We were all born with an inherent trust of our bodies. As infants and children, before we became influenced by diet culture, we were able to listen to what our bodies needed. If the privilege of food security was present, we had the skill to eat, stop when we were full, eat satisfying foods, and listen to how our bodies respond to foods- without judgement. Intuitive eating is getting back to trusting your inner body wisdom to make choices around food, without putting blame or judgment on our bodies. Intuitive eating enables us to create peace with food.
Despite the fact that 95% of diets fail, and dieters end up gaining the weight back plus more, the blame is always put on the dieters. Isn’t it interesting that with these failure rates, we don’t blame the process of dieting? When we learn to discard dieting and replace it with intuitive eating, we can become relieved from food obsessions and yo-yo weight fluctuations, and we can normalize our relationship to food.
Below is a summary of the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating, from the book, Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, and Elyse Resch, MS, RD.
- Reject the Diet Mentality Recognize the harmful effects of diet culture and allow yourself to be curious about a new approach.
- Honor Your Hunger Keep your body fed with adequate energy (otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat).
- Make Peace with Food Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself you shouldn’t have specific foods, it can lead to feelings of deprivation and uncontrollable cravings and overeating of said food.
- Challenge the Food Police This is your inner voice that declares you as “good” or “bad” for how well you stick to unreasonable rules that dieting has created. Its loud speaker shouts negative criticisms, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking accusations.
- Feel Your Fullness Observe signs that show you’re comfortably full, and notice what it feels like.
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor Allowing yourself to enjoy foods and ask “what really sounds good right now?”
- Cope with Your Emotions Without Using Food Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your emotional issues without using food.
- Respect Your Body Treat it with kindness and dignity – not punishment. Pay attention to self-talk. What are you saying to your body?
- Exercise – Feel the Difference Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. Are you letting your body rest when it asks for it? Move when it wants to? In the ways that it wants to?
- Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy.
Re-learning each of these core principles can be a challenging process, and our nutritional therapists are trained to offer support and guidance throughout it.
If you are interested in exploring food freedom, re-learning to trust your innate intuition around food, and to feel comfortable around eating, please reach out to set up an appointment with one of our nutritionists today.
Written by Aster Galloway, MS, RDN
Aster’s nutritional approach is guided by a Health at Every Size (HAES) philosophy and that it is not our size that determines our health but our lifestyle. She also practices Intuitive Eating principles which encourages clients to eat in a flexible manner that honors internal hunger cues. Aster’s end goal with every client is creating peace with food and body.