Were you a former athlete? Are you confused about food and exercise because of all the misinformation on social media? Do you want to improve your mindset and unlearn past conditioning to live a fuller, more authentic life? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about healing from diets, healthy movement, and listening to your body with Lara Days.


Lara Days is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, yoga instructor, and Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach who is on a mission to dismantle the diet industry and empower people to live their happiest, healthiest, most confident lives! Lara focuses on helping you improve your mindset, unlearn your past conditioning, and trust your body so that you can find food freedom, ditch diet culture, and step into your power! The work we do won't just change your relationship with your body — it will change the way you show up in every aspect of your life.

Visit Lara Days' website and connect on Instagram.

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  • Over-exercising is not healthy 
  • Bodies will - and are meant to - change 
  • Hunger cues are more than just plain hunger 
  • Notice how foods make you feel 

Over-exercising is not healthy 

Sure, you can push yourself in the gym or when you’re training for a personal event like a marathon, a hike, or anything.  However, there is a line between pushing your limits and over-exercising, because over-exercising is a purging behavior and it is not healthy. For example, over-exercising to “make up” for lost days if you are sick is not a healthy behavior. 
The whole idea of compensating for what we eat [through over-exercise] is not only not scientifically sound … More importantly … It is also a disordered eating behavior, and is a sign that there is some healing work to be done when it comes to our relationship with food, movement, and our body. (Lara Days)

Bodies will - and are meant to - change 

It is natural, normal, and necessary for our bodies to change. It is a part of life, a part of aging, and a part of getting older.  People who eat whole food and exercise regularly still have change that happens in their bodies - no one is exempt from change, and so we cannot have our younger bodies for the rest of our lives.  The strong obsession with youth is a societal aspect and not something that you need to believe in or follow in your own life. 
This has been really hard for my clients, and it is understanding that there may or may not even be a reason that our bodies are changing, other than [the fact that] we are aging. (Lara Days)
Learning to love, accept, and care for your body throughout all its changes in your phases of life is much more holistically healthy than trying to always have it look a certain way. 

Hunger cues are more than just plain hunger 

If someone has been dieting for years, they may lose touch with their body’s natural hunger and fullness cues.  This is one aspect of becoming an intuitive eater which is learning how to discern your body’s signals for hunger and fullness.  Some of these hunger cues include:
  • A rumbling stomach 
  • A desire to snack
  • Thirst 
  • Cranky emotions or feeling irritated 
  • Struggling to concentrate 
Usually by the time your stomach is fully rumbling and you are suddenly beyond hungry, that means you may have missed your earlier hunger cues and now you’re ravenous. 
The general rule is that we should be eating something every four to five hours. Depending on your activity level, maybe even more. (Lara Days)

Notice how foods make you feel 

Different food will do different things for - and to - your body. There is no such thing as “bad” food, all food is simply food.  However, instead of demonizing food and then yearning for it, take your meals off a pedestal and give yourself access to it so that it loses that wanting appeal. And then, notice how you feel when you eat it.  Does this food make you feel satisfied? Energized? Bloated? Uncomfortable? Still hungry? Queasy? 
Needing to make changes to our lifestyle doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong, doesn’t mean that’s going to be your lifestyle forever … We’re just trying to figure out … What’s healthy for us, and know that that is different for what it might be for other people. (Lara Days)


Visit Lara Days website and connect on Instagram. INTUITIVE EATING: A DISCUSSION WITH EXPERT ELYSE RESCH | BTB 183 Visit speakpipe.com/behindthebite and submit your comment via voice message! Sign up for the free Behind The Bite Course Practice of the Practice Network Email Dr. Cristina Castagnini: info@behindthebitepodcast.com


I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "Hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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