Intuitive Eating 101
Make PEACE with food and your body once and for all.
Doesn't that sound wonderful??
Welcome to intuitive eating, the food philosophy your body, mind and soul are craving. Intuitive eating is not a diet. It's quite the opposite actually. The philosophy behind intuitive eating is that our bodies are wise, we should love and trust them more. So many of the issues people have with food, yo-yo dieting and body insecurity stem from fighting against our natural internal cues. We're made to believe that we have to follow a specific plan, a "diet", restrict certain foods in order to be healthy. Quite the contrary. We're born knowing exactly what our bodies need. Think about babies and toddlers. They eat when they're hungry, stop when they're full. They follow internal cues.
Being a perfectionist type myself, I have at times gotten caught up in the number game, tracking and counting. Secretive eating, restricting and then overindulging. While becoming an RD, we learned that numbers rule (which can be the case for certain health conditions or for sport and performance nutrition). I absolutely loved learning the science and mechanisms of how our bodies process and digest and the ways that nutrition therapy can help with a plethora of conditions and disease states.
BUTTTT, for general health and wellness, weight control and radiant, energized health-I feel that approach doesn't resonate anymore. Bio-individuality, a holistic body-mind-spirit approach and positive psychology have become much more my style now. It's not easy to unlearn what we've been programmed to believe about food for most of our lives. Intuitive eating teaches us NOT to count calories, track our food or macros....which can feel really weird at first!
There's always going to be new diets, new get thin quick schemes, supplements with outrageous claims, cleanses and detoxes popping up and attempting to suck you in. When we treat food as the enemy, we're prone to destructive behavior. Feelings of guilt and shame for overeating or eating the wrong thing come up. Then we feel we must start over and "be good" again. Our worth as a person should not be attached to the foods we eat or don't eat.
When we love and respect our bodies, we want to fuel them with what they really need. We're not afraid of what food might do to us, we're aware and conscious of what food can do for us. We give ourselves permission to feel joy and love around food. I highly recommend checking out the book "Intuitive Eating, A Revolutionary Program That Works". It breaks down intuitive eating into the following 10 principles and walks you through implementing each one:
Reject the Diet Mentality
Honor your Hunger
Make Peace with Food
Challenge the Food Police
Respect your Fullness
Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Honor Your Feelings without Using Food
Respect your Body
Exercise - Feel the Difference
Honor your Health
There is MUCH more to explore on this topic that I will save for another day. Feel free to comment or reach out if this hits home for you :) xoxo,
(originally published 2/21/18)