Episode #54 was about that concept, and I have come to realize that eating fewer carbs and certainly less sugar is what makes my body feel its best. This allowed me to justify Keto and Low Carb, but I am also learning that it needs no justification. If eating this way makes me feel my best, then it’s all good.

However, there are many things that make me so afraid to continue with the Intuitive Eating journey. However, I am a brave soul, and I will face those fears and share the experiences with you. I had two fears just yesterday: First of all, I took the batteries out of my scale and put the scale away. In Episode #59 I talked about the lying scale that lies, and talked about how we get so caught up in the number on the scale, that we ignore other victories – called NSVs – Non-Scale Victories, most importantly the victory of how we are learning to eat in ways that make us feel good.  The second fear I faced was an éclair. I had one for dinner last night and it turned out not to be the gateway to binging in secret until I dropped into bed. It may have had something to do with my upset stomach this morning, but I will just say, I ate it and lived to tell about it.

What is Intuitive Eating?

The Intuitive Eating movement began – officially – with Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole’s book, “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works,” published in 1995.  First, and foremost, it is not a diet plan, and they consider it the anti-diet. They do not assume there will be any weight loss if you follow this program, because its main goals are to make peace with food and with your body, not to make you a better dieter so that you lose weight. It is based on ten principles: 

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food
  4. Challenge the Food Police
  5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  6. Feel Your Fullness
  7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Movement—Feel the Difference
  10. Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

 If you have been a life-long dieter, boy does this sound good. And each of the principles, on the surface, is what we dieters yearn for, mostly #3 which is make peace with food.  When I first did Intuitive Eating, I was so focused on the fact that I could have cheesecake at 3AM if that is what I wanted, or French fries every day for dinner, that I did not see the educational and cautionary information that accompanied directions on how to eat this way. 

 If you are interested in Intuitive Eating, make sure you get the fourth edition. In this edition they present everything I apparently missed: coping with emotional eating; meeting your needs with kindness; emotional triggers; and chapters on “Honor Your Hunger” which is Principle 2, and “Feel Your Fullness” which is Principle 6. Principle 10, Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition is where I totally missed the boat – along with not having a clue what my hunger and fullness cues were. I just saw the flashing lights of “No bad foods” “Eat all the things.”

 I wish I had a copy of the original book because it can’t be that I missed so much of what they were offering and instructing. To the Miriam of 2023, Resch and Tribole’s program looks like a full, well-rounded program. I don’t know how I missed it in 1995. Like I said, maybe I just wasn’t ready and thought it would be a quick and easy fix to all my problems without doing the work. Now that I have more awareness, education and understanding all these years later, I am trying it again. Actually, as the saying goes, there is no try. Only do. So I am doing it and I am bringing you along for the ride.

 The Difference Between Mindful Eating and Intuitive Eating

“Mindful eating (that is, paying attention to our food, on purpose, moment by moment, without judgment) is an approach to food that focuses on individuals’ sensual awareness of the food and their experience of the food. It has little to do with calories, carbohydrates, fat, or protein. The purpose of mindful eating is not to lose weight, although it is highly likely that those who adopt this style of eating will lose weight. The intention is to help individuals savor the moment and the food and encourage their full presence for the eating experience.” This is an excerpt from a very interesting article written by Joseph Nelson. It is linked in the show notes and transcript.

Mindful eating is very much what I outlined in Episode 29, Mindfulness Practices, with eating slowly, using your senses and practicing gratitude to help you savor your food and the experience of eating. You use the tool of mindful eating in the practice of Intuitive Eating, but the terms are not synonymous.

Gentle Nutrition

I will be talking more about my own experience with this principle when I come to it. I did talk about it in Episode #54, but when I have reached that principle in my Intuitive Eating journey, I will share my experience. It might be the turning point where I decide I am going to put Keto and Low Carb aside, and move forward only with Intuitive Eating. I still will teach Keto and Low Carb because I think the information about what food does to some bodies is crucial for many people, but my focus may become wider. Actually, it has has, as I have more podcasts on mindset than anything else in the podcast roster. Moving more deeply into Intuitive Eating might be the next logical step. I’m open to any outcome at this point!

Not focusing totally and specifically on Keto and Low Carb is maybe the largest fear I have to face. I often talk about how I am a professional dieter – my god, I turned my business into dieting! And the first principle of Intuitive Eating is “Reject Diet Mentality.” Who will I be if I am not on a diet? 

Yes, I have given a lot of advice and guidance on ways of eating and how ways of eating or eating lifestyles are not diets. However, we – myself included - can turn anything into a diet. Eat this and never that. Eat this much. Count macros. Count calories. Only eat from the food pyramid of the style you are following. What will I name my podcast? 

But for now, all you need to know is that the only foods that should be on the NO list would be foods that are not good for your own body. This can be a hard thing to grasp. At the beginning – 12 years ago - I couldn’t see how not allowing dairy (because I am dairy sensitive) worked with the idea that all foods fit. I was still the rebel asking, “But WHY can’t I eat cheesecake for every meal?”  I understand this now. I had a hard time wrapping my head around it about 7 or 8 years ago.

When you find that you are hungry, ask yourself what you are hungry for. Once you stop all the restrictions – while honoring your body, as in my dairy example - there will be nothing to regret or be ashamed of and no reason to binge or to start over. Easier said than done, but it does make sense.

I’m not beating myself up or even finding fault that I didn’t understand all this when I first tried Intuitive Eating so many years ago. I just need to acknowledge that I did not take the necessary time to learn my hunger and fulness cues. I read about it, and it sounded great, but putting it into practice was another story. That’s why, in every episode of this podcast where I talk about the Hunger Scale, I ask you to put a number to where you are on the scale. Knowing something and doing something are totally different, and in programs like this one, it is absolutely essential that you identify where you are on the scale. If you don’t know when to start eating, when will you know when to stop?

I also did not understand the concept of Gentle Nutrition and so I wanted to eat it all. I hadn’t even heard about keto and low carb in those days – I probably was just coming off another stint with Weight Watchers. I honestly did not understand that food affects hormones, blood sugar, and inflammation and that those, in turn, affect energy, weight loss, and hunger. 

And speaking of weight loss, as I sit here worrying that I put my scale away I have to be very careful of – and one of the reasons Intuitive Eating did not work for me 12 years ago – is that it is not just a way to make you a better dieter. If you take out the first principle, Reject Diet Mentality then the others can help you with other programs you choose to follow, but to truly immerse yourself in the soul and spirit of Intuitive Eating and find peace with food forever, I must not turn this into another diet or rigidly diet while trying to follow the principles.

I must remember that this will not be all rainbows and unicorns. Intuitive Eating looks like the answers to my prayers on the outside, all sleek and shiny and brilliant. But I know from experience and my understanding now, that the personal work to make this a success is far more complex and difficult than following a diet plan. I will be working on cracking the codes like “all foods fit” and “eating to satiety”.  


This week I want you to go to and specifically download “Working with Your Hunger Scale.”  Don’t just download and read the guide. From here on, at least once a day when it is time to eat, put a number to your hunger level. Then, when you are done eating, identify that level as well. Even if you don’t follow me with my Intuitive Eating journey, the secret to never ever again having to weigh, measure or track your food, comes from knowing these numbers. 

As always, the direct link is in the show notes and transcript. And by the way, if you download this resource you will be on my mailing list to receive a very valuable lesson with slides and video called “Understand and Use Your Hunger Scale” that I put together for a package that was presented with other health professionals.

 Next week’s episode

Next week I will continue my journey with Intuitive Eating. I have just completed the exercises in their workbook for the first principle: Reject Diet Mentality. After living with what I have learned for a week, I will let you know my thoughts and experiences. However, that being said, I suspect this will not be a linear journey, so don’t necessarily expect all the principles one week at a time in order. I am sure my journey will be a bumpy as yours!

 I do have a favor to ask of you though. Please subscribe to this podcast and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast. It helps other people find it by bringing it up in the various directories. Also, don’t be a stranger. Come on over to my Facebook page, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, and let me know if there is anything you would like to hear on the show. 

 Please share the podcast with your friends, let them know we are going on an Intuitive Eating journey, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison.

Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time.