Enjoy food without guilt and conquer emotional eating with intuitive eating coach Kiki Athanas. Learn how to overcome food obsession and enjoy freedom with Kiki’s incredible 3 step process.

How To Conquer Emotional Eating & Enjoy Food

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Enjoy food without guilt and conquer emotional eating in 3 steps with intuitive eating coach Kiki Athanas. Learn how to overcome food obsession, honor hunger, and enjoy healthy nutritional freedom.


  • Kiki’s journey in founding the Gut Brain Integration Method
  • The reality of living with and overcoming orthorexia
  • Definitive steps to shift your mind away from food obsession
  • Life-changing healthy eating habits for moms 


Do you want to learn more about the 3-step process women use to find a sense of calm in their gut? Sign up and get instant access to Kiki’s masterclass video at https://www.kikiathanas.com/masterclass-gutbrain to retrain yourself to honor hunger and enjoy the food that you eat.


Kiki Athanas specializes in working with women to free themselves from emotional eating & non-stop thinking about food. She created the Gut Brain Integration Method to help women master their hunger & satiety cues without meal plans, intermittent fasting, or “mindful eating.” She worked with hundreds of women to ditch all the complicated food rules and shed any excess weight they were holding.


Website: Kiki Athanas: https://www.kikiathanas.com/

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?I remember when I would do diets and you know, even my mom, she’s like, how can you, do you even enjoy that? And I would just look at her and be like, who the hell cares if you’re following certain things and not able to really check in with, okay, how is this making me feel regardless of someone told me on Instagram that is supposed to make me feel great.
Are you tricking yourself into just accepting the information that you’ve been taught or. Time to playing it and acting with curiosity of it. Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast with DIY Healthy Lifestyle blogger Ahna Fulmer empowering you to transform your life one imperfect day at a time.
Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I’m your host, Ahna. Today we have Kiki Athanas on the show. Kiki is the creator of the Gut-Brain Integration Method. It’s a program that empowers women to conquer emotional eating and enjoy food without guilt. She has helped hundreds of women enjoy food freedom.
Welcome, intuitive Eating Coach, Kiki Athanas. Hello. I don’t know why my video isn’t going on. Let’s, oh, there we go. Hi, how are you? Hello. Nice to meet you. Lovely to meet you. Oh my goodness. I love the flowers in the back. You actually, we have very similar flowers. Oh gosh. I love it. . You look gorgeous. Yeah.
These are fake flowers. This is my. My minimalistic crop set up . I wish these were fake because they’re dying pretty darn quick and they were expensive, so I can barely keep my children alive. plants are like, forget it. . I’m going Fake. . Welcome to the show. It’s so fun to have you here. I love what you do.
It’s such a specific, I’m excited to dig into it because when we talk about health and wellness, it is such a broad, Sweep. Yeah. And there’s so many specific things that could be talked about, but I feel like this is next level notched down, which I absolutely love because it’s something that is so prevalent among women, especially the struggle.
So I’m excited, but I like to press the Rewind button and tell me a little bit about your story and how you even got to. This place in life where you’re an intuitive eating coach? Yes. Thank you for asking. Well, I think like most health and wellness coaches, we teach what we needed to heal, and so for me, I developed the term for it.
It’s orthorexia. And so I had essentially disordered eating for about a decade in my life, ever since university. I think I went along the journey that a lot of us, as women do. It’s like, oh, like I’ll start. Eating a little bit better, exercising a little bit better, and that was amazing cause it was all coming from a place of love and care for myself.
But then once you start kind of getting all the compliments around, oh, like you look so great. And then. Being a perfectionist and being quite an A type, I couldn’t just stop there. I wanted to really like run with, it just started to consume my life and I no longer could function. I was just so obsessed with what I was eating, what I wasn’t eating, and so I knew that I had disordered eating for a while, but to be honest, I was like, I don’t even care.
Like I’m skinny. I’m hot, like all good, like I’ll deal with this later. And it wasn’t until I started binging, or, and I had very debilitating I b S, where I like literally just couldn’t leave my house anymore, that I was like, okay, you know what, maybe just eating like a normal person might work for me and I’m gonna try it.
And so I tried the whole like intuitive eating thing, but I couldn’t really. It still felt very fluffy for me and vague, and I didn’t wanna give up the fact that I still wanted to be slender and I still wanted to be healthy. And so eventually I found this method, which now I called the Gut Brain Integration Method, and it really worked for me to just hone back into my hunger and satiety, and I started sharing it with friends and family because I think we all know someone who’s struggling with just.
Eating issues and it went over quite well. And so for the past three years now, I’ve been coaching women both in one-on-one and in group settings on the method. And it’s interesting cuz it works, so to speak, for people that are more on kind of the restrictive side, which is where I started, but also with people that just feel like, oh my goodness, like I feel like all I do is eat and I’m so consumed with food and I’m an overeater.
We think that those two categories of people are like so different, but it’s really not. It’s that they’re out of touch with their gut, whether they’re using food to buffer from themselves or they’re using the emptiness to buffer from themselves, right? So yeah. I love the fact that you’re especially focused on the concept of orthorexia, or as you said, disordered eating.
Because I think we often have in our head, you know, we have anorexia, we have bulimia, we have certainly eating disorders that are more common when we think about disordered eating. But I think the piece that’s so important that you have pointed out is something that I have seen is you can be really fit and you can even be in a very.
Healthy fitness program. Where I’m going with that is the program that I coached for several that I have coached for several years. Fast rate of fat loss, has a very excellent nutritional approach. It’s the reason I coached for them. However, you can still have orthorexia and be in an incredibly healthy.
Program or even have like healthy principles being given to you. And the reason that I say that is I think it’s the obsession with eating that is specifically being targeted here and the mindset, and I think that’s important for people listening is I think orthorexia is a lot more insidious, it’s more ambiguous, where like anorexia and bulimia has a much more obvious disorder.
Yeah. But Orthorexia, I would argue that many women struggle with and have never acknowledged it to the point where it actually needs intervention so that they can think less about food. I say this to my clients all the time. We’re going to think more about food initially. Yep. In this program to help you reevaluate.
But the goal is to then recreate your baseline so that you can think less about food and enjoy. Food freedom. I love that this is the focus cuz I just think women need to really do some self-evaluation here. So tell me a little bit about your mindset in disordered eating, because again, I wanna target some of those thoughts and the feelings that hindsight vision is 2020, but I think there’s a lot of women who are actually there now and may not even recognize it.
So tell me a little bit about that. Like what kinds of things were you thinking, what is sort of inherent to orthorexia? Yeah, and I’m so happy that you asked because it is like a nuance, right, and with anorexia. And men too. Men too, by the way. Absolutely. Men too have this as well. Absolutely. You’ve lost a hundred pounds and now you’re obsessed.
Totally. I do think though, that it’s more. Common in women and especially cause for instance, you know, women, we work on 30 day cycles, hormonal cycles, right? Yeah. So it’s like we can’t really follow one particular plan forever, right? Not that any man can either. But I think it’s biologically it’s easier for men to just maybe like go low carb and do these things.
Whereas for women, like our, even our approach to nutrition and eating actually needs to fluctuate and change. Yeah. And so, and societally marketing in our society markets women’s appearance. We have monetized the female body. So for so many reasons, to your point, absolutely. This is something. I would say many more women struggle with than men.
Exactly. Anyways, I interrupted you, but I do agree. So in terms of sort of the mindset, it’s really interesting, I can talk about this now because I actually eat very similar and do very similar things in terms of activity and all that jazz. As when I was super in my disorder, and yet now I’m still, all of those outcomes are still there, but it’s coming from a place of calm, love, respect, responsibility for myself versus if you are doing these things and it feels like an out-of-body experience, it feels like all you do is think about food you’re obsessing about.
You are always second guessing yourself. Okay, wait, no, should I have this? You have to always like double check. Well, is it better if I have like lower carp right now, or more carp? Do you feel like it’s just, it’s adding stress, right? And you feel like you have to rearrange your schedule around everything?
Like, I would book appointments based on, oh no, like I have to eat at this point. Oh no, I can’t go out that night because I’m gonna, you know, I don’t wanna be tempted to possibly eat. Essentially it’s like, you know, deep down that you think about food more than the average person should, and you start to almost like, Are jealous or I was gonna say hate but kinda you feel jealousy towards those people that just arrive at a restaurant and you know, are like I’m quite hungry.
I think this looks delicious, and they eat it. And you as someone who’s truly in this prison of a diet or just the prison of the mind as it relates to food. Oh my God. Like how is that possible? You see people with. Good relationships with food, which is honoring hunger, you know? And that does mean also, you know, waiting for hunger, but then of course honoring it when it comes up.
The people that can tend to push food away, like, oh no, actually I’m not hungry. Whereas you, it’s like if you were. You know, given that opportunity, if you allowed yourself to eat, you feel like you go crazy, right? I really recognize when I was in my disorder, you could see it, the people that were in it and the people that weren’t, and the people that weren’t, could just sort of honor and respect their bodies.
And I remember just feeling so jealous of them. I’m like, oh my God, like. You’re just not going to eat that because you’re like not hungry. It’s not, cause it’s a, you know what I mean? And so, and the good news is that we can all get back there. Like there’s, yeah. You know, we have stomachs for a reason, we have visceral sensations.
But I would say those are like the key things. when you’re, yeah, that was said very well. I definitely struggled with this a little bit. I think in college I never had eating disorders. I had several friends who did, but I think part of it too is, so I’m 36 and I think there’s generational trends with nutrition as well.
I grew up in a home that was like, Low fat was the thing, because that’s what we thought prevented high cholesterol and we have a heart disease genetically in the family. So that was something, you know, at least nutrition. nutritional principles were being brought into the home. The problem is, and this is no fault to my parents cuz we didn’t even really have this education as much, but it’s like then you sort of have this slightly warped understanding of what actually is beneficial nutrition for your body.
And I think I just under fueled more often than not. And then I was an athlete in college and I’ve had other people on the podcast here. It is shocking the lack of. Education that you are given, even elite athletes in college on nutrition, how much protein should they actually be eating? The quality of the protein that they’re eating.
So I look back in college and I actually think a lot of my one, I was so hungry all the time, which fed in because my metabolism was high. You know, I was a runner, so I was kind of the binge restrict a little bit, and it’s not even like I had a terrible view of my body, it was more just I didn’t. Know how to feel properly.
And because my metabolism was higher, I was so hungry. So then I’d overeat and then I’d feel guilty for overeating and then be like, okay, I’m just not gonna eat this meal. And then you’re starving the next day and I’m still going to track, and I’m still doing all the things and I’m, there’s no balance there cuz there was no sense of here’s how much protein, especially protein.
to really keep that balanced. So I say that only just to help people relate. Like I also have experienced to some degree this sense of orthorexia, and I think there’s varying levels of it. Some people have maybe never experienced it, but for me it was more education. on how to have a balanced diet and I mean, there’s no secret on here.
Protein is like the key in my world and I just didn’t know that. So I did experience it and then it goes into body. The body shaming is real. Even if you aren’t super insecure, it’s just like a societal, then you feel fat because you overate when in reality your body fat percentage hasn’t changed in five minutes.
Exactly. And it’s, and that’s it’s all there. Exactly. And it’s not about, see, I hear the same thing with clients that are like hundred 10 pounds versus two 10 pounds. Right? That’s exactly right. About the body necessarily, in terms of like the outward aesthetic, you again, Skills that bloated, you’re feeling guilty.
It’s not necessarily because you know, oh, I want to be size X. Right, but it’s that you’re feeling outta touch with your body and Exactly. It’s interesting, more and more now I’m seeing clients that they’re not even resonating with. Like, no, it’s not that I necessarily even want to lose weight or gain weight, but it’s just that I feel that I’m not balanced eating right, like I want to just eat.
From a place of fueling myself from a place of joy and not from a place of like either strass or in your case perhaps kind of confusion. Cause yeah, you do, you get into this sort of weird like binge restrict thing and you might not associate yourself as a binge eater or like, Yeah, being super restrictive, but due to whether it be the lack of education or a societal programming from the whole like, oh, low fat.
It’s interesting cause I’m just a touch younger, but I also went through the whole like low fat and I would just eat all of these zero fat foods and kind of, yeah, fat free milk. I can’t even drink. I’m like, this is water in the world. Yeah. But anything that was fat free, I felt like this is vegan food.
I can just eat as much as I want. Like for me, it was very, I was also very programmed by, when I was younger, the whole vegan thing was coming in, you know? To me, like fruit wasn’t food, it was just stuff that you could eat nonstop as much as you want forever. Right? And so I would just, I remember going to the grocery store just like buying bags of grape, you know, watermelons.
And I would of course like not eat dinner, but you know, gimme a pineapple of a watermelon, a bag of grapes, like I’m fine. And then I. Give me a whole bag of sugar. Exactly. Y’all sugar is still sugar in case you’re missing her point here. Sugar is still sugar. Oh my goodness. And I lost my period. And it makes sense because my insulin, you know, my blood, no fat.
Totally. Exactly. I was consistently, you know, spiking my blood sugar. And so, yeah, and ultimately it was all because I was disassociated from the visceral sensations in my stomach. I would just be, oh no, I don’t need to feel hunger or satiety or whatever. I’ll just follow these rules and as long as I’m following the rules, everything will be fine, except nothing was fine.
except not fine. fine, not fine. You mentioned something about your clients, and I wanna quick touch on this as well. They just want to feel food freedom. And I just love this because this is similar for my own clients and I always say this like my goal is that they see food as fuel, not food as a burden.
But I also think the toxicity of our health and wellness culture, and I know you have mentioned this before as well, and these diet trends, I always say if you are eliminating entire food groups from your diet, Come to the light, come sit by me. And it’s kinda like what you’re saying, like I think women are just overwhelmed and they’re doing the best they can, but they’re literally being fed.
okay, well if this diet doesn’t work, then try this diet. Like eliminate this food group and see how you do. And I think women are exhausted because literally their metabolisms are like here. And then they don’t know what they can eat and what they can’t eat. And what does whole Foods really mean?
And what is keto diet actually the answer. And yet I’m exhausted. And I’m miserable. So talk to me a little bit about your experience of how to recognize that you are in that place. and then sort of like next step here is the introduction question I want you to think about before we dive into your expertise.
Got it. Okay. So here’s the thing, and my perspective has actually changed a little bit on this in the past couple of years because if you would’ve asked me this right at the beginning of my, kind of my coaching career, I would’ve been. F all the diets, like, oh my goodness. Yeah. Like you don’t need to know any nutritional information and like all of it is like bull crap.
And like just eat what it’s that you want. Follow your body. Eventually you heal your crap and then you come back to a place of like, okay, no I can literally, by the way, pun intended, Yeah, exactly. And then you get to a place where you can, oh, interesting. Okay. Like I want to understand the information, I want to make good choices, but I always have to honor how my body feels.
Right. So if you feel like you are putting, you are taking external information. And not giving yourself any sort of, not picking up on any internal cues and just following things for the sake of following it. And again, especially perfectionists, A type people. Yeah. Like we get really good sort of training ourselves out of feeling ourselves.
Right. And so it’s, oh no, I’ll do it. Like, I remember when I would do diets and even my mom, she’d be like, oh my goodness. Like how can. Do you even enjoy that? And I would just look at her and be like, who the hell cares? Like, like, do you like that? That’s like, look at these results. I don’t care how I feel.
That’s like separate from the point, you know? And so if you’re following certain things and not able to really check in with, okay. How is this making me feel, regardless of if someone told me on Instagram that it’s supposed to make me feel great, right? We, it’s like, are you tricking yourself into just accepting the information that you’ve been taught or are you playing it and acting with curiosity of like, ah, you know what?
Like, okay, maybe. Maybe I do wanna experiment with reducing my carbs or something like that. Let me see how I feel. Right? And that’s the intricate dance that you need to kind of do. And again, this is very new for me because I’ve only really come to this in the past couple of years. Whereas before I was very kind okay, like.
Throw out all the diets and at the beginning of healing in regards to if you are really suffering from orthorexia. Yes. Like unsubscribe to all of that kind of stuff, right? To just let yourself recalibrate and let yourself find that balance. And maybe it does mean having the quote unquote bad donut or whatever, like it isn’t actually going to kill you.
And then once you’re past all of that and you find your balance point again in your equilibrium, , then you can start to implement discipline and responsibility to yourself through these different things. And just like what you said with your program and how you coach, there’s an integration period back to, you know, reality.
I think that there’s so much now where it’s like we really focus on the detoxing, the losing weight component. Like it’s like we can’t be detoxing all the goddamn time, right? Like there needs Ruth preach it. There needs to be like we have to live at some point. Exactly. Exactly. So as long as you know that it’s like, ok, I’m gonna do this thing.
Right? Just like you say, maybe I’m gonna do an elimination diet, we need to check in on if you’re orthorexia prone, if you’re very, you’re prone to being obsessed so that we can take steps to, you know, be okay. But now I’m genuinely, I think that it’s okay if you want to do a reset or whatever, as long as you’re doing.
With a practitioner that, that does have a healthy mindset around food and is also making it clear that it’s like this isn’t gonna be forever and having a croissant will not kill you. And, but you know, like that we’re gonna go on this process and there’s gonna be a transitional period back into reality.
I love it. Listen, stay tuned. We’re gonna take a quick break, but when we come back, we’re gonna play. Speed round of this or that with Kiki. Get to know her a little bit better and we are gonna hone in on her expert advice on how to retrain your brain to conquer emotional eating and enjoy food without guilt.
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Free seven day fat loss accelerator course today and start your own transformation story. All right. We are back here with Hickey. Okay. This or that? Two options. No stress. Would you rather coffee or tea? Oh, coffee. Oh girl. I don’t even know why I asked this question. I don’t know how many people actually am I drinking right now?
Yeah, . Same. Here we go. Coffee lovers unite. Okay, well, let’s talk about coffee. Are you a Starbucks fan? You know what, I’m not. I’m a secret Starbucks fan. I don’t like to sing tops, but you know what’s, it just hits differently and I don’t mind. I know that it’s like I know you’ve heard it here. Don’t tell anyone though, , she is spilling all of her secrets.
you know, I like, I’m gonna pretend to, you know, only drink the independent local coffee shops and I love those, but I love them. Starbucks coffee. I’m not gonna turn my nose at it like so many people, right? So what she’s saying is, feel free to center a free digital Starbucks drink, is what she’s saying.
Don’t be afraid to do that. Well, the this or that was going to be, do you prefer hot or cold? Coffee drinks. You know what, again, really I’m gonna, I’m gonna give an intuitive eating coach response to that love, which is Love it how you feel, right? Right now I’m in Mexico and it’s starting to get hot again.
I’m in Mexico City, so it does get, wait. Right now I’m in Mexico City. She’s just dropping that. Where do you live? Where are you from? I’m from Toronto, Canada, but I basically live everywhere right now. I live in Mexico City, , but I’m sort of new podcast episode for a new time. Okay, that’s so cool. I love that.
Yeah. And it’s getting a hot here cause sometimes it’s freezing cause I don’t live at the beach. Everyone thinks that when you say Mexico. Interesting. Oh my God. How’s the beach? I’m like warm. I wouldn’t know. I live right in the city and so anyway, so. Hot out. I’d like to, I love a good cold brew, but when it’s cold in the mornings, I like to drink hot coffee.
Yeah. And coffee. I’ve been to Mexico several times and the coffee’s definitely a little bit different. I feel like it’s a little, I don’t even know. I’m clearly not good at describing coffee. It’s different. It’s a slightly different, at least in, in like a true Mexican. Yeah, totally. Yeah. And apparently it’s much better.
I remember when I first came here, I was like, this sucks because you especially, cause I was sort of with the mindset of like, oh, like Mexican coffee, like choppa, so like Oaxaca. Yep. And I found that it tasted like really weak. I was like, this just, yeah, it tastes like it’s not as smooth. It doesn’t have that like, Smooth.
Yeah. To be honest, it’s 10 times better in Europe. Like you can’t be like coffee in, I’m often brief like the coffee there. It’s just Is that your favorite? This is like one of my favorite questions so far. The top, like across the board I’ve heard Italy is the best coffee experience. You know what? The drink, the experience, I take that back.
The drink is the best in Italy is what I’ve heard. The experience is the best in France is what I’ve been told. Oh, interesting. I’ve been to France. The experience is wonderful. I’ve never actually been to Italy, but I’m gonna say I’m half Greek, so I’m biased. So I’m gonna say no that are in Greece. Listen, any excuse, I’ll go to all of them and test them.
So keep throwing out more warm countries in Europe. . Perfect. I will take it as my excuse to travel coffee. and beautiful European cities. I’m in . We didn’t get too far with this or that, but we’re all about food. Let’s go one more. Do you prefer baked goods or candy? If you want a sweet treat, Oh my goodness.
Baked goods. Okay. Favorite baked good baking. Oh my goodness. Okay. Well, actually, right now there’s, I live near a super cute pastry shop that is like incredibly expensive. It’s like LA pricing in Mexico, but it’s worth it. And they have this chocolate croissant and it’s just, yeah, it’s a croissant filled with.
Chocolate, but it’s like really well done. Again, not from like an orthorexic thing, but it is, it’s a, technically, it’s like a gluten croissant. It’s like raw dark chocolate on the inside. It’s just so incredible. I have it like literally every week they know me there. It sounds amazing.
And they like, go’s order. Here we go. That sounds delicious. Yes. So we’ve chatted a little bit about the concept of disordered eating, and for those of you listening and watching, hopefully you’ve resonated a little bit. I think many women, at least in the United States, , the majority of women have experienced this to some degree at some point, for right or for wrong.
A lot of it is societal messaging. It is what it is in addition to the more biological predisposition. So let’s then dive in a little bit. We’ve talked about what it is, maybe how to assess yourself and think through how this might relate to my particular situation. . What’s step number one? Like where do we even go next in terms of whether we have a really healthy nutritional plan in place or we don’t, whether we have next to no body fat to lose, or we have a significant amount?
What is step number one in changing our mindset so that there’s not this debilitating obsession about. Okay, so here’s where I always start with clients. I want their first step to be looking at food as caring for the physical body when hungry. Okay? And so what is the, what is one kind of micro step that we can take to actually start integrating that truth into our everyday?
It means eating. And I hate to sound so like cliche. Mindfully, AKA undistracted, right? And so I always just have my clients track. You don’t need to even change anything right now, but start tracking. Are you eating presently and undistracted or are you eating? Perhaps you’re sitting but you’re distracted, you’re on your phone, or you know, whatever it is.
Or are you eating and you’re on the go? And most people that I work. They’ll, and even that I speak with, they’re like, yeah, no, I think I could probably eat a little bit more mindfully. And then within a week they come back. They’re like, wow, Kiki. I like literally never just eat right. I’m always doing something else.
Again, the purpose is not to, at least at the beginning, it’s zero judgment. It’s not to even change anything, but it’s to get acquainted with what’s actually happening. The truth. Right. And because you can’t heal what you’re not even acknowledging. Right. So it’s Right. Say that one more time. Say that one more time.
For the people in the back, , including myself, you can’t feel what you can’t acknowledge, right? And so we need to actually get clear on the truth. It’s like, how can we go into the complexities of your relationship to food if you’re not even acknowledging that you’re not even present to those experiences and those occasions, right?
And so that alone can be. Game changer, whether you are dealing with orthorexia or absolutely like no disordered eating, but you are never present with your food. There is something going on there. It’s like, why don’t you like food? And eating is such an intimate ritual that we have with ourselves. And so if you’re checking out of that experience on the daily consistently, there’s something deeper.
Behind the lens that you need to actually explore. It was meant to be enjoyed. Let’s make that very clear. Food was meant to be enjoyed, which is exactly what Kiki is speaking to. Absolutely. We need to be able to enjoy it. Hopeful. Absolutely. There’s two boundaries of the body that I want everyone to understand and get more acquainted with, which is hunger and taste.
And so hunger means you actually do. Wait for hunger. So many women that I speak with, it’s like either super, super scared of hunger because oftentimes it’s because they’ve been putting themselves in a place of like complete deprivation. So now the idea of hunger is incredibly triggering for them because it, it feels like they’re coming back to like this horrible place and it’s like no, no, no.
Hunger is not. Even bad necessarily, like when you were a kid and you felt hunger, it wasn’t just like traumatic experience, you were just hungry. Right? It means it’s a visceral sensation from the body that, oh, my body is chemically prepared to digest food. We don’t have to make it so like emotionally charged, right?
It’s not good or bad, it’s just a feeling we can allow ourselves to get there, and then of course we can honor it when it comes up, and that doesn’t mean stopping what we’re doing in the exact instant, right? Hungers is, Slow build. Even though media and like, you know, snack commercials make it seem like randomly were slept in the face with hunger.
It’s like, no, that’s not what happens. Like hunger slowly builds. You don’t just, unless you’re disconnected from yourself and then you connect and then you realize you’re hungry, of course, and then of course, tastes right. Just like you said, food is meant to be enjoyed, and so we need to enjoy it. We need.
Sit down and tell the body that we are safe and actually enjoy our food. And that means actually choosing foods that taste good to us. And for most women, like, like keep pre kale out of my smoothies. I joke about this all the time. I like love healthy food, but for the love of my taste buds, keep kale out of my drinks.
Right, and I mean now kale is like getting a bad rap as well, so like it fits. It’s so interesting how like, you know, 10 years ago kale was the be all, end all, and now I’m seeing all the bio hackers and everything being like, oh my God, don’t eat kale cause of this. I’m like, oh, that’s because we were literally like smoothing entire fields of kale into arp.
Exactly, and it goes, oh my gosh, that it’s like you can’t even possibly keep up with everything. So like don’t be frantic about any eating something out. The kale fed. Yeah, right. Kale brownies. Literally, there’s a recipe out there for kale brownies. I was like, oh my God. I mean, I’m never to brownie again if you put kale in, but don’t ruin something so sacred like a brownie.
Amen. . Anyway. You should enjoy your food. That’s the point that we’re making here. Enjoy the food. And, you know, it doesn’t mean you need to get up the sage in the Palo Santo and like have a whole like, experience. Right. But yes, be present with it. Sit down. Yeah. Chew your food and then, you know, there’s so many other steps that you can take.
But another one I’ll share is, Really owning your start and your stop, especially for women that feel like they go past a point of balance. I like to use the word balance versus full, because full sounds like it could be sort of like heavy and not so great. Whereas balance, that’s where you wanna be.
Right. Fully satiated, of course. Yeah. People in this space now are like, oh, just take yourself to 80%. But that to me still sends a signal of like deprivation. If I tell you like, oh, you can enjoy your life up to 80%, like deep down you want that extra 20%. Like, and what the heck is 80%? Like, I don’t know what is 80% like.
Exactly. Is it one more bite of this sandwich, is it Exactly. So take yourself to being fully satiated. Of course. But you know, we want to feel energized. From our food, and we want to be able to move back into the movement of our life because food is a break from life. France, they get this, right? Yes, and that’s why they butter and and all these things and still be slim.
It’s because they’re separating food from the movement of life, right? They’re sitting down, they’re stopping, and then they’re moving back into life. You know, if the stop of your eating is hard, it’s because the start of your living is hard, and so figure out a stepping stone to get back into there. But ultimately as well, you can’t own your.
Stop if you don’t own your start. Right. And that’s why when we go to the fridge and we, oh, I’m just gonna have a bite of this and then somehow . It’s a lot more than one bite. Cause you never owned your start, so own it. So many women, it’s like, oh, I shouldn’t be having this, so I’m just gonna, I would do that all the time.
I’d like, just like pop things in my mouth. Cause I’m like, I’m not eating. I’m like standing. I’m, you know, just having some snack. Snack. Right. Snack. But it’s like, no, if you’re hungry, own it. Sit down and eat. And if you’re not, then you know what? You need to be responsible to yourself and figure something else out to do.
And if you’re trying to soo the discomfort in your life through food, go ahead and soothe the discomfort in your life through something else that is more appropriate. Yeah, I love this. So to recap from what I heard, number one, so for those of you listening, here’s couple steps that I took out of this.
So number one, you need to start writing down. what your experience is when you’re eating. This is so crucial, especially if you are a mom or a busy woman because this is life that point is so right on with me, and this is something that was sort of a revelation for me years ago, was I never just sat and ate never, cuz I’m like a hyper-productive person and so I always eat on the go.
and as I started coaching my clients, it was challenging to myself when I talked about mindful eating, this concept of. Stopping and just enjoying your food. But as she just said, you can’t heal what you haven’t acknowledged. So you need to start being aware of what you’re doing while you’re eating. Start thinking about it.
Write it down. I hate to say put it on your phone cuz then you’re probably gonna be on your phone while you’re eating, but at least be aware of it. Email yourself, like start to track what you’re doing. Number two, you need to start thinking about hunger and taste. , are you honoring your body’s hunger cues?
And then are you actually enjoying what you’re eating? This is such a huge thing. If you are not enjoying what you’re eating, stop eating it. Like absolutely find this. I talk to clients about this, about vegetables. I hate vegetables. Okay, let’s make a list. This is what I have them do. Let’s make three columns.
What is one vegetable that you can at least tolerate? Let’s start there. And then what’s like the middle ground? Ah, I don’t hate it. I don’t love it. And then the third one is absolutely not. , I’m not gonna make you eat the absolutely not vegetables because then you just hate everything. So like, just focus on the ones that you like and find recipes that you can enjoy.
So I’m not saying I’m not giving you permission to eat crap. Yeah. But at least find healthy stuff that you do like and really hone in on that. The third thing Kiki said was that you need to learn. Sorry, how to honor start and stop times. Yeah. This is also crucial for busy women. Myself, I’m speaking literally to myself as well.
And I would also say something for moms that we get really guilty of is we pick food off of our kids’ plates because we grew up. with like, you finish your plate. And so I had this mentality that, oh, like my kid left half of a pancake on his plate, so I would literally pop it in my mouth as I’m walking around the kitchen.
When I started putting a discipline in place where I just put away all leftovers, it looks ridiculous, but I would soran wrap that plate of half a pancake and I’d put it in the fridge. , you can always heat it up later, or I would save it for myself for later. So I just wanted to touch on some of the ways that I’ve personally seen in my own life exactly what you’re saying.
I mean, it’s just, it’s perfect. It’s such good advice. That technique is, oh my god, game changer. And oftentimes with that one with, in terms of, you know, stopping yourself from picking, especially even I hear it with moms, either they’re doing that at the end of the meal, they’re sort of cleaning up leftovers as if they’re like a garbage or.
They’re throwing things in their mouth as they’re preparing the food. Yes. And it’s like, so, you know, really oftentimes those two things are very easy to reprogram because it’s not super, like, there’s not a lot of emotional trauma underneath those. It’s simply just a habit of like oh, oh, you don’t even realize.
Exactly. And so it’s kind of an easier one to just. Be disciplined with yourself of like, no, I don’t need to do that. It might be coming from a place of a deprivation of like, oh, you know, like, I’m not allowed that, but if it’s on someone else’s plate, like it, it doesn’t count. And so again, bringing yourself back into this point of abundance of like, I can always have whatever it is that I want whenever I’m hungry.
And you’ll find that there’s less of an urgency to like grab the scraps because you are not starving. And I don’t even mean starving, like physically, like mentally, like you’re not in this state of. deprivation. Absolutely. I love that. A little tip. If you are that woman, you’re like, oh, yep, I’m the picker.
While I prepare from my clients, one of the tricks they have found incredibly helpful to retrain their habits is to chew gum every time they make dinner. Ooh, that’s so you just keep gum in your mouth because we literally will not put food in our mouth with gum in our mouth. So it’s just like a habit retraining.
Not that you have to do it for the rest of your life, but they found it helpful at least. And you know what I heard the other day? Chewing gum helps. To stimulate the vagus nerve. Interesting. I hate chewing gum. It makes my jaw tired. . I, yeah, I’m hashtag lazy. Yeah. No, I, but then I was also told don’t chew gum because I follow this woman who does face yoga, and she’s like, I can always see the people that chew gum because their face is not symmetrical.
Cause y’all have, oh, that’s, Gum on, like technically you’re chewing it on one side. So she says that it strengthens your jaw on one side and anyway. Interesting. So interesting. Once I heard that, I was like, Ooh, I’m not chew gum. I don’t wanna astrical face . I don’t want a unilaterally bulky jaw. That’s so funny.
Well, Okay. At least if you’re wanting to retrain your habits before you’re picking food, while you’re making, you don’t have to do it the rest of your life and have an asymmetrical draw, but temporarily it might be successful. And I would seriously recommend, I mean, I love what Kiki’s saying here. I would seriously recommend that tip if that is you for about four to six weeks, because you really need to retrain that process in your brain.
And it’s just like a physical way. Keeping you from putting stuff, or at least being mindful of it, you have a course that you walk through. All of this in a much more detailed way. You also have a freebie for people who are like interested in sort of getting more of a snippet if you’re not already motivated to work with Kiki.
Tell us a little bit about, you know, where people can learn more, where they can try your masterclass, what your course looks like. Amazing. Thank you for asking. So everything is on my website, which is simply my name, kikiathanas.com. And as you mentioned, I actually had just filmed it a couple days ago. My most recent masterclass, it’s totally free.
My most recent one on there now is a little bit more in from the perspective of gut healing via emotional eating regulation. So it is really relevant even if you don’t feel like you necessarily have thia or even overeating or emotional eating, but you really want to harness more of a gut brain connection.
That masterclass. In much more depth in that topic. And in terms of course, in how I work with clients it’s essentially a six week recording process that layers on top of one another each week. And it’s really, again, to retrain yourself to honor hunger, and honor satie. And oftentimes it’s coming back to the way that you probably ate as a young child when you would just kind.
Live life. And then when you got hungry, you’d want something that you know, that tastes good to you, and then you’d move on. And if you don’t feel like you’re living within that kind of harmonious rhythm that we are meant to live in order to thrive, then it might be the right fit for you.
And so, I love it too, because I think this, I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but I mean, I think this course is applicable regardless of your particular nutritional plan or if you’re in a fitness nutrition program. What I hear about your program is it’s a beautiful marriage to just about any fitness and nutrition plan because you’re really working on your relationship with food from a mental and emotional standpoint.
So I mean, I think it’s an incredible resource for anyone. And if you’re a fitness nutrition coach, this is also, I mean, y’all need to check out Kiki because your clients will probably get better results before they do your program if they have this type of powering understanding it’s interesting that you say that because almost 50% of my clients are actually some form of health and wellness coaches, whether they’re fitness trainers, I believe that they’re, you know, nutritionist and.
Because they’re actually dealing with kind of secret orthorexia or sort of secret like binging and things like that. And they’re like, Hey, need to get this figured out because I like, I’m working, I’m coaching. Yeah. Like a fraud. Or, it’s because, you know what, like I do want to understand more of that connection so that I can bring it to clients as well.
So yeah, this isn’t necessarily, you know, for people that are just like, oh, I just need to eat better. Like, we get it. We all know how to eat good and all those things. It really, a deeper layer beneath that. I love what you do, Kiki. This is so fun, and I think you are just, you’re offering such an incredible service, especially to women that so many women we desperately need.
And I just pray God’s richest blessings over your heart and your home and your life there in Mexico City. And yeah, it’s been an honor. I’m so glad that you’re here. It was so fun to chat with you. I love your personality. You’re just so funny and lovely. So thank you, . Aw, thank you. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast.
I would love to hear your thoughts from today, head to your preferred podcasting platform, and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think. Remember, you cannot be redefined, only redeveloped, one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and you are loved.

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