Intuitive Eating – The 411

Intuitive eating, a phrase that gets thrown around by a lot of ‘fitspos’ on social media, could it cure the yo-yo dieters and poor food relationships for good? Maybe!

Intuitive Eating (IE) is quite simply eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full, it’s an eating style that promotes a healthy attitude toward food and body image.

Some studies have linked IE to healthier psychological attitudes, lower body mass index (BMI), and weight maintenance. Participants in these studies improved their self-esteem, body image, and quality of life while experiencing less depression and anxiety.

Although the process is beneficial to phycological health no studies conclude effective weight-loss from IE.

The 10 key principles of Intuitive Eating

(Taken from the Tribole and Resch intuitive eating book)

1. Reject the diet mentalityThe diet mentality is the idea that there’s a diet out there that will work for you. Intuitive eating is the anti-diet.

2. Honour your hungerHunger is not your enemy. Respond to your early signs of hunger by feeding your body. If you let yourself get excessively hungry, then you are likely to overeat.

3. Make peace with foodCall a truce in the war with food and get rid of ideas about what you should or shouldn’t eat.

4. Challenge the food policeFood is not good or bad and you are not good or bad for what you eat or don’t eat. Challenge thoughts that tell you otherwise.

5. Respect your fullnessJust as your body tells you when it’s hungry, it also tells you when it’s full. Listen for the signals of comfortable fullness, when you feel you have had enough. As you’re eating, check-in with yourself to see how the food tastes and how hungry or full you are feeling.

6. Discover the satisfaction factorMake your eating experience enjoyable. Have a meal that tastes good to you. Sit down to eat it. When you make eating a pleasurable experience, you may find it takes less food to satisfy you.

7. Honour your feelings without using foodEmotional eating is a strategy for coping with feelings. Find ways that are unrelated to food to deal with your feelings, such as taking a walk, meditating, journaling, or calling a friend. Become aware of the times when a feeling that you might call hunger is really based on emotion.

8. Respect your bodyRather than criticizing your body for how it looks and what you perceive is wrong with it, recognize it as capable and beautiful just as it is.

9. ExerciseFeel the difference. Find ways to move your body that you enjoy. Shift the focus from losing weight to feeling energized, strong, and alive.

10. Honour your healthThe food you eat should taste good and make you feel good. Remember that it’s your overall food patterns that shape your health. One meal or snack isn’t going to make or break your health.

To summarise, Intuitive Eating can help you reconnect with your body and it’s signals, allowing you to focus on your health instead of your weight. We would recommend this approach for people coming out of a weight-loss or weight-gain process or those who suffer from an unhealthy relationship with food.

For further support on adopting this approach, drop us an email to arrange a free Nutrition consultation call.

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