WTF is Intuitive Eating?!
Intuitive Eating is a philosophy of eating that encourages people to listen to their body's hunger and fullness cues, rather than following strict diets, counting calories or even relying on the time of day to eat. Our bodies have an innate ability to regulate our food intake and maintain a healthy weight. Intuitive Eating has gained popularity as a way to promote a healthy relationship with food and body image.
The ten principles of Intuitive Eating include:
Reject the diet mentality – let go of the idea that there is a "perfect" diet or body size.
Honor your hunger – listen to your body and eat when you are hungry.
Make peace with food – allow yourself to enjoy all types of food without guilt or shame.
Challenge the food police – stop judging yourself or others based on what they eat.
Respect your fullness – listen to your body and stop eating when you are comfortably full.
Discover the satisfaction factor – find pleasure in your food and the experience of eating.
Honor your feelings without using food – find ways to cope with emotions without turning to food.
Respect your body – embrace your body for what it is and take care of it through healthy habits.
Exercise – move your body in ways that feel good and enjoyable, rather than punishing yourself.
Honor your health – focus on overall health and wellbeing, rather than strict rules or restrictions.
Intuitive Eating is not a quick fix or a diet plan. In the process of becoming an intuitive eater, you go through a process of unlearning everything you’ve heard from the media, family, friends, medical professionals, etc. It is a journey of self-discovery and learning to trust your body. It requires a shift in mindset and a willingness to let go of old habits and beliefs about food and weight.
Intuitive Eating has been shown to lead to positive changes in mental health, body image, and well-being. It can also lead to forming a healthier relationship with food, and one’s body - as well as decrease disordered eating patterns.
If you're interested in exploring Intuitive Eating, it can be helpful to work with a registered dietitian or therapist who works through this lens.
You can learn to trust your body and make peace with food.