Intuitive Eating is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days. To be clear, Intuitive Eating is an actual framework. It's based on a book by two dietitians that includes 10 principles to help us honor our bodies and maintain the pleasure of eating. It is appropriate in all sorts of settings and it focuses on many self-care actions. Intuitive Eating also helps us explore ways dieting, restricting, or being focused on our weight loss efforts has impacted our lives.
Reject the diet mentality
Honor Your Hunger
Make Peace with Food
Challenge the Food Police
Discover the satisfaction factor
Feel your Fullness
Cope with your emotions with kindness
Respect your body
Movement- feel the difference
Honor your health with gentle nutrition
If the principles of Intuitive Eating sound interesting, that is great. Some say, "that is cool, but how do I start?"
Sometimes working with a dietitian who specializes in intuitive eating helps. But there are tons of resources if you are interested in exploring a bit first.
The book Intuitive Eating could be one option, the writers of intuitive eating also created a workbook for those who want to go step by step with intuitive eating, and there are also some podcasts to offer some information and guidance.
I typically recommend 5 ways to get started with Intuitive Eating
- Practice recognizing diet culture.
- Diet culture is the world around us that says "eat this, not that", the world that focuses a lot on weight loss.
- Once we can see diet culture, it can’t be unseen.
- Look for it in your life, on the internet and in yourself. What thoughts and beliefs do you hold that are really diet culture at work?
- Practice getting to know your own body.
- Consider checking in with yourself every 2 hours throughout the day and you can ask yourself, "do I feel pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral?" Or "What do I need right now?" Life can get busy and our basic needs sometimes take a back seat.
- Make a list of foods you really like.
- Think about your food preferences. Circle the foods on the list you don't allow yourself to have or that make you nervous.
- Get curious about those foods, are all those foods carbs or foods you believe are "unhealthy"?
- Bring back one of the foods you circled this week and eat it, no judgment.
- Experiment with eating regularly.
- Make it a point to honor your hunger.
- You can start with considering 3 meals and 1-3 snacks per day; notice your hunger throughout the day/week, does it change? What does this bring up for you?
- Practice Compassion.
- This is not a journey that is made in a day, or a month. Give yourself some grace, you can’t do it wrong or fail. That is the beauty of it. It is your body, you can trust it, and it will learn to trust you.
Intuitive eating is really about getting curious, there is no judgement needed.
Interested in learning more? Check out this week's podcast!
Disclaimer: This article and the podcast are not sponsored by Intuitive Eating Pros®