What The Heck Is Intuitive Eating?


If you’ve been around my blog for awhile, you’ve most definitely seen me use the term ‘intuitive eating’ and can probably sense that I have very strong (positive) emotions about it.  But if you’re like most people, you probably have no idea what it really means…so today I’m going to shed a little light on it for you.  But first, let’s tackle what intuitive eating is NOT.  Intuitive eating is NOT a diet.  It is NOT weightless orientated.  It is NOT an overnight fix.  It is NOT an instant gratification source and it is NOT ‘easy’.  Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive in to what intuitive eating IS!!

Intuitive eating IS an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body–where you ultimately become the expert of your own body.   You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom.  Ahhh, how beautiful does that sound?  Intuitive eating uses basic principals (not rules) to guide you towards becoming an expert in listening to your body.  It is about finding freedom around food, feeling amazing in your body and taking back your self-worth and confidence.  It’s about letting go of food rules and diet voices and should and shouldn’t’s and re-conecting with food from a point of fuel, enjoyment and nourishment.  It’s about getting rid of ‘food worry thoughts’ and learning how to DIS-connect your food choices with your worth as a person.

The thing about intuitive eating is that is sounds rather simple on the outside, but it’s actually way more complicated once you dig in.  The reason behind this is that often times, our “inner voice” is controlled and clouded by years and years of diet rules and society’s views on what’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ when it comes to food.  Learning to combat those myths and lies and re-tune in to your inner hunger cues, satiation cues and feelings takes effort.  It takes intentionality and persistence.  I personally don’t know one person who has gone from the diet circle world to a more intuitive eating approach without backsliding into dieting again at least one or two times.  With that being said, I also don’t know one person who has kept with it and succeeded with ditching diets for good that regrets it or doesn’t think the work was worth it.  Feeling at peace in your body and feeling confident in who you are as a person, not based on how well your food intake was for that day or week, is a feeling that cannot be topped.  So what are some of the intuitive eating principals…..

  1.  Reject the diet mentality
  2. Honor your hunger
  3. Make peace with food
  4. Challenge the food police
  5. Respect your fullness
  6. Discover the satisfaction factor
  7. Honor your feelings without using food
  8. Respect your body
  9. Exercise–feel the difference
  10. Honor your health

For a more in depth description on what each of these mean, I encourage you to read Evelyn Tribole’s book Intuitive Eating (a MUST read in my opinion) 🙂 and take a look at her website.  Intuitive eating is something I work on with all of my clients and that I attribute to ultimately helping me find a healthy balance with food in my own life.  I have strong feelings about it because it WORKS!  It may be difficult and some days are harder than others, but the freedom and flexibility I feel around food now is WORTH the work.

If this post sparked some interest with you, I’d love to have a conversation with you!  I’ve started a list for one-on-one coaching post-baby Rogers’ arrival – if this is something you’re interested in learning more about or would like some support and guidance in implementing intuitive eating in your own life, I’d love to offer you a free consultation!

So what do you think about intuitive eating?  Is this what you thought it was or completely different??

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