Intuitive Eating is an approach to eating well that helps you create a healed relationship between your mind, body, and food.
Instead of dieting, Intuitive Eating allows you to listen to your hunger and fullness cues and disband the idea that any particular food are "off-limits". The result is a lasting pattern of eating well that works, helping you stop patterns of food worry, guilt about eating, and shame.
The program is based upon the book "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole and Elise Resch, two registered dieticians who gathered a substantial amount of research over the past twenty years to show just how successful this way of living can be.
Which of these 10 Principles stands out to you? Get to know each of the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating better through the images below.
The first step to become an Intuitive Eater is to reject the diet mentality and unnecessary rules of eating. What do you notice about diet culture that you are ready to let go of today?
How does your body tell you that you are hungry? Check out the Hunger-Fullness scale on the graphic, which goes from 1-10. Try to honor your hunger when it reaches a “2” or “3” so that you do not find yourself running on empty!
Make peace with all types of foods by giving yourself unconditional permission to eat. This means that if you want the chocolate bar, you can have the chocolate bar! It also means that you can eat as much of whatever types of foods as you want, not limiting yourself to small portion sizes or other rigid rules of eating. Instead of building up intense feelings of deprivation which lead to overeating, making peace with foods helps you find balance and lowers the guild associated with eating certain foods.
Do you have food rules? Do you think some foods are “good: or “bad”? Challenge these Food Police thoughts. Label them as “helpful” or “unhelpful” as you notice them arise throughout your day. Choose to let go of the negative, unhelpful food police that is engrained deep in your psyche. Be encouraged! Even though this practice may be slow, it is rewarding.
Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you are comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or snack. Ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?
What foods satisfy you? In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence - the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in any environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force is helping you feel satisfied and content.
Do you consider yourself an “emotional eater”? Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Engage in activities that distract you from street, allow you to acknowledge your feelings, and problem solve. The next time you are reaching for food, pause and ask yourself, “What do I really need?” If you are not hungry, try something else:
- Talk to a friend
- Give yourself a massage
- Treat yourself to something besides food
- Make time for your hobby
- Go for a short walk
Do you appreciate and accept your genetic blueprint? All bodies are worthy, beautiful and capable. Respect your body and all it enables you to do! It is hard to reject the diet mentality and sustain a positive relationship with food if we are too critical and unrealistic about our body shape.
Feel the difference! Find a type of exercise and movement you enjoy. Engage your capable and strong body. Forget about the calorie burning and enjoy the simplicity in movement and how it makes you feel!
Make food choices that honor both your health and taste buds while making you feel well. Remember you don’t have to eat a “perfect” diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or become unhealthy from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters. Progress, not perfection, is what counts.