Intuitive Eating is an approach that teaches you how to reconnect and listen to your body. It helps you create a healthy relationship with food and your body so you don't have to be trapped in the dieting cycle any longer.
There are 10 main principles in Intuitive Eating:
1. Reject the Diet Mentality: Remove yourself from diet culture as much as you can. Looking at fitspiration, reading magazine and social media are all dangerous when we are trying to get away from the diet mentality. Diet culture is when we see skinny as good and fat as bad, when eating healthy is virtuous and when eating unhealthy is a sin. If you want to learn more about this check out my video on Diet Culture.
2. Honor Your Hunger: When we diet we get out of touch with the signals that our body sends us. When we start eating intuitively it is important to feed your body when it's hungry. Here is where we want to move away from taking outside cues about when and what to eat (IE: meal plans, time of day, number of calories).
3. Make Peace with Food: Stop the war with food and surrender! Giving yourself unconditional permission to eat any food is an integral step in getting over the diet and binge cycle that so many dieters are stuck in. This can be a bit scary but it's also a very fun step :).
4. Challenge the Food Police: Holding your ground when those negative thoughts creep up telling you you aren't worthy of that brownie or you aren't thin enough to eat more than 1500 calories a day, is a powerful thing. These messages are usually ingrained deep in our psyche but it is absolutely possible to get rid of that inner critic.
5. Feel Your Fullness: Listen to your body's signals when it's telling you that you are no longer hungry. This means eating more slowly, being less distracted when eating, and identifying when food stops tasting as good.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor: Just being full doesn't mean you're satisfied. Actually enjoying food is a key factor in living a healthy life and having a healthy relationship with food.
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food: Finding ways to soothe, comfort and nurture yourself without food will help make food just food again. We tie food in with emotions, fears and feelings which creates a messy relationship with food so when we untie them we can be at peace once again and actually DEAL with emotions instead of stuffing them down along with that large pepperoni pizza.
8. Respect Your Body: Accepting your genetics and body shape is a key part of Intuitive Eating. This doesn't mean "giving up", it means making peace with the body you have so you can move forward and live your life. We can't all look like supermodels (well like 99% of us can't) but so many of us have that as a goal! Your body is beautiful at any shape and size.
9. Exercise - Feel the Difference: It's not about workout programs or killing yourself at the gym. Changing your relationship with exercise will help you move more consistently in ways you actually enjoy. Find movement you like and are excited to participate in! Focusing on how exercise makes you feel is much healthier than using movement to burn calories (which is extremely ineffective anyways).
10. Honor Your Health - Gentle Nutrition: This is creating a balance of enjoyment and nourishment and FEELING good. Choose foods that you want to eat and that make you feel great, this is a killer combination!
Ready to start your journey towards Intuitive Eating?
Why Don't Diets Work?
- 2/3 of people gain MORE weight back than they lost in the first place
- Both dieting and obesity became common in the 1970's (coincidence?)
- The average 45 year old woman has been on 62 diets (If they worked we would only need 1)
- Dieting gets you trapped in a cycle of deprivation and bingeing which is extremely difficult to get out of
- Diets put way too much emphasis on weight loss and not enough on health and happiness
- Weight loss does not equal healthier