#005: How to find the foods that work for you

Click to listen on:


It’s time to find a way of eating that feels great!

With so many—often conflicting—messages about how to follow the “correct diet,” it can be tricky and confusing to find the foods that support you and feel nourishing, energising and sustainable.

In this episode you’ll learn the simple steps to discover the foods that work for you. It will be a key step in tuning into your body, mind and emotions which will directly help you move away from binge eating and overeating.

You’ll be offered a simple tool that will help you find which foods feel great! 

Click here for your free info sheet and start finding your Feel-Good Foods.

View the full episode transcript

The aim is always to create a connected, engaging and fulfilling life, however that looks for you. No one else can tell you what that life looks like—only you know. And I’m in no way suggesting that it requires absolute, food-police-style eating-perfection. In fact, letting go of the expectation of perfection can be crucial in stopping bingeing and overeating.

Welcome to the YoYo Freedom Podcast.

This is the place to learn actionable, step-by-step tools and strategies to help you stop bingeing or overeating and start feeling relaxed and confident around food, 

so that you can show up for your life on your terms.

I’m Gemma Keys and I know first hand what it’s like to feel out-of-control around food and trapped in the pain of binge eating and body-shame.

There is a way out. 

Keep listening to discover your path to food freedom.

Hello and welcome. It’s always wonderful to have you here.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at finding the foods that work for you

  • the foods that will help you feel good,
  • help you stop bingeing or overeating,
  • and (if this is something you want to do) it’ll also automatically help with losing any extra pounds you’d like to get rid of.

In the last episode we looked at how to gather data about where you are with eating right now so that you can map your progress as you move away from binge eating or overeating and toward a nourishing and sustainable place of feeling relaxed and confident with the food you eat.

For many of us, feeling nourished, energised and fueled by what we eat is a great idea—but who on earth knows how to make it happen or even what it looks like! 

Now I’m guessing you know quite a few different people who profess to have found the absolute right thing to be eating, think it’s the holy grail and try to convert everyone else, including you, into doing exactly the same.

And I’m for sure not dissing them—they might feel great and look great and have found what works for them—and that’s truly wonderful.

But just maybe it’s not the full picture, and might not be exactly what you need.

At this point, l have to confess that I was one of the people who always thought that what I was doing was the only right thing … and I would talk about it … alot. 

The thing was, what I considered to be the only right thing changed a lot too cos I never quite got to where I wanted to be and I was a sucker for the latest spin.

Whether it was a new slimming club, juicing, vegan, keto, supplements or meal replacements, I was up for it 100% … at least to begin with. 

And, I’m embarrassed to say, I know for sure I got really boring talking about it … because it took up so much of my brain space.

One thing I can tell you for sure—I NEVER want to taste another sugar free jelly or low fat, artificially-sweetened, flavoured yoghurt EVER again! I HATE THEM but I didn’t used to notice that cos I was doing what I was told I should enjoy. 

If you’ve ever wondered what you might have achieved with the time taken up on a preoccupation with food and diets, well … me too.

But here is what I’ve learned—different things feel good and work for different people. There is no Right Way that suits everyone.

Let me give you an example that’s nothing to do with bingeing or overeating. 

My brilliant brother is a health care professional and works in a pretty stressful environment. After a long shift, he used to get home and drink a big glass of orange juice or squash to rehydrate and begin to wind down. 

He felt tired which was understandable after a long day. And he felt a bit headachy, but he chilled out, went to bed and thought nothing of it.

A few years later, the opportunity came up to take a food intolerance test and—you guessed it—oranges were high on the list. 

How weird right? Oranges! 

Well, he’s not one to be convinced of these things without testing them, so test it he did. 

  • When he drank the orange juice or orange squash or ate oranges he felt wiped out, a bit off, and got a headache. 
  • When he drank something different, he might still be tired, but it was a natural fatigue and there was no odd feeling of icky-ness or headaches. 
  • It kept happening and he stopped with the orange.

For most people I’m sure, oranges—no problem. I can’t imagine national health advice will ever recommend stopping eating oranges.

And the reason I Iove that story is that one food—oranges—wasn’t right for my brother. BUT that doesn’t mean eating oranges is wrong for everyone. Loads of people feel great with an orange!

Which is why it’s so important to be open to finding the food that feels good for you, that feels good in your body and for the life you want to be living.

That attunement will serve you so well as you begin to craft a way of eating that feels supportive, nourishing and sustainable, and that allows you to realise your goals. 

And no—any changes you decide on don’t have to happen straight away or all at once, and you certainly don’t need to be 100% perfect or have another list of good-foods and bad-foods. 

The aim is always to create a connected, engaging and fulfilling life, however that looks for you. 

No one else can tell you what that life looks like—only you know. And I’m in no way suggesting that it requires absolute, food-police-style eating-perfection. In fact, letting go of the expectation of perfection can be crucial in stopping bingeing.

Rather, it’s the very exercise of noticing that’s so powerful and that will eventually lead you, naturally & intuitively toward eating more of the foods that feel good and less of the ones that don’t—perhaps without you even realising in the moment.

If you’re wondering how to find the foods that feel great versus those that don’t, we’re moving onto that now.

And a quick heads up—there’s no need to take notes as I have an info sheet ready for you and I’ll point you to it at the end of this episode.

The first thing to do is to increase your awareness of how you’re feeling—to tune in and notice how your body or mind are responding at different times.

Even if—like I was—you’ve been used to blocking this awareness out, or overriding it with a series of rules. Those rules might turn out to have a little wriggle room for reinterpretation which will allow you to become aware of foods or meals that feel good—nourishing, sustaining, energising, revitalising and enjoyable. 

At the same time, you’ll begin to notice the immediate or longer term impact of foods—whether that relates to energy, mental clarity, physical comfort, sense of satiety, urges and cravings, or emotions.

Now, I know that’s a little general and non-specific, so I’m going to offer some parameters to track, which you’ll also find in the info sheet that you’ll be able to download.

I like to use a simple scale from 1—5 for this process. 

And I recommend checking in and recording the data at the time you eat, 15 minutes after you finish eating, and a further hour or two after that.

That’s because food can feel very different in our bodies over time, and there’s so much important data to be gathered over that time.

Over time, you’ll be able to use the insight you gain to spot when an urge to binge or overeat might be coming, and to identify any potential triggers, for example being overly hungry before you eat.

So this really is worthwhile!

These are the categories to rate from 1—5 at those times I mentioned—when you’re eating, 15 minutes after you’ve eaten, and another one to two hours after that:

The first is Mental Clarity, where 1 = a low ability to formulate thoughts, perhaps being distracted, experiencing brain fog or that thought-brick-wall that stops you formulating ideas or solutions; and where 5 = clear, sparky, focused thinking.

The second category is Energy, where one = very low energy, sluggishness, fatigue or even sleeping, and where five = feeling ready to go, vibrant, energised and up for the next part of your day.

The third category is Physical wellbeing, where one = physically uncomfortable—perhaps with bloating, stomach pain, a headache, reflux, gas or another physical symptom you don’t enjoy, and where five = a sense of comfort and ease in your body.

The fourth category is Mood and emotions, where one = feeling low or bad—perhaps down in the dumps, agitated or anxious, or beating up on yourself, and where five = feeling as though your emotions are supporting you and suitably reflect your current situation.

This last one can sometimes be a tricky one, but give it a go. It’s Satisfaction—in other words, your level of satiety, where one = wanting more food and wanting it now—which may look like urges to eat more, cravings for a specific food, or even a gnawing hunger that doesn’t seem to be satisfied, and five looks like being replete and not wanting any more food.

And if the thought of comfortable satiety seems way off because you’ve experienced overeating or bingeing until you’re really uncomfortable, stay tuned as we’ll be talking more about hunger and fullness very soon.

A question that might well be coming up now is something along the lines of … But I eat all the time, how can I tell the effect of different individual foods on me?

Oh my goodness, I hear you and I’ve been there. 

I’ve found that focusing on the very first snack or meal of the day is the best place for most people to start.

That’s because there’s likely to have been a period of time when you’ve been sleeping and not eating, so it’ll be easier to tune into your experience when you do eat.

And also because breakfast, or breaking that night-fast—at whatever time the first meal of your day is—is often the simplest meal or snack of the day too.

Now, if this is all feeling a bit like self-flagellation and you’re tempted to start beating yourself up already, I really encourage you to go back and listen to episode 3, How to Quieten That Inner Shouty Critic. 

In that episode, you’ll hear how to gently shift out of coming down really hard on yourself so that you can move toward a greater sense of openness and curiosity which, I promise, will help you so much as you end the bingeing and overeating.

And, in the next episode, we’re going to talk more about how to uncover the reason that you’re turning to the foods you wish-you-weren’t-eating—so that you can get really clear where to focus to gain the biggest impact.

So, as promised, I’ve prepared an info sheet you can download that lays out the categories we’ve just been through and that you can use to tune in and discover how different foods feel in your body and brain. 

Just go to the show notes at yoyofreedom.com/5 and a link to the info sheet is waiting for you.

To wrap up, this episode has been all about how to find a way of eating that’s right for you—that supports you in the way you want to show up in the world. 

I’ve invited you to shift your focus inside so that you can listen carefully to the messages your body, your brain and your emotions are sending, so that you can cut through the multiple and often conflicting messages around what the “correct way of eating” is and, instead, find out much more about what the most supportive way of eating for you might look like for you.

That’s it for today’s episode. Thank you for listening.

I hope you’ve found this episode helpful. Subscribe to The YoYo Freedom Podcast for more insight, tools and support as you pull back from bingeing, overeating or yoyo-dieting and step into your most authentic, vibrant life.

And, if you liked what you heard, it would be wonderful if you’d take a moment to rate this podcast on whichever platform you listen on.

Thank you so much! And Bye-bye for now.

Click here to listen

Links mentioned in the episode

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or psychological condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top